Greene County had four baseball teams make the playoffs this spring, with two of those teams garnering wins in the first round.
With all that team success, you know there were some individuals who grabbed some headlines on the diamond in 2019.
It’s always hard to make an All-Greene County Messenger Baseball Team by position because so many players are versatile now and play multiple spots.
So, I broke it down this way, the nine best players in the county this season followed by the remainder of the squad.
Versatility, effectiveness on the field and being a team-first player are attributes to these top nine players that made the starting lineup. With only two seniors on the top nine list, the underclassmen for all five county teams were the headline makers in 2019.
1. Gavin Pratt, Carmichaels — After having a steady freshman campaign a year ago, Pratt really elevated his game and reached new heights in the field, at the plate and on the mound. The sophomore led the Mikes’ offense in batting average (.441), hits (26), RBIs (21) and extra-base hits (10).
Pratt also held a 5-1 record on the mound and he had two stellar games this spring, an 11-strikeout performance against Brownsville in a 6-3 win and a complete-game, two-hitter versus Jeannette in a 1-0 triumph in the first round of the Class AA playoffs.
2. Luke Robinson, Waynesburg Central — Robinson has always been known as a hard-thrower on the mound, but in 2019 the junior had a heavy bat he brought to the plate. Robinson had four of Waynesburg’s 12 wins and posted a 2.19 ERA with 70 strikeouts over 44 ²/³ innings.
Robinson, who was the winning pitcher in the Raiders’ 8-1 first-round win over Freedom and then lost a hard-fought 1-0 pitchers’ duel to Freeport in the quarterfinals, was also effective at the plate after struggling his sophomore year. In 2019, Robinson had a .435 batting average with 11 extra-base hits.
3. Matthew Barrish, Carmichaels — The senior lefty continued his strong play in his final season with the Mikes with a 4-2 record on the mound. He had a 2.46 ERA with 27 strikeouts over 31 ¹/³ innings and added three saves.
Sometimes Barrish’s offensive numbers get overlooked because of his solid pitching stats, but his numbers at the plate this spring really stood out. Barrish had a .420 batting average and scored 20 runs to go along with 15 stolen bases in the two-hole of the Mikes’ lineup.
4. Bryce Bedilion, Jefferson-Morgan — This sophomore lefty did a little bit of everything for the Rockets and was a leader for the Orange & Black on the diamond. Whether it was batting leadoff or in the three-hole, Bedilion was productive for J-M with a .353 average, 16 RBIs, and seven doubles, all team highs.
On the mound, Bedilion led the Rockets in wins (three) and strikeouts (39). He started J-M’s playoff game and pitched well in a 3-0 setback to Bishop Canevin in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
5. Joey Reed, West Greene — The senior was one of the best defensive catchers in the area and his leadership led a youthful Pioneer squad to its second straight playoff berth. West Greene’s rally fell short in its 7-5 first-round loss to Eden Christian in the Class A playoffs.
Most days Reed was batting leadoff for the Pioneers and he set the tone for the offense by hitting for power and average. West Greene put up 10.2 runs per game, as it collected a program-best 11 wins on the season.
6. Tyler Switalski, Waynesburg Central — After having shoulder surgery over the off-season, Switalski was limited in what he could do on the pitching mound, but made up for it with his offense. The sophomore came up with some clutch at-bats for the Raiders, as they finished second in Section 3-AAA.
In 18 games, Switalski carried a .364 batting clip with 20 hits and scored 17 runs. He also led Waynesburg in RBIs with 23. Over 7 ¹/³ innings this spring, he registered eight strikeouts and didn’t allow an earned run.
7. Dylan Wilson, Carmichaels — Wilson showed off his versatility for the Mikes’ offense this spring and was a key cog in a consistent lineup. The junior carried a .404 batting average and collected 14 RBIs, while leading Carmichaels in hits (23), runs (22) and stolen bases (16).
In Carmichaels’ 1-0 first-round win over Jeannette, Wilson recorded both hits for the offense and also played fantastic defense at second base. The Section 1-AA champion Mikes’ season came to an end with an 11-1 loss to Neshannock in the quarterfinals.
8. Jacob Broadwater, Jeft — Despite battling an arm injury this spring, the senior came up big and was a game-changer for the Rockets. Broadwater was one of just three seniors on the squad and was able to provide leadership from the pitcher’s mound and at shortstop.
For the season, Broadwater batted .286 with 13 RBIs. The senior also went 2-1 on the mound with a 2.72 ERA over eight appearances. He tallied 22 strikeouts over 18 innings. Broadwater was also a big factor in the Rockets’ trip to the Class A semifinals in 2017.
9. Corey Wise, West Greene — Wise is the lone freshman in the top nine, but he was a difference maker for the Pioneers this spring. West Greene had a lot of inexperienced players starting for them, but the Pioneers still finished third in Section 2-A.
Wise had a team-high 12 extra-base hits and was top three in average and runs for West Greene. In a 7-5 playoff setback to Eden Christian, Wise totaled two doubles and allowed a run over 2 ²/³ innings of relief.
The Rest of the Best
Carmichaels: Stush Ferek, Zach Gamble, Al Cree, Drake Long and Nick Ricco.
Jefferson-Morgan: Devin Stoneking, Kyle Clayton, Easton Hanko and Liam Ankrom.
Mapletown: Clay Menear, Lance Stephenson and Brandon Donley.
Waynesburg Central: Kyle Shriver, Trevor Stephenson, Jesse Johnson, Kyle Blasco, Ryan Metheny and Drew Miller.
West Greene: Caleb Rice, Ben Jackson, Hunter Hamilton and Dalton Lucey.