Columbia’s Trayce McKenzie named Athlete of the Week

Columbia's Trayce McKenzie batted .625 with two home runs, two triples, four RBI and five runs scored to help the Tigers to a 2-0 record last week.
Columbia's Trayce McKenzie batted .625 with two home runs, two triples, four RBI and five runs scored to help the Tigers to a 2-0 record last week.
Photo by C.J. Gish

Last year, Columbia third baseman Trayce McKenzie had two runs batted in, no triples and no home runs in limited action as a sophomore (16 at-bats) for the Tigers’ FHSAA Class 5A final four team.

In an expanded role this season, the junior easily surpassed those totals in just two games.

He batted .625 (5-for-8) with two home runs, two triples, four RBI, and five runs scored in two wins for the Tigers.

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It was his first two home runs of the season.

Following his big week, McKenzie has been recognized as the Pavlik Orthodontics Athlete of the Week for the week of April 8.

He was 2-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored in a 9-7 win at Santa Fe (Alachua) last Tuesday.

McKenzie followed that up by going 3-for-3 with a triple, two home runs, three runs scored and three RBI in an 8-7 win at home against Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville).

“His recent play is a direct reflection of his work ethic and it’s good to see him receive recognition for the time and effort he has put into improving his game,” said Columbia baseball coach Chris Howard. “This program would not be the same without Trayce McKenzie.”

In 21 games this season, McKenzie is third on the team with a .381 average.

He leads the team with three triples and he’s second with 24 hits, 18 runs and two home runs. He is tied for second with 12 RBI.

“Trayce is a hard-working high-character kid,” Howard said. “He is coming off an arm injury and is working hard to get back to 100% pitching. He has always done everything asked of him for this program and always puts the program first.”

McKenzie is the 34th athlete to be selected for the weekly award during the 2023-24 school year.

Last week’s winner was Nicholas “Nick” Tisher of the Gainesville boys weightlifting team.

Tisher (445-pound total) finished fifth in the 238-pound Olympic competition at the Class 2A-Region 1 meet and joined teammate Jacob Goode in becoming the first two Olympic competition lifters in program history to advance to the FHSAA Weightlifting state championships.

Other recent winners include Sarah Priester of the Newberry softball team and Evan Fleming of the Buchholz boys track and field team.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Coaches are encouraged to email their nominations each week, along with stats, no later than Sunday night to mike.ridaught@mainstreetdailynews.com.

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