2012 Progressland High School Baseball All-Stars announced|
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
The 2012 baseball season featured many similar storylines to past years. While only two area teams competed in the playoffs, there were still many highlights provided from the area's finest athletes.
Philipsburg-Osceola continued its success with a senior-laden group that put together 19 wins in 2012.
The Mounties earned the No. 1 seed in the District 6 Class AA playoffs and advanced to the district finals to clinch a berth in the PIAA Playoffs. However, P-O lost to No. 2 seed Mount Union in the district finals, 3-2.
In the state tournament, the Mounties made the trek to Williamsport against Loyalsock and came home with a 5-4 victory. But, their dreams of winning a state championship were broken in the quarterfinals when they fell to Pine Grove.
P-O's 19-6 record and its run through the state playoffs earned Mountie head coach Doug Sankey the Progressland Coach of the Year.
The only other team to make the playoffs from the Progressland area was West Branch. After a 13-6 record in the regular season, the Warriors drew a tough opponent in Bellwood-Antis for the first round of the district playoffs.
After splitting their meetings in the regular season, the Blue Devils prevailed in the rubber match, 8-4.
Curwensville found wins tough to come by out of the gate, starting with an 0-5 record. The Golden Tide finished the rest of the season at .500 and finished with a respectable 7-12 record.
It looked like Glendale was on the bubble to make the postseason in the early part of the season after a 4-4 start. However, a 5-game losing streak hurt their cause as the Vikings ended their campaign at 6-12.
The season just didn't go as planned for Clearfield, Harmony and Moshannon Valley. The three teams combined to have a total of eight wins in 2012.
Selections were made based on the sports staff's observations, statistics and other postseason accolades.
Coach of the Year: Doug Sankey, Philipsburg-Osceola - Another year, another playoff contender for the Mounties head coach.
When you have two starters hitting over .400 and four more hitting over .300, chances are you're going to have no problems scoring runs and winning ballgames.
The lineup that Sankey put out for the Mounties this season showed they could compete with anybody in District 6. They showed that with a berth in the state tournament after finishing second in the district tournament and a berth in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Not only could the Mounties hit the ball, they also showed they can pitch with two of the better pitchers in the area. They were second in the area in team earned run average at 4.36.
Player of the Year: Mike Marcinko, Philipsburg-Osceola - Marcinko was one of the fastest and athletic baseball players in the area and had a knack for getting on base.
The Mountie leadoff hitter held the second-best batting average in the area at .473 and belted two homers and knocked in 19 runs as the Mounties' leadoff hitter.
What is even more impressive? Marcinko led Progressland in total hits, triples, stolen bases and runs scored. He scored 15 more runs and swiped 12 more bases than the second-place finishers in the respective categories.
Not only did he put up impressive statistics, Marcinko probably had the best performance in a single game than any other player this year.
The senior shortstop was 5-for-5 with six runs scored and six RBIs on April 20 at Bellefonte. He hit a home run, a triple and stole three bases in the contest.
Marcinko will continue his education and baseball career at Shippensburg University.
Pitcher: Michael Wigfield, Glendale - You just can't find many athletes in the area who have the size and athleticism as Michael Wigfield.
Wigfield, who stands at 6-foot-5 and was the Progressland basketball player of the year, was 4-2 on the year for the Vikings. His 1.90 ERA was the best in the area. The Viking senior only gave up 13 earned runs this season and threw five complete games.
One of the key aspects of Wigfield's success is throwing strikes, which is evident in his walks and strikeouts. Wigfield struck out 54 batters this season, which is good for the second most in Progressland, and he only walked 11.
Wigfield may have had his best performances very early in the season.
He threw a complete game on March 27 against playoff-bound Bellwood-Antis and only gave up four hits and one unearned run while whiffing 10 batters in a 9-1 win over the Blue Devils.
On his next outing, Wigfield went the distance again and gave up an earned run on six hits, while walking a batter and striking out seven in a 4-1 win over Juniata Valley.
Pitcher: Parker Watson, Philipsburg-Osceola - In key games and situations, Sankey always called Watson to the mound. For the second year in a row as a first-team all-star, the Mountie senior didn't disappoint.
Watson finished 2012 with a 5-2 record and a 3.62 ERA. He also struck out 45 hitters on the season, good for sixth in the area.
Watson had his best performance at one of the most critical times for P-O. In the District 6 Class AA semifinals against Ligonier Valley, Watson went six-plus innings and gave up three earned runs. He walked two and struck out eight in the Mounties' 8-6 win to clinch a berth in the PIAA Tournament.
Watson was no slouch at the plate, either. He managed a .338 batting average on the season with four doubles and three triples. Watson was primarily a first baseman when he wasn't on the bump, but he did see some time as the Mountie designated hitter.
Watson will continue his baseball career at Lock Haven University.
Pitcher: Mark Curtis, Philipsburg-Osceola - Knowing that Curtis still has a year left before he graduates must be something that gives Sankey a smile.
Curtis was a big part of the Mounties' success in 2012.
With Curtis' outstanding 8-1 record and 3.44 ERA, the duo of Watson and Curtis became a huge 1-2 punch to opposing teams. Curtis' 63 strikeouts were the best in Progressland this season, and he threw an amazing eight complete games.
Curtis' best game came on May 17 against Blairsville in the District 6 Class AA Quarterfinals. The junior hurler gave up just three hits and an earned run in five innings of work, while walking one and striking out 11 batters in P-O's 11-1 10-run rule victory in five innings.
Catcher: Robbie Smith, Phillipsburg-Osceola - With two pitchers on the first team, it would only be fitting the Mounties catcher is also a first team selection.
Not only did Smith call the pitches for Watson and Curtis, but he was also a solid 3-hitter for P-O. The senior backstop hit .353 on the season with six doubles and a triple. He was also second in the area in RBIs with 24 and also scored 30 runs, which tied for second in the behind Marcinko.
Not only was he a big part of the Mounties offense, he was also an exceptional defensive catcher with balls rarely getting past him.
Smith came through with his biggest performance at the plate on May 7 at Huntingdon. He was 3-for-4 in the game with two doubles and knocked in five runs.
First Baseman: Boone McGary, Curwensville - Sometimes it takes a few games for a good hitter to come around and start dropping some pitches for base hits. That's exactly what happened to McGary this season.
McGary started the season in a 3-for-16 slump for the Golden Tide in his first six games. But, his batting average was slowly rising throughout the rest of the season, and he finished with a very respectable .355.
McGary also knocked in 18 runs on the season and scored 20.
Like his batting average suggests, McGary did put together his finest game toward the end of the season. He went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI, while stealing a base in a wild 12-11 win in 10 innings at DuBois Central Catholic.
Middle Infielder: Kyler Kephart, Clearfield - While it wasn't the season that Clearfield would have liked, one of the Bisons bright spots came in the form of their senior second baseman.
Kephart hit .351 for the Bisons this season and smacked a home run, four doubles and a triple. He also drove in 19 runs on the year and started the season on a 10-game hitting streak.
Kephart was also a big contributor in a 14-4 win over Bradford, going 3-for-4 and hitting his lone homer. He also had a double and knocked in six runs in the contest.
Middle Infielder: Curtis Baugh, West Branch - After getting some consideration for player of the year, Baugh was a no-brainer for a first-team pick.
Baugh boasted the highest batting average in Progressland, hitting at a .492 clip. The Warrior senior also bombed four homers this year to lead the area and tied for second in triples, stolen bases and runs scored. He finished in second place in total hits and tied for third in RBIs.
It was very difficult to just pick one game that Baugh shined in, as he had three hits on four separate occasions this season. He was held hitless only twice this season.
Third Baseman: Chad Speigle, West Branch - Much like Sankey with Curtis, there must be a huge smile on West Branch head coach Ryan Mostyn's face. He still gets his junior third baseman back in 2013.
Speigle led Progressland in runs batted in this season with 26. He was also near the top in almost every other offensive category.
Speigle finished the season with a .438 average and ripped two home runs, six doubles and two triples. Not only was he a great offensive weapon, but he was also ate some quality innings for the Warriors.
Speigle produced his greatest efforts on April 13 at Williamsburg with a 4-for-4 game with a triple and a double, while scoring and driving in a pair of runs. He also had a 3-for-3 effort in the Warriors' 14-2 win over Curwensville on April 27, where he again scored twice and knocked in two.
Outfielder: Tanner Ogden, Clearfield - Ogden had as stellar of a season as any Bison in 2012 and found himself in the top 10 in many offensive categories.
Ogden hit .355 for Clearfield in his senior season and had 20 RBIs. He also ripped two home runs, a triple and five doubles on the campaign. Ogden was a solid outfielder for the Bisons as he only committed four errors on the year.
Ogden enjoyed his best day back on April 4 in Clearfield's wild 18-14 victory over Huntingdon. He was 4-for-5 on the day and blasted one of his homers. He also had a double, three RBIs and scored three times in the game.
Outfielder: Andrew Greenawalt, Philipsburg-Osceola - Before the season, P-O was searching for players to fill some holes in the outfield. Greenawalt filled one of those holes probably better than some of his fellow Mounties thought he would.
Greenawalt hit .384 and knocked in 16 runs this season. He also had two homers and three doubles at the plate, while only committing three errors.
Greenawalt also surprised some people again on April 30 in a game with Bellefonte.
Greenawalt made a start on the mound for his only pitching appearance all season and delivered in a big way. He pitched a complete game and gave up an unearned run on only two hits. To top it all off, he was 2-for-4 to lead the Mounties in a 4-1 win.
Outfielder: Aaron Lidgett, West Branch - One of the tallest players in the area along with Wigfield, Lidgett was very reliable and one of the "go to" guys for West Branch.
Lidgett is in the top 10 in almost every offensive category in the Progressland.
The senior center fielder hit .451, which was good for third in the area this season. His three homers are tied for second, while his 21 RBIs earned him sixth place in the category. He also hit five doubles, two triples and swiped seven bases.
To top it all off, he was also one of West Branch's best pitchers with an earned run average of 4.16.
Lidgett had some of his best games against area rivals. On April 27 against Curwensville, he was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple. He also went a combined 5-for-7 in two games with Glendale.
Designated hitter: Cody Lee, Philipsburg-Osceola - Despite being out with an injury for a month during the season, Lee still put up some big numbers and proved he was as good of a hitter as anyone in the area.
Lee hit .408 this year and drove in 18 runs in only about half a season. When he got injured in the Mounties' April 9 game with DuBois, Lee was hitting a phenomenal .592.
Lee was 5-for-5 in a game at Central Mountain on April 2. He had a double, three RBIs and two runs scored in the contest.
Utility: Jesse Zorger, Curwensville - Much like his classmate McGary, Zorger had a slow start but got things going later in the year.
The senior played many positions throughout the season, including playing four positions in one game on April 27 at West Branch.
Zorger hit .350 on the season with two home runs and knocked in 17 runs. He was among the leaders for doubles in the area with six.
Zorger was 3-for-5 in a game at Harmony this year where he had two runs batted in, scored three times and stole three bases in his best performance of the season.
Honorable mention selections went to Clearfield's Coleman Kubala and Thomas Summers; Curwensville's Kyle Bloom and Kyle Johns; Glendale's Mitchell Gedman, Jarid Ivory and Timmy Sutton; Harmony's Brandon Fox; Mo Valley's Zack Jasper and Joel Martin; P-O's Logan Walstrom; and West Branch's Ronnie Gurbal, Parker Emigh and Dakota Wick.