Record Observer - - Sports -

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).

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