All-Area Baseball: Panthers, Bombers set the All-Area standard
CF — Dennis Schutz, sr., Ellsworth (Player of the Year)
A four-year starter on varsity, Schutz, our All-Area Player of the Year, is a three-time All-Middle Border Conference outfielder, the 2014 Player of the Year in the MBC and a Wisconsin Baseball Coaches All-Star selection.
In his final season as a Panther, Schutz hit .421; with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs, a .711 slugging percentage, 21 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
From Ellsworth head coach Steve Block: “(Schutz) is the most complete player I’ve coached in over 30 years of coaching baseball.”
U, P — Logan Armstrong, sr., Ellsworth
A first team All-MBC utility player, Armstrong posted a 0.45 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. With four wins and one loss, to go with five saves, Armstrong was the shutdown machine Ellsworth was looking for.
Offensively, Armstrong hit .400 with six doubles, a home run and a .583 slugging percentage.
From Ellsworth head coach Steve Block: “He was (the) second best player on our team.”
OF, 2B, P — Hunter Blakeslee, sr., Cannon Falls
A .403 average, All-Hiawatha Valley League and All-Section selections and five home runs highlighted Blakeslee’s 2014. Blakeslee also scored 16 runs to with four doubles and 12 walks.
From Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow: “Hunter has been in our varsity lineup for four years. He was part of three division championships and a section championship. He has played outfield, third base, second base, shortstop, and he has pitched. His versatility allowed us to do many things with our defensive lineup. Hunter had a great career, but the most impressive part of his career is how he finished. In our last 14 games he hit .450 (18-for-40) with five home runs, three doubles, and an average of an RBI per game. That is a great way to end a high school career!”
OF — Bryce Boyle-Hoban, sr., Cannon Falls
Boyle-Hoban was a key cog in a high-production offense, scoring 33 runs with 12 doubles, two triples and a home run. Boyle-Hoban added 17 RBI, 15 walks and 14 stolen bases to be named All-HVL and All-Subsection.
From Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow: “Since Bryce has been on varsity, our combined record has been 54-19. Bryce became a great leader in two ways for us this year. He did a great job leading off our batting order, and he provided the emotional charge we needed. In back-to-back games he had a triple-double, and a double-triple. He stole six bases in one game. He drove in our winning run, or go-ahead run numerous times. His power numbers a tribute to the hard work he put in with strength training the past two years. More important than his baseball impact has been his positive impact on our school. So much so, that he was chosen by his fellow seniors to give their commencement address.”
P, OF, 3B — John Brown, sr., Lake City
Brown was a bit of a do-it-all for the Tigers this season, taking the mound in big games and occupying third and center. Brown hit .371 in 2014 with 14 stolen bases, a home run and a .528 on base percentage while striking out just six times. In 50 innings, Brown went 6-4 on the bump, with 56 strikeouts, 25 walks and nine earned runs allowed.
A Frist Team All-HVL and All-Section selection, Brown was named Lake City’s top defensive player.
From Lake City head coach Perry Iberg: “John had very strong senior year, he was Lake City’s top pitcher and played an outstanding defensive center field. John is a three-year starter. John plans on playing baseball next season at Rochester Community and Technical College. John is a very instinctive baseball player who is one of the top outfielders in the area. John pitched well all season and got stronger as the year went on.”
SS, P — Ty Buck, jr., Red Wing
One of the top prospects in the state, Buck hit .419 this season with four doubles, three home runs, 17 RBI and an on-base percentage of .500. In nine appearances, Buck totaled two saves on the mound with a 3.72 ERA and 25 strikeouts compared to 10 walks.
From Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann: “Offensively, Ty is a very dangerous hitter that, when we had runners on, was even better (.765 average with RISP). Ty has very impressive power for a young player and while he probably won’t play shortstop at the next level, (he) is an outstanding high school shortstop. When healthy, he was dominant on the mound. If he keeps working, Ty will wrap up an impressive high school career next year.”
P — Cody Leitner, sr., Red Wing
A stellar 2.22 ERA led to a 4-4 record as Leitner’s run support was often low. Leitner struck out 26 batters in 61 2/3 innings with a paltry six walks allowed. Opposing batters hit .267 against Leitner, and All-Section selection, who will pitch for Bethany (Mankato) next spring.
From Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann: “Cody was our bulldog this spring. He was a model of consistency on the mound and gave us an opportunity to win every time he toed the rubber. He attacked the strike zone and our guys loved playing defense behind him. It was a pleasure to coach a competitor like the ‘Codeman.’”
P, 3B — Quinton Lindow, jr., Cannon Falls
A leader in several pitching categories, Lindow turned in a fine first season on varsity. A 5-0 record compliments his 2.20 ERA over 24 2/3 innings with 25 strikeouts and six walks and a 1.09 WHIP.
From Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow: “Quinton led the team in wins and led the team in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.17). He is also a champion in the classroom and led our team in GPA. He got some big wins for us this season and is one of the most reliable kids I have ever coached.”
P, C, SS — Reid Lundell, sr., Lake City
Voted Lake City’s Most Valuable Player, Lundell posted a .386 average with nine doubles, 12 stolen bases and 18 RBI.
A three-time team MVP, and four-year starter, Lundell had a .500 record on the mound (4-4) with a 2.93 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 13 walks while being named All-HVL and All-Section.
From Lake City head coach Perry Iberg: “Reid is an outstanding leader on and off the field, he brings so many intangibles to a team and is well respected by his teammates. Reid plans on attending UW-Eau Claire next fall.”
SS — Brock Peterson, sr., Cannon Falls
A known quantity, Peterson again put up stellar numbers for the Bombers with a .408 average to support 18 runs, 22 RBI, seven doubles and 12 walks while striking out just four times.
Among the many awards Peterson received: Class 2A All-State, two-time All-HVL, two-time All-Sub-section, All-Section, Play Ball All Star Series, the Luke Winchell Quality At Bat Award (twice) and the Keith Meyers Hustle Award.
From Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow: “First of all, Brock had a great year, but if you consider the past three years he has been incredible. As a sophomore he was our catcher on a team that went 21-7 and finished sixth at state Class 2A. As a junior on a team that went 14-7, he moved to shortstop and had one of the greatest years of any Bomber baseball player. Not only was he outstanding on defense, but offensively he put up incredible numbers. This year (team record 19-5), even with opposing teams aware of him, he still had an incredible year. Over those three years he has led us to three division championships and a section championship.”
SS, P, OF — Alex Thomforde, sr., Goodhue
An All-HVL and All-Sub-section selection, Thomforde hit .400, with one home run and a .534 on-base percentage. A four-time letter winner, and three-year starter, Thomforde had a 3-3 record over 40 innings of work with a 3.35 ERA and 26 strikeouts.
From Goodhue head coach Eric Schofield: “Alex is one of those kids that are extremely hard to replace once they leave your program. He was a four-year starter for us and a three-year captain. It says a lot about the type of player and person you are when your teammates elect you captain three years in a row. Alex was a fantastic player for us and an even better leader. He did a great job of leading by example and showing our younger players how to approach the game.”
P — Brady Yanish, jr., Ellsworth
Another first team All-MBC selection for the Panthers, Yanish pitched 39 2/3 innings for Ellsworth, accumulating a slim 1.94 ERA to go with five wins and a single loss. Yanish’s 59 strikeouts contributed to his 1.21 WHIP.
Honorable mention: OF — Elliot Cox, sr., Lake City (First Team All-MBC, .328 AVG, 2 3B, 3 HR, 15 RBI); Dan Giese, sr., Ellsworth (Second team All-MBC .354 AVG, 19 SB); OF — Jonathan Sharot, jr., Cannon Falls (.351 AVG, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 13 R); SS — Nick Taranto, jr., Ellsworth (First team All-MBC, .346 AVG, 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, .615 SLG); SS, P — Jacob Ugland, sr., Zumbrota-Mazeppa (All-HVL, hit over .400 in HVL Blue play).