Four area high school baseball players received All-Ohio first-team honors this week from the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Midview’s Eric Lauer made it in Division I, Joe San Felippo of Firelands in Division II, and Keystone’s Tyler Gullett and Elyria Catholic’s Joey Begany in Division III.
The All-Ohio award caps a terrific career for Lauer, who spent Thursday afternoon wondering if he’d get picked in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft.
“It’s a big decision and I just want it to be the right one,” said Lauer, who wasn’t picked in the first two rounds. “The All-Ohio honor is a nice little exclamation point to my high school career.”
Lauer, who has signed with Kent State, led the Middies to a 21-7 record and a spot in the Division I district championship game, where they fell 6-0 to Avon Lake. He went 7-0 with a minuscule 0.15 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 47 innings.
At the plate, he led Midview in just about every category, batting .440 with 37 hits, 28 runs, 22 RBIs, four home runs and a school-record 13 doubles.
Lauer’s only regrets are that the Middies didn’t make it further in the postseason and that he didn’t set the school strikeout record.
“I wished I could have pitched more and had gotten a shot at the record,” he said. “I pitched only every seven days so I left some strikeouts out there. It would have been nice to get it, but it’s all right.
“I’ve accomplished a lot at Midview and am pretty happy with my high school career.”
San Felippo earned his third straight All-Ohio selection. He was honorable mention as a sophomore and second team last year. Once again was the heart and soul of the Falcons, he helped lead the team to a 17-12 record and 13-3 in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division. He batted .489 with 44 hits, 43 runs, 11 doubles, four home runs and two triples — all team highs.
On the mound, he led the team in wins (five), strikeouts (58) and ERA (1.66) after not pitching much the previous three years.
“I’m honored to be named to the first team,” said San Felippo, who is undecided on a college. “It’s a pretty big deal and I credit coach (Ted) Busch and my teammates for helping me. This is definitely one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of.
“We’re a close group and I’m going to miss playing with them.”
Begany made a huge jump this season after earning second-team All-County honors as a sophomore. He led EC with a .462 batting average, 43 hits, 33 RBIs and 11 doubles. On the mound, he went 3-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 41 innings as the Panthers went 15-14 after falling to Keystone in the district championship.
“This is a huge honor and it’s pretty cool,” Begany said. “I put in a lot of hard work but my teammates really gave me the opportunity for this. We accomplished a lot this season but there’s a lot more that we can do next year and I’m looking forward to it.”
Gullett’s return to Keystone after two years at St. Ed’s gave an already strong team a big boost as he helped the Wildcats win a third straight district championship and brought big-time power to the plate. Gullett’s 14 home runs were more than twice as many as anyone else in the county. He also hit .494 with 43 hits, 64 RBIs, 40 runs, 24 stolen bases, 11 doubles and three triples.
If that weren’t enough, he went 7-0 with a 0.81 ERA and 51 strikeouts for Keystone (24-7), which lost 6-1 to Youngstown Ursuline in a regional semifinal.
“This season exceeded all my expectations,” Gullett said. “I came back to Keystone because I wanted to play with my friends and see what we could accomplish. I know a lot of people questioned it but I think the results speak for themselves. We won the district and lost in the regionals.
“As good as we were this year, I think we’re going to be even better next year.”
Lake Ridge Academy freshman Niko Ortiz was named to the second team in Division IV. He made waves with a perfect game in his high school pitching debut, but also showed he could swing the bat, leading the Royals in batting average (.480), hits (24), doubles (three) and runs (28). He was also 3-3 with team-high 30 strikeouts on the mound.
Amherst pitchers Griffin Weir and Connor Morris along with Avon Lake’s Brad Hamilton made honorable mention in Division I.
Weir, who is headed to Stanford, went 6-3 with a 1.74 ERA and batted .318. Morris hit a team-high .431 and will be heading to Miami (Ohio) this fall although he has decided against playing baseball.
The duo helped Amherst win a school-record 21 games (against six losses).
Hamilton, a junior catcher, hit a team-high .450 with six home runs in helping Avon Lake win a district championship and reach the regional semifinals, where they fell 3-2 to St. Ignatius.
Andrew McDonald, P, Mason; Eric Lauer, P, Midview; Nick Pauley, Thomas Worthington; Jarred Rindfleisch, C, Lakota East; Sean Murphy, C, Centerville; Drew Artrip, 1B, Grove City; Evan White, C, Gahanna Lincoln; Eric Zmuda, INF, Toledo St. Francis de Sales; R.J. Thompson, INF, Mason; Sean Kennedy, INF, Springboro; Isaac Perry, INF, Norwalk; Mitch Longo, OF, Mayfield; Luke Raley, OF, Highland; Jacob Niggemeyer, OF, Olentangy Liberty; Ryan Miller, OF, Pickerington North; Mark Delas, UT, Perrysburg.
Tom Stoffel, P, Northmont; Alec Tuchy, P, Gahanna Lincoln; T.J. Zuech, P, Mason; Wayne Naida, C, Lakewood; Cameron Whitehead, C, Cincinnati Moeller; Troy Mangen, 1B, Northmont; Mike Izarelli, INF, Elyria; Nick Korcynski, INF, Brecksville-Broadview Heights; Riley Mahan, INF, Cincinnati Moeller; Ryan Osko, INF, Lorain; Nate Lynch, OF, Talawanda; Colton Carney, OF, Brecksville-Broadview Heights; Ben Myers, OF, Grove City; Roscoe Blackburn, OF, Thomas Worthington; Tyler Haubner, OF, Cincinnati LaSalle; Max Lyon, UT, Cincinnati LaSalle.
AREA HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Hamilton, Avon Lake; Connor Morris, Amherst; Griffin Weir, Amherst.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andrew McDonald, Mason
COACH OF THE YEAR: Stephen Gussler, Thomas Worthington
Ben Hughes, P, Tipp City Tippecanoe; Weston Rivers, P, Defiance; Jake Rudnicki, P, Toledo Central Catholic; Zach Sterry, C, Lexington; Seth Bryant, C, Sandusky Perkins; Gabe Snyder, 1B, Millersburg West Holmes; Joe San Felippo, INF, Firelands; Cory Wilder, INF, Lima Shawnee; Ty Suntken, INF, Wauseon; Mason Willeke, INF, Lexington; Alex Young, INF, Indian Creek; Brenden Wells, OF, Beloit West Branch; D.J. Wilson, OF, Canton South; Aaron Cain, OF, Akron Hoban; Joey Hurless, OF, Van Wert; Robert Zeigler, UT, Defiance.
Pierce Knisley, P, Waverly; Cameron Waldock, P, Sandusky Perkins; Brady Ward, P, Miami Trace; Jack Birtcher, C, Dover; Tyler Warnimont, C, Gallia Academy; Josh Cales, 1B, Wauseon; Parker Chalmers, INF, Wyoming; Logan Bastin, INF, Lexington; Joe Bruening, INF, Buckeye; Tyler Sullivan, INF, Holy Name; Alex Perrine, OF, Columbus St. Francis DeSales; Nick Raifsnider, OF, Bellevue; Will Marty, OF, Wyoming; Keith Orzen, OF, Chagrin Falls; Brad Miller, UT, Jonathan Alder.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Robert Zeigler, Defiance
COACH OF THE YEAR: Tom Held, Defiance
Zach Farmer, P, Piketon; Cameron Varga, P, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy; Zach Wiseman, P, Galion Northmor; Nate Cass, C, Galion; Chase Thurber, C, Pymatuning Valley; Joey Begany, 1B, Elyria Catholic; J.P. Sorma, INF, Independence; T.J. Nichting, INF, Hamilton Beach; Tyler Gullett, INF, Keystone; Zack Jensen, INF, Cincinnati Madeira; Andrew Benitendi, OF, Cincinnati Madeira; Matt Smith, OF, Fredericktown; Austin Utter, OF, Edison; Tyler Beal, OF, Ontario; Tommy Crowl, UT, Summit Country Day.
Jacob Banks, P, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy; Derek Moore, P, Wheelersburg; Mitch McCristall, Ontario; Brycen Wise, C, Independence; A.J. Kazmierczak, C, Williamsport Westfall; Alek Stonerock, 1B, Williamsport Westfall; Caleb DeFord, INF, Magnolia Sandy Valley; Daryin Lewis, INF, Williamsport Westfall; Kyle Davis, INF, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy; Adam Hartz, INF, Bucyrus Wynford; Shawn Jones, OF, Canton Central Catholic; Spencer Lang, OF, Fort Frye; Colton Young, OF, Triad; Seth Mirgon, OF, West Muskingum; K.C. Meyer, UT, Massillon Tuslaw.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andrew Benintendi, Cincinnati Madeira.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Gorbett, Ontario
Adam Niemeyer, P, Minster; Damian Helm, P, Convoy Crestview; Gage Carraher, P, Whiteoak; Dalton Bollinger, C, Riverside; Clay Pittman, C, Tinora; Dalton Wise, 1B, Seneca East; Ryan Arrington, INF, Cincinnati Christian; Tyler Hooser, INF, Rittman; Tiger Jaso, INF, Lakota; Devon Poeppelman, INF, Minster; Derek Rindler, OF, St. Henry; Reid Renolet, OF, Tinora; Garret Sendelback, OF, Hopewell-Loudon; Jordan Elam, OF, Tipp City Bethel; Jeff Paul, UT, St. Henry.
Adam Pape, P, Racine Southern; Mitch Cox, P, Newark Catholic; Mason McWilliams, P, Seneca East; Alex Lawless, C, Tuscarawas Central Catholic; Kyle Mescher, C, Marion Local; Austin Richey, 1B, Cincinnati Country Day; Tyler Owens, INF, Toronto; Dustin Proffitt, INF, Riverside; Kevin Schrock, INF, Berlin Hiland; Ethan Caudill, INF, Seneca East; Zach Butler, OF, Plymouth; Tyler Williams, OF, Whiteoak; Donnie Tong, OF, Columbus Tree of Life Christian; Jason Kleppel, OF, Cuyahoga Heights; Niko Ortiz, OF, Lake Ridge Academy; Brian Barnett, UT, Crestline.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Adam Niemeyer, Minster.
COACH OF THE YEAR: John Dorner
Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7135 or email@example.com.