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story.lead_photo.caption Shane Fontenot of the Jefferson City Renegades signals to Renegades assistant coach Caleb Thomas to hit a home run Wednesday during the team's celebrity softball game at Vivion Field. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

Shane Fontenot started as a player for the Jefferson City Renegades in 2018, then added player-coach to his bio this season.

Today, the three-season Renegades pitcher can add something else to his resume. A MINK League All-Star.

"It's a honor to be a part of the All-Star Game," Fontenot said as he will be part of the South team for the All-Star Game at Vivion Field, which begins at 7 p.m.

Fontenot, a right-handed reliever, has appeared in a team-high 10 games for the Renegades this season. In 161/3 innings, he has a 2.75 ERA while recording 19 strikeouts.

The Baton Rouge, La., native just wrapped up his senior season at Arkansas-Monticello. His journey to Jefferson City started when Jacob Caples, then an assistant at Arkansas-Monticello, asked him if he was interested in playing summer baseball somewhere.

A couple of MINK League teams were among those that got in touch with Fontenot, including Renegades coach Mike DeMilia.

"Coach DeMilia called me and I thought we had a great connection," Fontenot said. "He cares so much."

When Fontenot arrived for his first summer in Jefferson City, he knew he made the right decision.

"I immediately loved the atmosphere and the vibe," Fontenot said. "It's a great place to play.

"I love it in Jefferson City, I love the organization, I love coach DeMilia."

Last fall, DeMilia got in touch with Fontenot about being a player-coach this summer. He jumped at the opportunity.

"He's played a lot of college baseball and has been with us for a few years, he knows what we're trying to do and what we're about," DeMilia said.

"What he brings with all of his experience is huge. And when he goes out there and competes like he does, it shows them he's someone they should listen to."

Among Fontenot's coaching duties are managing the bullpen and passing along advice whenever he can to the other pitchers.

"I try to help them mature as much as I can," Fontenot said. "We have a great group of guys, but some of them are pretty young, I want to help them advance in the game as much as I can.

"If they have a bad outing, I'll try to pick them up and keep them positive. If they have a good outing and I see a couple of minor things they need to work on, I'll help them with those."

The Renegades are currently tied for second place in the bunched-up South Division.

"I think we're starting to fire on all cylinders," Fontenot said. "We're dangerous and I think if we can play at the level we're capable of playing, we're one of the best teams in the league."

This fall, Fontenot said he will finish his Masters in physical education and coaching. But he hopes is baseball career isn't quite done.

"I'm planning on going to some independent ball tryouts and see if I can catch on somewhere," Fontenot said. "If not, I'll just try to get a coaching job somewhere.

"I just want to be around the game."

III

Fontenot is one of nine Renegades selected to South Division team for the All-Star Game.

"I think they're all deserving," DeMilia said. "Some of them might not have all the stats, but you can see they're among the best players in the league."

Fontenot will be joined on the South pitching staff by Renegades teammates Austin Brewer, Jacob Davis and Ethan Osborne. Also on the squad are catcher Hamilton Anderson, infielders Caden Diel and Carter Mize, and outfielders David Dell and Tommy Ruether.

Anderson will represent the Renegades in the Home Run Derby. Anderson and Mize are tied for the team lead in home runs this season with four.

"Hamilton is always trying to hit home runs in batting practice, this is perfect for him," DeMilia said. "We know where to throw it for him to hit it out."

Each of the eight MINK League teams will have one representative in the Home Run Derby, which will begin at 5 p.m. today.

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