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THE SPORTS REPORTS: ATHENS' HORTON HEADLINES ALL-REGION BASEBALL TEAM AS 'PLAYER OF THE YEAR;' WAVERLY'S BEEMAN, OWEGO'S ROLLISON ALSO EARNS TOP HONORS (2023-07-06)

The Sports Reports
The 2023 high school baseball season featured a number of outstanding all-around players, but Athens senior Lucas Horton topped them all and is The Sports Reports All-Region "Baseball Player of the Year.”

Edison senior Ashton Colunio had an incredible season at the plate and is the “Offensive Player of the Year,” while Wake Forest-bound Blake Morningstar of Wyalusing dominated on the mound, and is the “Pitcher of the Year,” and Horseheads sophomore Micah Hays made an instant impact in his first varsity season, and is the “Newcomer of the Year.

Owego junior Ben Rollison is the “Breakout Player of the Year” after far exceeding his totals from his sophomore season, while Waverly senior Ty Beeman was nearly flawless behind the plate, and is the “Defensive Player of the Year.

First-year Edison coach Chris Bennett, who took the reigns from his brother, Mike, is the “Coach of the Year.”

Horton hit .456 (31 hits in 68 ABs) with five doubles, one triple, two home runs, 13 RBI, 31 runs scored, and was 21-for-21 in stolen base attempts. He also walked 15 times for a .554 on-base percentage, had a .647 slugging percentage, and a 1.201 OPS.

While his offensive numbers are impressive, Horton made his bones on the pitching mound. He posted a 7-1 record, with one save, and a 2.37 ERA. He fanned 63 and walked 15, while allowing 28 hits in 44 1/3 innings. Opponents hit .174 against him

He finished his career with a 21-2 record and a 1.58 ERA, striking out 194 batters in 133 innings.

Horton was the Valley Sports Report, and Northern Tier Sports ReportPlayer of the Year.

Colunio was an on-base machine for the Spartans. He hit .500 on the season with 27 hits in 54 at-bats, but also worked 27 base on balls for an insane .802 on-base percentage.

Colunio also had 11 RBI, and scored 42 runs He struck out just three times in 85 plate appearances.

Morningstar posted a 9-2 record with a 0.80 ERA. He struck out 112 against just 12 walks in 61 innings on the mound.

He allowed just seven earned runs all season, with four of those coming in his final appearance in the PIAA state playoffs.

Hays was 4-0 with an ERA of 0.87 for the Section IV champion Blue Raiders. He allowed just 20 hits in 40 2/3 innings, and fanned 47.

Hays threw a two-hit shutout to beat Section IV, Class AA champ Elmira during the regular season, and tossed 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the Section IV semifinals in a game Horseheads won 1-0 in extra innings.

Rollison was just your average baseball player in his freshman and sophomore seasons, but as a junior he emerged as one of the top players in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference, leading the Indians to the STAC Central championship and a berth in the Section IV Class B playoffs.

Rollison posted a .396 batting average (18-for-49) with 22 runs, nine RBI,  24 walks and 35 stolen bases (in 36 attempts). He struck out just four times and carried a .613 on-base percentage, a .438 slugging percentage and 1.051 OPS.

Behind the plate, Rollison called all his own games and carried a .974 fielding percentage which included 104 putouts and nine assists. He threw out 11 base runners and allowed just two passed balls.

He was the Tioga County Sports Report “Player of the Year.”

Beeman shined in all three facets of the game, but on defense this season he was nearly flawless. He did not commit an error in 100 defensive chances, and threw out six of 15 would-be base stealers.

Chris Bennett took over for longtime coach Mike Bennett, and led the Spartans to a divisional title, as well as an over IAC Small School title.

With a young roster, and few returning starters the Spartans finished 18-3 on the year with all three of their losses coming to two teams — Lansing and Schuyler. Lansing reached the Class B state finals and Schuyler won the Section IV, Class C title.

(The Sports Reports covers 24 school districts in four counties, and Corning.)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Lucas Horton, senior, Athens
PITCHER OF THE YEAR — Blake Morningstar, senior, Wyalusing
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Ashton Colunio, senior, Edison
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR — Micah Hays, sophomore, Horseheads
BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Ben Rollison, junior, Owego
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Ty Beeman, senior, Waverly
COACH OF THE YEAR — Chris Bennett, Edison.

FIRST TEAM
Catcher
Jackson Cook, senior, Horseheads:
An elite defensive catcher, Cook was the Southern Tier Sports Report “Player of the Year.”  He hit .340, with seven doubles, 20 stolen bases, and 20 runs scored.

First Base
Cameron Brought, senior, Wellsboro:
Last year’s All-Region “Defensive Player of the Year,” Brought hit an NTL-leading .485, and walked 14 times for a .578 on-base percentage He had 33 base hits, including seven doubles, three triples and three home runs, 31 RBI, and 22 runs scored.

Brought was the Northern Tier West Sports Report All-Tioga County “Player of the Year.”

Second Base
Jay Pipher, junior, Waverly:
Pipher, a slick-fielding second baseman, hit .476 (30 hits in 63 ABs), drew 16 base on balls for a .573 on-base percentage, and had a .746 slugging percentage for a 1.319 OPS. He had two doubles, six triples, one home run, 26 RBI, 33 run scored, and 11 stolen bases.

Shortstop
Weston Bellows, senior, Canton:
A speedy outfield as well as a sure-handed shortstop, Bellows hit .478 with 10 doubles, 28 RBI, 22 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases.

Third Base
Ben Rhode, junior, Elmira:
A Gold Glover, Rhode hit .457, with four doubles, one triple, 19 RBI, and 36 stolen bases.

Outfield
Ashton Colunio, senior, Edison:
See above.

Holden Ward, sophomore, Canton: A fleet-footed outfielder, Ward hit .443, with three triples, 43 runs scored, and 12 RBI.

Thomas Cheplick, junior, Edison:
Cheplick was an offensive force for the Spartans. He hit .515, with 13 doubles, three triples, one home run, 26 RBI, and 34 runs scored. He also worked 16 walks.

Utility
Alex Davis, sophomore, NP-Mansfield:
Last year’s All-Region “Newcomer of the Year,” Davis posted another strong season. He hit .453, with a .527 on-base percentage, and had 29 hits, including five doubles, two triples, and two home runs, 31 runs scored, 14 RBI, and 19 stolen base.

Designated Hitter
Lucas Horton, senior, Athens:
See above.

Pitchers
Blake Morningstar, senior, Wyalusing:
See above.

Luke Kraft, senior, Athens:
Kraft was nearly unhittable at times this season for the Wildcats. He was 5-0 with two saves, and a 0.61 ERA. He fanned 47 and walked 11, while allowing 23 hits in 34 1/3 innings (0.99 WHIP). Opponents hit .180 against him.

Mason Holloway, sophomore, Horseheads: Holloway posted a 4-1 record with a 1.08 ERA. He allowed just 34 hits in 55 1/3 innings, while striking out 75 and walking just five batters.

Micah Hays, sophomore, Horseheads:
See above.

SECOND TEAM
Catcher
Ben Rollison, junior, Owego:
See above.

First Base
Logan Meisner, junior, Notre Dame:
Meisner hit .438, with 28 hits, including eight doubles, one triple, and three home runs, to go along with 11 RBI, 21 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

Second Base
Shea Bailey, sophomore, Tioga:
A good defender at short or second base, Shea Bailey hit .403 (31 hits in 77 ABs), with four doubles, two triples, eight RBI, 27 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He walked five times, and was hit by pitches five times for a .471 on-base percentage.

Shortstop
Joey Tomasso, junior, Waverly:
Tomasso, whose career batting average hovered around .200 heading into the season, hit .444 (28 hits in 63 at-bats), had a .519 on-base percentage, and a 1.202 OPS. He had eight doubles, two triples, one home run, 22 RBI, 26 runs scored, and was 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts.

Third Base
Alex Daugherty, junior, Horseheads:
An elite defender at third base, Daugherty hit .442 average, and only committed two errors on the season.

Outfield
Bryce Bailey, senior, Waverly:
Bailey had a knack for getting on base, whether it was via a base hit, a base on balls, or getting hit by a pitch, which he did 14 times in 70 plate appearances.

Bailey hit .444 (20 hits in 45 at-bats) with a .629 on-base percentage, and a 1.229 OPS. He had five doubles, one triple, 18 RBI, 20 runs scored, and five stolen bases.

Hayden Ward, senior, Canton: Hayden Ward hit 443, with six doubles, two triples, 23 runs scored, and 23 RBI.

Derek Litzelman, senior, North Penn-Mansfield: Litzelman hit .418, with 28 hits, including three doubles, and had 20 runs scored, 19 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.

Utility
Zack Garrity, senior, Sayre:
Garrity, a slick-fielding shortstop who handled catching duties with equal aplomb when called upon, had a stellar year at the plate. He hit .452 (28-62) with four doubles, one triple, one home run, 11 RBI, and 27 runs scored — out of lead-off spot. He also had eight steals.

Garrity walked eight times, and was hit by pitches 12 times for an on-base percentage of . 578. He had a .597 slugging percentage, and an OPS of 1.175.

Designated Hitter
Loagan Stickler, sophomore , Williamson:
Stickler hit .406 with six doubles, two triples, and three home runs, 21 runs scored, 19 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.

Pitchers
Lucas Horton, senior, Athens:
See above.

Bryce Mashanic, senior, Elmira: Masonic posted a 6-1 record, with a 1.87 ERA, and 69 strikeouts against just 10 walks.

Aedan Palmer, freshman, Elmira:
Palmer posted a 6-0 record, with a 1.64 ERA, and 41 strikeouts against just 11 walks.

Sean Bubniak, junior, Waverly: Bubniak  was 5-0 with a 1.36 ERA. He fanned 38, walked 11, and allowed just 22 hits in 36 innings pitched.

THIRD TEAM
Catcher
Ty Beeman, senior, Waverly: 
A wall behind the plate with a strong arm (see above), Beeman was a valuable two-way performer for the Wolverines. He hit .349 (22 hits in 63 ABs) with eight doubles, 23 RBI, 18 runs scored, and four stolen bases.

First Base
Matthias Welles, 8th-grader, Waverly:
Welles hit .367 (22 hits in 60 ABs), had a .465 on-base percentage,  and a 1.009 OPS. He had one double, three home runs, 24 RBI, 16 runs scored, and one stolen base.

Second Base
Camden Allen, sophomore, Troy: Allen hit .431 with 13 RBI, 22 runs scored, and six doubles.

Shortstop
Connor Adams, senior, Wellsboro: Adams, a vacuum at shortstop and another coach, the Mansfield commit also hit .400 at the plate and got on base at a .539 clip, collecting 26 base hits, eight RBI, 28 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.

Third Base

Jackson Hubbard, senior, Sayre: Hubbard, a consistent defender at third base, hit .397 (25 hits in 63 ABs). He waked 12 times and was hit by pitches four times for a .506 on-base percentage, to go along with a  .619 slugging percentage for a 1.125 OPS. He had four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 27 RBI, 17 runs scored, and seven stolen bases.

Outfield
Cody Flemming, senior, Williamson: Flemming hit 411, and posted a .507 on-base percentage, with 23 hits, including six doubles, three triples, and one home run, to go along with 23 runs scored, and 19 RBI.

Clayton Smith, junior, Troy: Clayton Smith hit .351, with five doubles, one triple, 13 RBI, and 24 runs scored.

Mason Smith, freshman, Troy:
Mason Smith hit .391 average with seven RBI, and 19 runs scored in a season limited to 17 games due to injury.

Utility
Drew Macumber, junior, Tioga: Macumber played almost everywhere on the field, but catcher at one point this season for the Tigers. He hit .381 (24 hits in 63 ABs), with one double, two triples, 19 RBI, 24 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases. He walked 11 times and had a .481 on-base percentage.

Designated Hitter
Kory Schucker, senior, Troy: Schucker hit .409 with 14 RBI, 25 runs scored, and seven doubles.

Pitchers
Ty Beeman, senior, Waverly:
Beeman was 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA. He struck out 33 and walked 16, while allowing 14 hits in 26 innings.

Max Goodman, senior, Edison: Goodman posted an 8-2 record with a 2.97 ERA.

Lucas Harbol, senior, Owego: Harbol, who pitched five complete games, posted a 6-2 record, with a 3.30 ERA. He fanned 36 and walked just eight in 46 1/3 innings. His losses were to STAC champion Union-Endicott, a Class A team, and Class B state runner-up Lansing.

Holden Ward, sophomore, Canton:
Ward posted a 2.78 ERA in 40 1/3-innings pitched, striking out strikeouts, and allowing 29 hits.

FOURTH TEAM
Catcher

Caden Smith, junior, Wellsboro: Smith hit .426, and reached base at a .547 clip, with 26 hits, including five doubles, 28 runs scored, 12 RBI, and 14 stolen bases.

First Base
Jordan Vargeson, sophomore, Cowanesque Valley: Vargeson hit .373 with 22 hits, including seven doubles, and one home run, 18 RBI, and 11 runs scored.

Kenny Mapes, sophomore, Wyalusing: Mapes hit .346 with five doubles, 23 RBI, and 21 runs scored.

Second Base
Marek Mascho, freshman, Wellsboro: Mascho hit .364 and had a .442 on-base-percentage with 24 base hits, 14 RBI and 19 runs scored.

Shortstop
Trehnon Hugo, senior, Wyalusing: Hugo hit .432 with nine doubles, 38 runs scored, and 19 RBI

Third Base
Jack Carozzoni, Elmira, Sr.: Carozzoni hit 418, with 24 RBI.

Outfield
Hudson Ward, junior, Canton: Hudson Ward hit .312, with 26 RBI, and 18 runs scored.

Peyton Farrell, Owego, Sr., OF: Farrell hit  .295 (18-for-61) with 18 runs, 18 RBI, five doubles and 11 stolen bases.

Cody Sayre, senior, SVEC: Sayre hit .390 (16-for-41) with five doubles, 16 runs and four RBI. He carried a .962 fielding percentage with 23 putouts, two outfield assists and just one error.

Eli King, sophomore, Corning: King hit .342 with 13 runs scored.

Utility
Teagan Irish, sophomore, Towanda: Irish. 383 with 14 runs scored, and seven stolen bases.

Max Goodman, senior, Edison: Goodman hit .402 with eight  doubles, and 19 RBI.

Designated Hitter
Luke Kraft, senior, Athens: Kraft not only had a monster year on the mound (see above), but he hit .377 (20 hits in 53 at-bats), with seven doubles, two home runs, 18 RBI, 11 runs scored, and two stolen bases. He walked 13 times and had a .507 on-base percentage, a .623 slugging percentage, and a 1.130 OPS.

Pitchers
Cameron Sullivan, senior, Athens:
Sullivan was a key piece of the Wildcat pitching staff with his ability to pitch multiple innings in relief multiple times per week. He was 1-1 with four saves, and posted a 2.37 ERA. He fanned 33 and walked eight, while allowing 23 hits in 23 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .240 against him.

Mason Lister, senior, Athens: Lister had two bad innings all season on the mound, allowing nine of the 13 earned runs he gave up all season. He was 4-0 with a 3.17 ERA, with 34 strikeouts and 17 walks in 28 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .212 against him.

Clay Wiggins, junior, Northeast Bradford: 4-4, 51 1/3-innings pitched, 74 strikeouts, 3.14 ERA, 31 walks, 23 earned runs. Interesting foot note - In state quarters Dock Mennonite had a kid hitting .625, only struck out once all year. Wiggins struck him out in his first at bat - Wiggins made him look stupid on a curveball.

Nolan Terwilliger, junior, Corning: Terwilliger posted a 2-3 record with a 2.52 ERA. He struck out 31 in 23 2/3 inning.

ALL-REGION NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR
Micah Hays, sophomore, Horseheads: See above.
Jhamez Boyd, freshman, Notre Dame
Sean Bubniak, junior, Waverly
Nikolai Cheplick, freshman, Edison
Brandon Enyon, sophomore, Newark Valley
Brendan Gilliland, sophomore, Troy
Nick Grazul, freshman, Athens
Karter Green, freshman, Sayre
Eli King, sophomore, Corning
Marek Mascho, freshman, Wellsboro
Joseph Palladino, junior, Owego
Aedan Palmer, freshman, Elmira
Cameron Sinn, sophomore, S-VE
Mason Smith, freshman, Troy
Adrian Solometo, junior, Horseheads
Levi Stahli, freshman, Cowanesque Valley
Conlan Taylor, sophomore, Owego
Matthias Welles, 8th-grader, Waverly

GOLD GLOVES
ALL-REGION DEFENSIVE TEAM

Ty Beeman, senior, Waverly: See above.
Connor Adams, senior, Wellsboro
Ashton Colunio, senior, Edison
Jackson Cook, senior, Horseheads
Zach Garrity, senior, Sayre
Nick Grazul, freshman, Athens
Lucas Harbol, senior, Owego
Ethan Hunsinger, sophomore, NEB
Nicholas Jacob, junior, Athens
Brady Morrell, senior, Elmira
Joseph Palladino, junior, Owego
Michael Palmer, senior, Elmira
Jay Pipher, junior, Waverly
Ben Rhode, junior, Elmira
Ben Rollison, junior, Owego
Ian Ruhmes, junior, Horseheads
Cody Sayre, senior, SVEC
Conlan Taylor, sophomore, Owego
Joey Tomasso, junior, Waverly
Nick Vanderpool Jr., junior, Wyalusing


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