|5/28/2013 1:31:00 PM|
Joey Morgan named Sky-Em Player of the Year
By Rongi Yost
|Teammates congratulate Joey Morgan, who has earned honors as the top Sky-Em player this season. photo by Jerry Baldock|
Joey Morgan earned top honors as the Sky-Em Player of the Year, and was also selected first-team all-league catcher. In addition to being an outstanding catcher, Morgan was stellar on the mound and a threat at the plate. Joey finished league with a .25 ERA and broke the Sky-Em league record for batting average at .702.
"Joey is a premier catcher," said Coach Steve Hodges. "Nobody runs on him because of the strength of his arm. He's also a great pitcher and a great offensive player. He's a very disciplined hitter and hits for power and average. He doesn't hit at bad pitches very often which makes him very difficult to get out. He's the complete package and impacts the game like no other player in our league."
Five of Morgan's teammates were also first team all-league picks, including seniors Eli Boettner, Nicky Blumm, Sam Calarco, junior Jarden Weems and sophomore Justin Harrer.
Boettner was named first team all-league outfield and finished league with a .375 batting average.
"Eli is our most improved player from a year ago," said Hodges. "He's grown and matured as a young man, and it was fun to see him have success as an athlete."
Blumm, Calarco, and Weems were all named first-team all-league infield. Blumm played at second base, Sam played at third and catcher and Weems played at both second and third base.
"Nicky was a big game player for us," said Hodges. "He's an excellent bunter and he always got the most out of his ability. Sam played a very important role for us and was our catcher when Joey pitched. He bats No. 5 for us and has the opportunity to drive in runs. He's a great team player. Jarden is an excellent defensive player and had zero errors in league. He can also do a lot at the plate and hits well to the opposite field."
Harrer was named first-team all-league pitcher, but also did a fine job at shortstop for the Outlaws.
"Justin is very athletic," stated Hodges. "He has great speed and has improved by leaps and bounds at the plate from last year. He hits for power and average and is a very versatile baseball player."
Ben Larson and Dillon Witt were second-team all-league selections, Larson in the outfield and Witt on the infield.
Hodges told The Nugget that Larson's performance was a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff.
"Ben didn't play a single inning last year, and for him to perform so well this year is a real credit to his ability," said Hodges. "He's been steady for us in the outfield and has been a big contributor offensively at the end of the line-up, which we really needed."
Witt played at first base and was also a big asset to the squad.
"Dillon steadily improved the entire season," noted Hodges. "He was a valuable contributor to our offense, and it was rewarding to watch."
Ryan Pollard (senior) earned Honorable Mention. Pollard broke his hand and was only able to play the last eight league games, but his presence solidified Sisters' outfield.
"Ryan is extremely quick and reads the ball so well in the outfield," said Hodges. "He makes our outfield defense really strong."
Coach Hodges was selected Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year, and told The Nugget it is always an honor to be recognized by fellow coaches in the league.
"This honor really speaks to our kids and the commitment they've made and their belief in our program," said Hodges. "And, I have great assistant coaches that help me out: Tim Ogilvie, Dave Gelings, and Stan Morgan."
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