extra innings along the way — Easton’s first win over its county rival in more than three years — the Warriors improved from 6-12 to 117, and secured the second seed in the Class 2A East’s Section II bracket.
Ledford and Farr’s work earned them first-team honors on The Star Democrat All-Mid-Shore team. Pritchett’s efforts merited him this year’s Mid-Shore Coach of the Year.
Just 20 minutes away came another great story: the state-championship run by the Saints, called “the best hitting team I’ve ever had” by their longtime head coach, Brian Femi.
In a word, the Saints were dominant. Batting .416 as a team and with a 1.13 earned run average, St. Michaels went 23-1, cruising to a 6-0, no-hit Bayside championship win over Stephen Decatur on May 9.
The Saints pitched eight shutouts, and allowed single runs in their last four playoff games, blowing out Boonsboro, 12-1, in five innings on May 27 for the program’s fifth 1A state title since 2001. St. Michaels outscored their five playoff opponents by a combined 45-4.
Leading the way was a dangerous, Salisbury University-bound southpaw whose final varsity season will serve as a benchmark for future players: Noah Brack, the All-Mid-Shore Player of the Year.
On the bump, Brack was even more dominant than in 2016, when he went 7-2 and made the All-Mid-Shore first team as a junior. Over 57 innings this year, opposing hitters posted an anemic .138 average, going just 28 for 203.”
Noah was a pleasure to coach,” Femi said. “He was a player who was never satisfied with his ability. He always worked to get better. And most importantly, he was a great teammate. [He] always gave his defense credit and picked players up.”
Brack struck out a MidShore-high 76 and walked 18, a ratio of 4.22-1. He finished the season 8-0, with a 0.86 ERA, the lowest of any Bayside pitcher with 25 or more innings of work.
Batting .493 with 20 runs scored, 23 RBIs, nine doubles and a home run in 24 games, Brack led the MidShore in on-base percentage (.547).
Here are the rest of this year’s honorees.
First Team Mason Ledford Jr., P, Easton The Warriors’ go-to man went 7-1 with an ERA of just 1.23, pitching six straight complete games at one point in the season, despite new pitch-count rules which capped him at 105 per appearance.
The righty also posted a WHIP of just 0.89, striking out 37 and walking just 11 in 57 1-3 innings. Batters hit just .192 against him.
Matt Grogan Jr., P/OF, St. Michaels In addition to batting .479 with 27 runs, 23 RBIs, 11 steals, a slugging mark of .774, an OPS of 1.294, and three homers (tying him atop that leaderboard) — the right-hander sported a 1.000 fielding average in the outfield and on the bump.
As a pitcher, Grogan went 9-1 with a 1.11 ERA. He struck out 62 in 44 1-3 innings, while posting a WHIP of 0.99 and an opposing batting mark of .167.
Aaron Rovenolt Jr., P, Queen Anne’s Going 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA, Rovenolt struck out 34 — all team highs — in 36 1-3 innings, making him a right-handed anchor of the Lions’ rotation.
Rovenolt hit .310 with 10 RBIs, and posted a .412 onbase average, helping his team reach the 2A East final for the second year in a row.
Ian Schools, So., P, Kent Island The right-hander picked up three wins, half his team’s total for the year, and posted an ERA of 2.16. In 22 2-3 innings, Schools allowed 14 hits while striking out 33.
Garrett Nepert Jr., C, Col. Richardson Nepert hit .469 (more than 100 points above his cousin and 2016 first-team predecessor, Dylan’s, mark last year), with eight doubles, two homers and 20 RBIs.
His OBA was .528, and he slugged. 687, for an OPS of 1.216. Garrett struck out just four times in 20 games. Defensively, he had a fielding mark of .989 and threw out eight of the 13 runners attempting to steal.
Remy Mangum So., 1B, Col. Richardson
In addition to hitting .358 with 10 RBIs, Mangum posted an on-base average of .514.
He also picked up six wins as a pitcher and notched an 2.24 ERA. He struck out 53 in 40 2-3 innings, had three complete games and one shutout.
Jerome Thomas Sr., 2B., N. Dorchester In the leadoff spot all year, Thomas’s .459 average and tied-for-team-best 16 runs were instrumental in the Eagles’ improvement from a winless 2016 to a six-win campaign this year.
Thomas posted an onbase mark of .515, and struck out just twice in 18 starts, helping North Dorchester pick up headturning victories over Kent Island, North Caroline, and Cambridge-South Dorchester.
Allan Saathoff Sr., 3B., N. Caroline Rotating between third, catcher, and the mound, Saathoff hit .295 with 13 runs scored and 12 RBIs. He went 4-1 on the hill, with a 1.40 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Ryan Farr Jr., SS, Easton Batted .492 — nearly 160 points better than his teambest 2016 mark of .333 — scored 16 runs, drove in 18, and rapped eight doubles. Slugging at a .655 pace, Farr finished with an OPS of 1.149. He currently has a 23-game hitting streak dating back to 2016’s 4-3, second-round playoff win at Parkside.
Tyson Johnson Jr., OF, Kent County Hitting .441 with 18 runs, six doubles, and two homers, Johnson had an on-base mark of .522, a slugging mark of .644, and an OPS of 1.166. He had a perfect 1.000 fielding average while playing multiple positions.
Johnson notched three pitching wins to go with 2.26 ERA. In 40 1-3 innings on the hill, he struck out 56, while allowing just nine walks (for a K-to-walk ratio of 6.22) and 32 hits for a WHIP of just 1.02. Opponents hit just .205 against him, with an on-base number of .257.
Jacob Zebron Jr., OF, Col. Richardson
Posting a batting mark of .345 with 22 runs scored, 23 RBIs, a Mid-Shore-best three triples, a .978 OPS, and just two strikeouts all year, Zebron locked down whatever outfield position he occupied when not pitching.
He was 5-2 with an 1.62 ERA. In 43 1-3 innings, he allowed 29 hits, holding opposing batsmen to a .181 mark, and struck out 62.
Nathan Howeth Jr., OF, St. Michaels Howeth was an unbelievably tough out in 2017; with a .500 batting mark which led all public-school players in the area, he had an on-base mark of .545 and an OPS of 1.173, third behind Grogan and Brack.
Howeth scored 28 runs, knocked in 30, notched a Mid-Shore-best three triples, and stole 15 bases in 17 tries. Sam Weisman Jr., DH., SSPP Weisman’s .538 batting clip was accented by his 25 runs scored, 36 RBIs, and .708 slugging average. His OPS was an impressive 1.308.
Weisman struck out just three times in nearly 80 plate appearances, stole 10 bases, and clouted six doubles for the Sabres, who reached their conference semifinals.
Tyler Harding Jr., Utility, Cambridge-SD
In addition to leading his team in average (.429) and runs scored (15), Harding stole 17 of the 18 bases. His on-base average of .507 and OPS of 1.043 put him among the elite in the MidShore. His 37 strikeouts in 28 1-3 innings also led the Vikings.
C.J. Chansler Sr., Utility, St. Michaels
Originally a catcher, Chansler slid seamlessly into third base over the last season-plus of play, also taking on the role of closer. He hit .427 with 26 runs scored, 21 RBIs, a pair of home runs, an on-base average of .494, and an OPS totaling 1.054.
Pitching, he picked up both of the Saints’ saves on the year, going 3-0, with a miniscule 0.31 ERA. Over 22 2-3 innings, he gave up just 14 hits and five walks, while striking out 33, giving him a WHIP of .84 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 6.6, the highest of anyone in the area with 20 or more innings of work.
Second Team Jamison Covey (So. P/OF, Col. Richardson); Chase Porter (Sr. P/IF, Queen Anne’s); Cole Koski (Jr. P/ IF, SSPP); Tyler Loh (Sr. P/ OF, Kent Island); Tucker Heinlein (Sr. C/DH, St. Michaels); Nick Newnam (So. 1B, St. Michaels); Trent Saunders (Jr. 2B, St. Michaels); Ty Scott (So. 3B, Col. Richardson); Andrew Risher (Jr. SS, St. Michaels); Brandon Tibbs (Sr. OF, Cambridge-SD); Mason Blake (Sr. OF, N. Caroline); Trey Pinder (Sr. OF, Queen Anne’s); J.B. Brown (Fr. DH, North Caroline); Morgan Loetz (Jr. Util, N. Caroline).
Honorable Mention Cambridge-SD: Bradley Standon (Sr. 3B/P); Jock Luthy (Fr. P/IF); Evan Fishpaw (Sr. 3B/P); Col. Richardson: Tyler Stanton (Sr. OF); Nick Nagel (Sr. SS); Tyler Stanley (So. 2B); Easton: Jaden Cassell (So. 1B); Trent Weems (So. 2B); Logan Baillif (So. 3B); Keegan Bentz (Jr. P/OF); Kent County: Cade Terrill (Sr. OF); Josh Iseman (Sr. P/3B); Kent Island: Jared Pezzano (Jr. SS); Dylan Tvelia (Jr. P/IF); North Caroline: Will Manship (So. 2B); Mark Conner (Sr. P/3B); North Dorchester: A.J. Willey (Sr. P/IF); Peyton Lieske (Sr. P/1B/OF); Zach Revel (Sr. 3B); Tyler Windsor (Jr. OF); Queen Anne’s: Anthony Marconi (Jr. IF); Kole Gunther (Jr. C/IF); Luke Weddell (Sr. Util); St. Michaels: Brennan Shinski (Sr. P/3B); Brodie Steen (Jr. P); Devin Lednum (Sr. Util); Saints Peter and Paul: Aubrey Perry (Fr. P); Brooks Hoffman (Fr. 2B); Connor Quade (So. 3B/P).