SPRING HILL — The undefeated Frontier League champion Spring Hill Broncos had four first-team selections on the Tri-County Spotlight Baseball Team.
Spring Hill was 7-0 in league play and 12-6 overall.
Thirty-four players from five schools were selected to the Spotlight baseball team. There were 11 players named to the first team, 11 players on the second team and 13 players recognized with honorable mention selections.
Spring Hill pitcher Bear Gardner and Paola outfielder Caden Marcum were named the Spotlight pitcher and player of the year. (See related stories)
Gardner was 5-0 with a 2.054 earned-run average. He struck out 42 batters, walked eight and allowed 31 hits in 31 innings pitched.
Marcum led the Paola Panthers in base hits (27), singles (17), doubles (10), runs batted in (17) and batting average (.450).
Marcum made 21 putouts with four assists in right field. He also turned a double play. He did not make a single error in 25 chances for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Johnny Molina of Prairie View was a first-team selection at infield and an honorable mention selection at pitcher.
Molina had a .508 batting average. He had 30 base hits with three doubles. Molina drove in 14 runs with six runs scored.
“He was our No. 1 pitcher and seemed to get more efficient as the games went on, earning him the nickname the ‘Diesel,’” Prairie View coach Joe Cullor said. “His bat also came alive this season, leading the team in batting average.”
Zade Barker, infielder Tyson Cheatham and catcher Corbyn Meyers were first-team selections for the Spring Hill Broncos.
Barker hit .354 with 17 base hits. He had seven doubles and one triple. Barker drove in 12 runs and had 19 runs scored.
“Zade batted leadoff and played center field for us all year,” Spring Hill coach William Meier said. “He set the tone with the way he competes every pitch and his passion for the game.
“He was third on the team in on-base percentage and second in runs scored,” Meier said. “His unselfish approach was evident by his ability to draw a team-leading 17 walks.”
Barker was the spark plug for the Spring Hill Broncos offense. Meier said.
“He knew that his teammates behind him would get better pitches with him on base,” Meier said. “He did not commit an error all year and made several great plays to track down balls that looked like sure hits. Our pitching staff loved having him patrolling center field.”
Barker made 40 outs for the Spring Hill Broncos and did not have one error.
Cheatham played shortstop for the Broncos. He led the team in runs batted in (18), runs scored (23), doubles (nine) and batting average (.511).
“Tyson batted in the third hole all season and led the team in several offensive categories,” Meier said. “He was always someone that other teams knew when he was up and had to be careful how they pitched him.”
Meyers was the signal caller behind the plate. He batted .463 with 25 base hits. He had six doubles, drove in 14 runs and had three runs scored.
“Corbyn caught all but two of our innings this year, and that is only because he wanted a teammate to get some reps,” Meier aid. “This is just an example the kind of teammate and leader Corbyn is.
“He could always be counted on to lead both vocally and by example and has the respect of all of his teammates and the coaching staff,” Meier said. “He hit in the fourth-hole all year and put together consistent, quality at bats.”
Infielder Creigh Markovich and pitcher Garrett Williams were first-team selections for the Paola Panthers.
Markovich hit .375 with 21 base hits. He had seven doubles and one triple. Markovich drove in 15 runs and scored 13 runs.
“Creigh is a great teammate,” Paola coach Tony Brummer said. “He is the kid you want on your team. He always gives you all he has got.”
Williams was 4-2 with one save. He struck out 31 batters in 25 innings pitched. Williams had a 2.52 earned-run average.
“Garrett got ahead of hitters and kept the ball in the zone,” Brummer said. “His bat really came on the end of the year. He is a very patient hitter as he led the team in walks.”
Brilynn Stults of Osawatomie was a first-team Spotlight selection at infield.
Stults batted .350 for the Trojans. He played shortstop and pitched.
“He was a great leader throughout the year,” Osawatomie coach Austin Chisam said “His personality is not as a vocal leader, but a leader who led by actions.
“He just played the game hard and did what needed to be done every single day,” Chisam said. “He was a tough kid, tough out and a guy who you really want your program to follow the lead of. The kids really followed him and the rest of our seniors this year. The whole senior group did a great job of leading by example. I was very proud of each one of them.”
Madden Rutherford of Louisburg was a first-team selection at utility.
Rutherford batted .373. He led the Wildcats in base hits (25), doubles (seven) and runs batted in (13). He had 13 runs scored.
Outfielder Gavin Cullor and infielder Johnny Molina of Prairie View were first-team selections.
Cullor hit .500 with 28 base hits. He drove in 10 runs and had 22 runs scored.
“Gavin was so vital to our team in the outfield,” coach Joe Cullor said. “His quick reactions and first step allowed him to gain an extra 20 feet on his range.
“If it could be caught by an outfielder, he caught it,” Cullor said. “He had 10 diving catches this season on 10 attempts, which would swing momentum to our dugout and give our pitchers confidence. He finished the season with a perfect fielding percentage.”
Outfielder Jake Scoma, utility player Colby Stewart and pitcher Garrin Jackson of Spring Hill were second-team selections.
Scoma hit .364 with 16 base hits. He had three doubles, drove in 16 runs and had 12 runs scored.
“Jake was one of our best clutch hitters this season, especially in some big league games and the Butch Foster Classic Tournament at T-Bones stadium,” Meier said. “He was second on the team in RBIs. He also led the team in outfield assists by throwing out two runners trying to score at home.
“He led by example and was often the last one to leave practice after taking more reps in the batting cage or shagging fly balls from a coach,” Meier said.
Stewart batted .433 with a team-leading 26 base hits. He had three doubles, drove in 14 runs and had 15 runs scored.
“Colby was a key part of the success our team experienced due to his bat and glove,” Meier said. “He hit in the two hole for us and came up with some huge hits in key spots. He was fourth on the team in average and on-base percentage, and third on the team in runs scored.
“He was invaluable on defensive due to his ability to play all infield positions,” Meier said. “His baseball IQ and skill provided us with the flexibility to use multiple different defensive lineups, especially since most of our pitchers were also position players. Colby is just an all-around grinder of a baseball player who plays the game the right way and is a great teammate.”
Jackson was 3-3 for the Spring Hill Broncos. He saw action in nine games with seven starts.
Infielder Mason Hunter, catcher Evan Peuser and pitcher Garret Trimmer of Paola were second-team selections.
Hunter hit .282. He drove in seven runs and had 10 runs scored.
“Hunter was solid for us,” Brummer said. “He made some great plays defensively.”
Peuser hit .404 with 19 base hits. He had four doubles and one triple. Peuser drove in 13 runs and had 11 runs scored.
“Evan just gets better every year,” Brummer said. “He was our designated hitter early, when he had the arm injury, and did a great job for us.
Trimmer was 3-2 with a 3.69 earned-run average. He struck out 30 batters in 42 innings.
“Garret did everything you could ask of a player,” Brummer said. “He goes out there and gives you everything he has.”
Infielders Cyrus Kitchen and Anthony Pursley of Osawatomie were second-team selections.
Kitchen had two doubles and scored nine runs. He was a versatile infielder for the Trojans.
Pursley had two doubles and a triple. He drove in seven runs and scored four runs.
Outfielder Beckett Rasmussen and infielder Brandon Doles of Louisburg were second-team selections.
Rasmussen hit .333 with 23 base hits. He had six doubles, drove in 11 runs and scored 10 runs.
Doles batted .356 with 16 base hits. He drove in eight runs and scored eight runs.
Justin Scott of Prairie View was a second-team selection at infield.
Scott hit .396 with six doubles and two triples. He drove in 14 runs and had 20 runs scored.
“He solidified a spot as our number two pitcher,” Cullor said. “He was competitive on the mound and at short. He had great pop in his bat, getting extra bases when he was at the plate.”
Alex Johnson of Spring Hill was an honorable mention selection at outfield. Johnson hit .306 with a double and three home runs. He drove in 12 runs and had 14 runs scored.
Infielder Michael Daggett and relief pitcher Grayden Brenneman were honorable mention selections for Paola.
Daggett hit .321 with four doubles. Daggett drove in 12 runs and scored 12 runs.
Brenneman pitched in eight games, had two saves and an earned-run average of 2.04.
Outfielder Andrew Krause, infielder Michael Rogers, pitcher Jakob Krause and utility player Matt Madison were honorable-mention selections for the Louisburg Wildcats.
Andrew Krause hit .322 with a double, driving in five runs. Roger batted .304, driving in five runs with 12 runs scored. Jakob Krause was 1-1 with a 3.05 earned-run average. Madison hit .424 with two doubles, driving in 10 runs with two runs scored.
Prairie View Buffalos Dilan Schweer, Brock Heide, Mason Walker, Chase Bloodgood, Gradey Gregg and Molina were honorable-mention selections.
Schweer was selected at outfield. He hit .304 with two doubles. Schweer drove in six runs and had eight runs scored.
Heide and Walker were named to the team at infield. Heide batted .300 with three doubles, driving in 10 runs with eight runs scored.
Bloodgood was recognized at utility. He hit .368 with a double and a triple and 14 runs scored.
Gregg was named to the team at catcher. He hit .426 with a doubles and 15 runs batted in.
Molina was an honorable mention selection at pitcher. He was 4-3 with a 3.81 earned-run average.