Division II was No. 1 for area baseball players.
Elyria Catholic and Vermilion won district titles, at least one area team was ranked in the state all season in the division and three players were named first-team All-Ohio selections by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Elyria Catholic shortstop Leighton Banjoff, Vermilion pitcher Ridge Clark and Firelands pitcher-outfielder Alex Brill, all seniors, picked up the honors. For Banjoff and Brill, it was the second consecutive year they were named first-team all-state, though Banjoff made it in Division III last season.
“We have so much talent in our area and we really pushed each other a lot, more than I thought we would coming into my freshman year,” said Brill, who hit .460 with four home runs and 21 RBIs this season. “It’s nice to know that I was able to be a good role model for our younger players and show them what they need to do to be successful.”
Brill was part of the first district championship team in Firelands history last year.
“I went out and played my hardest every game,” he said. “It’s an honor to be part of such an elite group.”
Second-team selections included Elyria Catholic’s Jack Laird and Brendan Holley, Keystone’s Nick Compton and Firelands senior Austin Urban. Vermilion’s Mason Montgomery was an honorable mention.
No area players were honored in any of the other divisions.
Banjoff, Lorain County’s Mr. Baseball, hit .470 with four home runs, 11 doubles and 14 RBIs.
“Coach (Bruce) Lisicky told me he nominated me for All-Ohio and when the honors came out and I saw it on Twitter that I made it, I was just super happy and super excited,” Banjoff said. “I was really excited to see my teammates get All-Ohio honors as well. It showed that it wasn’t all just one player on the Elyria Catholic team this year. Even though we had our ups and down, we all came together and performed as a team when it mattered most.
“I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t help the team achieve our goal of making it to state and win a championship. Overall it’s been a great four years. I loved playing with all of my Elyria Catholic teammates and, honestly, I’m beyond humbled about all the awards and honors I’ve received.”
Clark had the most wins in the area, going 9-1. He also hit .381 with a home run, eight doubles and 20 RBIs. His last win came against Elyria Catholic in the regional semifinals.
“Honestly, I never thought about getting All-Ohio, I just went out and played baseball,” Clark said. “Of course, I wish we were still playing baseball right now but I can look back and say I’m really proud of what I accomplished this season and what we were able to accomplish as a team. We were really about to go out with a bang.
“I’m so thankful I was able to do it with this group of guys. Without them this would not have been possible.”
Pitcher: Evan Kemp, Mason; Yianni Skeriotis, Massillon Jackson; Jack Sokol, New Albany
Catcher: Mitchell Okuley, Olentangy Liberty; Trey Wright, Massillon Jackson
First base: Logan Zier, Springboro
Infield: Ryan Galanic, Cincinnati Moeller; Brennan Hunt, Ashland; Noah Laurent, Gahanna Lincoln; Tyler Pettorini, Wooster
Outfield: Morgan Colopy, Centerville; Jack Frank, Strongsville; Cole Harting, Mason; J.P. Sponseller, Mason
Utility: Casey Finck, Lancaster; Grayson Hamilton, Lakota East
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Yianni Skeriotis, Massillon Jackson
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dave Starling, New Albany
Pitcher: Austin Fawley, Springboro; Nick Hoffman, Centerville; Nate Stahl, Walsh Jesuit
Catcher: Jake D’Amico, Springboro; Braden Durham, Toledo St. Francis de Sales; Kory Klingenbeck, Cincinnati Elder
First base: Matthew Amison, Green
Infield: Jake Armsey, Walsh Jesuit; Luke Borer, Perrysburg; Anthony DiTomas, Mayfield; Cameron Martin, Uniontown Lake; Evan Sines, Lancaster
Outfield: Sebastian Alexander, Mayfield; Max Bowman, Gahanna Lincoln; Tyler Gambill, Kings; Devin Taylor, Cincinnati LaSalle
Utility: Jack Metzger, Olentangy Liberty
Pitcher: Mack Anglin, Highland-Marengo; Gavin Bruni, Alliance; Ridge Clark, Vermilion; Kenton Egbert, Tippecanoe
Catcher: Wil Eads, Summit Country Day; Mason Sawyer, Columbus Bishop Hartley
First base: Kyle Jackson, Bowling Green
Infield: Jase Bowen, Toledo Central Catholic; Adam Fallon, Columbus Bishop Watterson; Avery Fisher, Ontario; Ben Vore, Lexington
Outfield: Jack Amendola, Chagrin Falls; Leighton Banjoff, Elyria Catholic; Phillip Cole, Columbus Bishop Hartley; Joseph Velazquez, Columbus DeSales
Utility: Alex Brill, Firelands
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jase Bowen, Toledo Central Catholic
COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Barhorst, Chaminade-Julienne
Pitcher: Lawson Blackmore, Van Wert; Tucker Craft, Bowling Green; Ben DeMell, Gilmour Academy; Jack Laird, Elyria Catholic
Catcher: Clayton Criss, Steubenville; Evan Urich, Buckeye Valley
First base: Brendan Holley, Elyria Catholic
Infield: Lucas Rotello, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy; Nate Trainer, Athens; Austin Urban, Firelands; Cade Williams, Indian Valley
Outfield: Nick Compton, Keystone; Brady Emerson, John Glenn; Shane Jones, West Holmes; Adam Matras, Buckeye; Andrew Mckeal, Woodridge
Utility: Eric Fisk, Summit Country Day
AREA HONORABLE MENTION: Mason Montgomery, Vermilion
Pitcher: Cade Brintlinger, West Jefferson; Jason Holly, Upper Sandusky; Rigo Ramos, Archbold; Andrew Russell, Champion
Catcher: Kaio Grubb, Tuslaw; Jared Kernen, Barnesville
First base: Seann McGill, Kirkland
Infield: Harry Jackson, Millbury Lake; Dylan Polen, Loudonville; Brock Stoner, Elgin; Jacob Wenning, Coldwater
Outfield: Caleb Gallwitz, East Knox; Connor Pack, Fairbanks; Anthony Sinicropi, Richmond Edison; Joey Torok, Kirtland
Utility: Cade Leach, East Knox
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Joey Torok, Kirtland
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dennis Woods, Villa Angela-St. Joseph
Pitcher: Jacob Boelkens, Millbury Lake; Jeremy Keim, Waynedale; Kyle Trickett, Villa Angela-St. Joseph
Catcher: Payton Ebbing, Cincinnati Country Day; Holden Galvan, Archbold; Matt Weaver, Waynedale
First base: Dylan Lambert, West Jefferson
Infield: Jarrett Varner, Waynedale; Mitchel Marksuie, Mogadore; Matt McGrath, Rootstown; Collin Gross, Crestwood; Clay Jacobs, Indian Lake; Mac Davis, Northeastern;Dante Tucci, Sandy Valley
Outfield: Matt Baemel, Westfall; Cory Erbskorn, Archbold; Spencer Giesige, Tinora; Kade Kern, Archbold; Kaden Smith, Ridgewood
Utility: Brenyn Marquart, Upper Sandusky
Pitcher: Logan Bell, Lisbon David Anderson; Owen Recker, Kalida; Tanner Schroeder, McComb; Isaiah Seidel, South Central
Catcher: Joey Knopp, East Canton; Andrew Smith, McComb
First base: Jack Heitbrink, Minster
Infield: Traeten Hamilton, Whiteoak; Nathan Karaffa, Toronto; Andrew Miller, Hiland; Jaden Youtsey, Lincolnview
Outfield: Jackson Goulter, Centerburg; Lucas Gulczynski, Toronto; Zach Harless, Whiteoak; Ryan Mollette, Newton; Fischer Nance, Newark Catholic
Utility: Garrett Goodwin, Hillsdale
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nathan Karaffa, Toronto
COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Wiss, Minster
Pitcher: Spencer Alig, New Brennen; Evan Brill, Whiteoak; Conner Hinnerman, Newark Catholic
Catcher: Casey Kalman, Hiland; Rickie Lacy, Seneca East
First base: Bryce Kennedy, Lehman Catholic
Infield: Mitch Neidenthal, Strasburg-Franklin; Dylan Piko, Fisher Catholic; Clay Cottle, Portsmouth Clay; Travis Milligan, Hopewell-Loudon; Kyle Wasson, McComb
Outfield: Brady Biglin, Buckeye Central; Noah Rossiter, Trimble; Zac Brickel, Hicksville; Jack Olberding, Minster
Utility: Gavin Carter, Lincolnview