The season has come to an end for local high school baseball teams.
For the first time in the last four years, no area team was able to advance past the state quarterfinals into the Final Four of their respective states.
Actually, though, that fact could be called a refreshing change.
There was a time when one had to wonder if baseball would ever mount a challenge for a state championship on the diamond.
All that has changed in the last three years.
Princeton won the Class AAA state title last year in West Virginia, while Honaker claimed Tom Harding’s first Group A crown in Virginia in 2011. A year before, both Princeton and James Monroe reached Charleston, with the Mavericks advancing to the Class AA finals, falling to Braxton County.
What a nice run of success, and look for it to continue into the future with PikeView, Princeton and Honaker all coming within one win this year of returning to the state semifinals.
Upon first arriving in Bluefield in 2005, it seemed like the best chance for success on the diamond would come from the Virginia side in Tazewell and Richlands, but those schools always struggle when it comes time to play such Roanoke-area schools as Hidden Valley, Tunstall and Cave Spring.
Schools in West Virginia, outside of possibly Mount View, didn’t seem to have any hope to getting to Charleston either. That has changed, as new coaches have come in and put an emphasis on the game at schools like Princeton, PikeView, Bluefield, James Monroe and even Montcalm.
Oh, how far some of those schools have come.
Perhaps now, after doing an all-area team in football and basketball for the last eight years, it is time to add another sport and unleash the All-Four Seasons Country baseball team.
These teams are fun to compile and fun to discuss, but it’s difficult to do because of the lack of help from area coaches with the reporting of games.
There is more emphasis on the sport in many of our area schools, but coaches still have to be coaxed to call in results since the small Daily Telegraph staff can’t possibly get to every game.
The rate of calls has improved, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. There are just too many games to get to all of them so help is needed. Some teams help, many more don’t.
Despite two minor league baseball teams in the same county, this will always be a football area first.
That is fine, but there are plenty of good baseball players in the area.
Why not try something different, to provide baseball with the additional coverage that the sport so richly deserves.
Here is the 2013 All-Four Seasons Country baseball team. It is just one man’s opinion. There will be some who disagree, which is fine.
Some players might be out of position, but these are baseball players ... they can adjust to the needs of the team.
Below are the top two teams — which includes 13 players each with three pitchers, an extra infielder and a utility player — along with a collection of 32 honorable mention selections.
In all, 18 schools are represented on the squad.
The top two awards go to PikeView.
Kevin Cottle is the All-FSC Player of the Year, leading the Panthers with a 9-3 mark on the mound with a 2.50 ERA, 92 strikeouts and even recorded two saves. He also batted .323 with 28 RBIs among his 25 hits.
PikeView’s Josh Wyatt is the All-FSC Coach of the Year. The Panthers’ skipper, whose Panthers won nine games just three years ago, led this edition of PikeView baseball to a 23-11 record, coming within an extra inning loss to Independence from reaching the Class AA state tournament.
The remainder of the team can found below:
Country Baseball Team
P—Kevin Cottle, PikeView, Sr...9-3 record, 9-1 vs. West Virginia competition, 2.50 ERA, 92 Ks, 2 saves....323, 28 RBIs, 25 runs, 4 triples.
P—Aaron Rose, Bland County, Soph...4-1, 0.73 ERA, 80 Ks in 38 1/3 innings....344, 3 home runs, 14 RBIs...First team All-MED.
P—Bo Williams, Princeton, Sr…7-3, 2.01 ERA, 2 saves, 86 Ks in 66 1/3 innings. First-team All-MSAC.
C—Hunter Moses, PikeView, Jr…336, 38 hits, 26 runs, 19 RBIs, 8 doubles, 7 stolen bases, threw out 7 of 9 potential base stealers.
1B—Austin Cordell, PikeView, So…340, 37 runs, 24 RBIs, 13 stolen bases...7-3, 2.10 ERA, 77 Ks in 60 innings.
2b—Tommy Lovell, Graham, So...387, .910 fielding percentage, struck out just twice in 60-plus at-bats. All-MED first team.
3B—Chase Ray, Richlands, Sr...Batted .393 with 20 RBIs, 8 doubles, 1 home run, 22 hits, 22 runs scored...First team SWD and Region IV.
SS—Charles McCoy, Grundy, So....438, 23 runs, 13 RBIs, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2-6, 3.18 ERA, 77 strikeouts, just 42 hits in 52 2/3 innings.
IF—Addison Wood, Princeton, Jr...384, 25 RBIs, 3 home runs, 7 doubles, 7 stolen bases...8-2, 2.51 ERA, 50 Ks in 67 innings.
OF—Michael Horton, Richlands, Sr....345, 19 hits, 14 runs 10 RBIs, 5 doubles, All-Region IV second team.
OF—John Mustain, James Monroe, Sr., .354, 23 hits, 19 runs scored, 9 RBIs, .447 on-base percentage
OF—Will Patteson, Narrows, Sr....439, 38 stolen bases, 27 runs, 11 RBIs, 8 doubles, 1 home run...5-2, 1.98 ERA, 74 Ks. Committed to West Virginia Tech.
UTIL—Chase Illig, Tazewell, Soph...444, 2 home runs., 9 RBIs...First team SWD.
Player of Year: Kevin Cottle, PikeView
Coach of Year: Josh Wyatt, PikeView
P—Caleb Brown, James Monroe, Jr...3-6, 3.15 ERA, 63 Ks in 52 innings.
P—Andy Guerreiro, Richlands, Sr...4-1 1.59 ERA.
P—Austin Kiser, Honaker, Sr...Black Diamond District Player of the Year, 4-3, 2.60 ERA, 52 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings.
C—Kelly Dent, Narrows, Sr...419, 34 RBIs, 5 doubles, 2 home runs, threw out 17 potential basestealers. out 17 potential basestealers.
1B—Chris Otey, Princeton, Sr….338, 27 hits, 13 runs, 13 RBIs.
2B—Rodney Purdue, Narrows, Jr....415, 21 runs, 22 stolen bases, 19 RBIs, 2 home runs...struck out 39 on the mound.
3B—McKenzie Phillips, Honaker, Sr... .471 25 RBIs for BDD champs.
SS—Ian Southcott, Princeton, Jr…363, 22 RBIs, 21 runs scored.
IF—Zachary Gwyn, Bland County, So...452, .581 slugging percentage, 2 home runs, 19 RBIs...can play all 9 positions.
OF—Bryson Allen, Princeton, Sr....283, 26 hits, 23 runs, 8 RBIs, 3 triples, 8 stolen bases. Covers center field like a ... glove.
OF—Justin Mariotti, Bluefield, Sr...321, 25 hits, 21 RBIs, 12 runs.
OF—John Casto, Montcalm, Sr.... .400, leadoff batter for much-improved Generals.
UTIL—Ryan Page, James Monroe, Sr...373, .453 on-base percentage, 28 hits, 18 RBIs, 10 doubles.
(1 or 2 per club):
Bland County: Kalub Lambert, John Miller; Bluefield: Jonathan Goins, Logan Lineberry; Council: Devin Duty; Graham: Logan Kirk, McKinley Webb; Grundy: Nick Travis; Haysi: Drake Howell, Tristan Yates; Honaker: Payton Ball, Jordan Hess,; Hurley: Greg Stacy; James Monroe: Corey Lilly, Ryan Wickline; Montcalm: Aaron Presley, Stephen Whitteker; Mount View: Maurice Brown; Bryan Villanueuva; Narrows: Tyler Evans, Dustin Meadows. PikeView: Carter Shrewsbury, Zach Meadows; Princeton: Will Hickman, Brett Wall; Richlands: Ben Brown, Zach Yates; River View: Cameron Roberts, Zach Shelton; Tazewell: Brett Jones, Brett Powers; Twin Valley: Dalton Elswick.
—Contact Brian Woodson at firstname.lastname@example.org
PikeView places three for All-FSC first team honors
The season has come to an end for local high school baseball teams.
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