Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Boys tapped for all-area baseball team

By GREG MAST, Herald Sports Editor | 6/13/2013

The Ottawa area has always been known for its good baseball players. This spring saw the area high schools produce winning seasons behind all-state and all-league performers.

It was a season that saw Ottawa ranked No. 1 in preseason. Central Heights rose to No. 2 in 3A. Wellsville rebounded from a so-so regular season to qualify for the fourth straight time for the state tournament.

The Ottawa area has always been known for its good baseball players. This spring saw the area high schools produce winning seasons behind all-state and all-league performers.

It was a season that saw Ottawa ranked No. 1 in preseason. Central Heights rose to No. 2 in 3A. Wellsville rebounded from a so-so regular season to qualify for the fourth straight time for the state tournament.

Ottawa’s Greyson LaPlant and Kaden Shaffer were selected all-state in 4A, and Wellsville’s Luke Meyer was all-state in 3A.

That trio headlines the 2013 Ottawa Herald all-area baseball team. The team members are:

David Ball, senior, IF, Anderson County

Ball was the leader of the Bulldogs. He led the team in average (.463), hits (19) and RBIs (12).

Trever Burkdoll, senior, IF/pitcher, Central Heights

Burkdoll was a huge piece of the Vikings puzzle. He was the ace of the pitching staff and anchored the infield at his shortstop position. He also was a top producer with the bat.

He led the Vikings with a .444 average. He scored 25 runs and had 16 RBIs. He stole 24 bases. He went 5-0 on the mound with an earned-run average of 1.25. Opposing hitters hit .177 against him. He signed to play baseball for Neosho County Community College.

He was an all-league selection.

Jordan Horstick, junior, IF/pitcher, Central Heights

Horstick gave the Vikings a nice one-two combination on the mound. The junior hurler compiled a 4-1 mark with a 1.26 ERA. He was a key hitter in the order. He hit .385 with a team-best 24 RBIs. He had 20 hits and scored 20 runs. He is an all-around athlete for the Vikings, earning all-league and all-area honors in basketball and baseball.

Jordan Smith, senior, IF/pitcher, Central Heights

Smith was big-hitting corner infielder for the Vikings throughout his high school career. He capped off his career with his best season. He hit .351 with 18 RBIs. He led the team in hits (26) and doubles (5). On the mound, he was 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA. He was an all-league selection.

Tate Jung, sophomore, OF, Ottawa

Jung helped set the table for the Cyclones. He hit second in the order. He showed his versatility by playing in the outfield after growing up as an infielder and should man the starting shortstop position next season. He hit .412. He finished with 21 hits, 14 runs and 13 RBIs. He was an all-league selection.

Greyson LaPlant, senior, catcher, Ottawa

LaPlant was a major cog for the Cyclones as a junior and senior. He swings a good bat with power to the alleys. He guided the Ottawa pitching staff to a 3.73 ERA. He has a good understanding of the game.

He led Ottawa in average (.459), RBIs (29), hits (28) and doubles (8). He was selected all-state and played in the Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches all-star game. He signed to play baseball with Pratt Community College.

Kaden Shaffer, senior, IF/pitcher, Ottawa

Shaffer was a dominant presence for the Cyclones. He could hit for power and average, as well as steal bases, flash a good glove and be the ace of the pitching staff.

The senior hit .393 with three home runs, 22 RBIs, 22 hits and 11 steals. He went 6-0 on the mound with a 2.86 ERA. He had 33 strikeouts and six walks in 44 innings.

He was selected all-state and played in the KABC all-star game. He was a two-time all-area and all-league performer in football. He played on Ottawa’s state championship basketball team.

He will play baseball for Fort Scott Community College.

Shane Hillman, senior, IF, Wellsville

Hillman was an opposing pitcher’s nightmare. He was a tough out. He hit .675 with 33 RBIs, six home runs, 27 hits, 23 runs scored and 31 stolen bases. He pitched in 12 innings with a 2.72 ERA. He helped lead Wellsville to four straight state appearances. He was an all-league selection. He is a two-time all-area in football.

Shamus Kearney, junior, OF/pitcher, Wellsville

Kearney was the ace of the staff and key hitter in the batting order. Kearney was another tough out for opponents. He hit .529 with 21 RBIs, 21 runs scored and 18 hits. He was hard to score upon on the mound. He gave up just one earned run in 40 innings for a 0.23 ERA. He went 6-2 with 49 strikeouts and nine walks.

He was an all-league selection. He is a two-time all-league and all-area basketball player.

Luke Meyer, junior, IF/pitcher, Wellsville

Meyer turned in a very productive season in the batter’s box, at first base and on the mound. He hit a robust .647 with 22 RBIs, five home runs, 11 stolen bases and 22 hits.

He went 4-2 with a 0.68 ERA. He had 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 37 innings. He was selected all-state and all-league.

Tanner Fine, senior, OF, West Franklin

Fine ended his high school career with a nice overall season. He led the Falcons in several categories. He hit .450. He had 30 hits, six doubles, three triples, three home runs, 24 RBIs, stole 18 bases, scored 23 runs and had 30 hits. He was the team’s MVP and co-offensive player of the year. He was an all-league selection.

Owen Reed, senior, UT, West Franklin

Reed was a big offensive contributor. He hit .437 with 22 RBIs, five doubles, 12 steals, 24 runs scored and 30 hits. He was the team’s co-offensive player of the year. He was an all-league selection.

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