Mitchell captains T-L Baseball Team
MARTINS FERRY – The 2013 high school baseball season was a magical one for the Harrison Central Huskies.
Justin Clifford’s squad advanced to the Division II state semifinals before falling to Plain City Jonathan Alder at picturesque Huntington Park in Columbus.
Because of their successful season, five Huskies, along with Clifford, have been named to the All-Times Leader Baseball team. They join 15 other diamond standouts to round out the star-studded squad. Twelve schools are represented.
Harrison Central senior Rashaen Mitchell was selected as the team’s captain. Clifford is the coach.
The team was selected by members of The Times Leader Sports Department, along with input from area coaches.
A capsule on each player follows:
RASHAEN MITCHELL, Harrison Central. Undoubtedly the Huskies’ senior leader, the lanky lefty did just about everything for his team, especially during its unlikely postseason run to the state semifinals.
Mitchell, a four-year starter and letterman, not only hit an eye-popping .566 (60-108), but also notched a superb 10-2 mark on the mound. Half of those came in the postseason and represented all of the teams victories. In addition to leading the Huskies in both categories, the marks were also Ohio Valley-bests.
He recorded 81 total bases, which came on 43 singles, 13 doubles and four triples. He walked 21 times and struck out only nine times. He also charted 33 RBI, stole 15 bases (17 att.) and scored 31 runs. His slugging percentage was a whopping .750 and his on-base mark was a nifty .618.
On the hill, he fanned 95 batters in just under 59 innings of work. He allowed 32 hits, walked 41 and hit 13 batters. He surrendered 22 total runs, 14 of which were earned for an ERA of 1.67. His WHIP was 1.244.
“What can you say about Rashaen? He had a great year and led us in every category,” Clifford said of his ace. “He had a heckuva run in the tournament when he picked up five wins. Most guys don’t win five games in their careers. He also did an outstanding job at the plate.
“He was our go-to guy.”
NICK PELEGREEN, Harrison Central. Another four-year starter and letterwinner, Pelegreen was another one of the Huskies’ that helped turn the program around in their careers.
A versatile performer, he played third base, first base and pitched for the Huskies this spring. He recorded a .364 batting average with 32 hits and 41 total bases. He had 27 singles, three doubles and a pair of home runs. He also walked an amazing 30 times in as many games, and knocked in 31 runs. He scored 23 runs and charted a .512 on-base mark.
“Nick had a great career for us. He was steady throughout all four years,” Clifford allowed. “He had a real good senior year. He would do anything to help make us be successful, and he did it at a high level.”
DREW HORN, Harrison Central. Another of the talented senior class, Horn was a surprise with the bat, according to his head coach.
“We were looking at Drew to be one of our main pitchers, but he really came on with the bat,” Clifford admitted. “He had a real good year at the plate, and had some huge hits in the tournament.”
Horn batted .312 with 34 hits and 40 total bases. He had 28 singles and six doubles. He charted 18 runs batted in and scored 28 runs.
On the mound, he was a perfect 4-0 with a save. His ERA was 4.25 and he struck out 23 and walked 23 in 26 innings.
DALTON RUTTER, Harrison Central. The Huskies’ junior centerfielder, he was rated as one of the better players at his position in the valley.
He was also the Huskies’ leadoff hitter and batted .430. he had 46 hits, with 45 being singles. He rapped one double to account for his 47 total bases. He stole 15 out of 19 bases safely, while driving in 12 runs and scoring 41. He laid down six sacrifice bunts, walked 21 times and was hit-by-a-pitch three times.
“Dalton was our motor guy. When he got on, he scored a lot of runs for us,” Clifford added. “He made us go, both with his speed offensively and defensively.”
DUSTIN REDISH, Harrison Central. Just a freshman, he played wiser than his years, especially in the postseason when he was called upon several times to hold teams in check while the Huskies rallied for a win.
He was also a standout shortstop.
Redish hit .290 with 29 hits and 30 total bases. He had 28 one-base raps and a double. He also scored two dozen runs, swiped 15 bases in 17 attempts, drove in 19 runs and charted half-a-dozen sacrifice bunts.
On the mound, he was 2-2 with a save, but did most of his work in long relief, especially in the postseason surge. He had a 2.31 earned run average and fanned 38 in 33 innings of work. He issued 23 walks, gave up 24 hits and hit five batters.
“For a freshman, Dustin played well above his years,” Clifford allowed. “He had some key, key moments in the tournament when he came in and held some pretty good teams in check.”
NICK PATRONE, Bellaire. Just a junior, this three-year starter and letterwinner had another outstanding season for the Big Reds.
He hit .317 with 26 hits and scored 18 runs.
On the mound, he was a deceiving 6-5, with all five setbacks coming to quality programs. He had six complete games and struck out 75 batters while walking 41. Opponents hit just .189 off him, and he recorded a no-hitter and a pair of two-hitters.
“Nick did a nice job for us on the mound this season,” Bellaire head coach, and his father, John said. “He pitched in all of our big games. He had some arm trouble early in the season, but he overcame that.”
When not pitching, Patrone was behind the plate.
KAM BROWN, River. This Pilots’ senior batted .438 with 37 hits and 21 runs scored. He drove in 16 runs, stole 15 bases and walked 13 times. His on-base percentage was .526.
“Kam turned into a solid hitter in the middle of the lineup for us,” River head coach Mark Romick advised. “He became a very disciplined hitter that could hit to all fields. He added a dimension to his game this year with the ability to bunt for a hit.”
KORDELL ANTILL, Monroe Central. A four-year standout for the Seminoles, Antill was a threat on the mound and at the plate.
He had a superb 8-1 mark on the hill with a 1.48 ERA and 72 strikeouts. At the plate, he hit a whopping .465 with two home runs and 20 runs batted in.
He will participate in the annual Mizuno Classic.
“Kordell was a super pitcher for us over the last four years,” Monroe Central head coach Ryan Rosnick said. “Any time he started a game we had a great chance to win because he was that good and was very talented.
“His batting average was solid every year and it kind of went unnoticed due his great pitching stats.”
JACOB BLACK, Monroe Central. Another Seminoles’ senior, Black hit .367 with three home runs and 22 RBI.
“Jacob was a very solid centerfielder for us and he was very consistent with his defensive and offensive numbers,” Rosnick added. “He is the kind of kid that I would love to have 20 of because of his hustle and desire for the game.
“He had a great four years at Monroe Central and I really enjoyed coaching him.”
LOGAN NIPPERT, Beallsville. A senior-to-be for the Blue Devils, Nippert did a little of everything for Joe Kress’s squad.
He assumed the role of ace on the mound staff, and didn’t disappoint, despite the team’s sub-par performance after a good start.
Logan was an asset to our team, both offensively and defensively,” Kress said. “We counted on him being a great leader for us, and he did just that. I’m looking forward to really good things from him next year.”
MICHAEL JACOB, St. Clairsville. This sophomore did just about everything for the Red Devils, mostly with his arm though as he figured on eight of the team’s 10 victories.
In six decisions, he won five and earned a pair of saves along the way for head coach Tom Sliva’s squad. The left-hander led the Ohio Valley with a miniscule 0.60 earned run average, and he struck out 70 in 46 innings of work. He 29 hits and 11 runs, only of which four were earned.
“Michael was definitely one of our leaders even though he was a sophomore,” Sliva said. “When he was on the hill we definitely had a chance to win, which was evident by his record.
“His biggest asset is that he can throw all three of his pitches for strikes,” Sliva continued. “He’s a battler. A competitor. He’s work very hard to get better on the mound and at the plate. He had a really good year.”
BAILEY MCGRATH, Bridgeport. Just a sophomore, McGrath led the Bulldogs in just about every offensive category.
He hit a robust .480 with 49 hits, which included 14 doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs. He drove in 21 runs, scored 40 and stole a dozen bases. He only struck out once in 115 plate appearances. His on-base mark was a whopping .539, while his slugging percentage was .716.
“Bailey has had two tremendous seasons for us,” Bridgeport head coach Ted Downing said. “He’s a competitor and plays the game hard. He’s an all-round player with all the tools. He was very valuable to our team and constantly put the ball in play.
“Bailey can play multiple positions, but we used him primarily as our shortstop and relief pitcher.”
Q.J. WILLIAMS, Bridgeport. Another promising sophomore for the Bulldogs, he hit .406 with 43 hits. Seven of his safeties were doubles, with two ending up in triples and one home run. He scored 26 times and drove in 18 teammates. He stole 14 bases and struck out just three times in 114 at-bats.
“Q.J. really improved from his freshman year to this year,” Downing allowed. “He’s a five-tool player and a tremendous outfielder. He has all the tools to play and had an outstanding season.”
JARED BROOKS, Shadyside. This left-handed senior had a very productive season for the Tigers.
On the mound, the four-year starter went 5-3 with a very fine 1.89 ERA. At the plate, he hit .385.
“Jared was our go-to pitcher. He started against all of the tough teams and came in late in some games to close them out,” Shadyside head coach Mike Meintel explained. “When he didn’t pitch, he played centerfield.”
ADAM STUPAK, Shadyside. Another four-year senior starter and letterman, he played several positions this season, but could mainly be found behind the plate or at shortstop.
He batted .392, but was often called upon to move the runner over from the No. 2 spot in the order.
“Adam was a silent leader,” Meintel noted. “He was the leader of our team and led by example.”
AUSTIN MARSHALL, Buckeye Local. This Panthers’ senior was a four-year starter and lettermen.
This season he hit .444 with 40 hits. Among those were six doubles and seven triples. He drove in 30 runs and scored 31. He stole 24 bases and drew 13 walks.
On the mound he compiled a fine 5-1 mark.
“Austin is one of those ballplayers that exemplifies the old-style player. He knows the game very well and is an extremely intense player,” Buckeye Local head coach Rick DeLuca said. “He can take charge as a true leader on the field and in the dugout.
“He is one of those all-around athletes that just happens to be a very good baseball player. Not only did I enjoy having him on our team, but I enjoyed watching him play.”
ERIC BANAL, Buckeye Local. Only a sophomore, the two-year letterman and two-year starter in the outfield batted .366 with 30 hits. He rapped seven doubles, knocked in 19 runs and scored 17 times. He had 10 stolen bases and was walked 16 times. He did not commit an error in the field.
“In the outfield or at the plate, Eric is a coach’s dream. He is a very knowledge player and has a very good grasp of the game considering he is just a sophomore,” DeLuca pointed out. “He is very intense on the field and is his own worst critic of his play. That is probably why he plays at the level he does. He keeps pushing himself to be better.”
TYLER STRAMA, Martins Ferry. Despite not playing at 100 percent due to injuries, he still hit .336 with a home run and 21 RBI.
“Tyler was hampered by a lingering football injury all season,” Martins Ferry head coach Anthony Reasbeck allowed. “He still was one of the better players in the valley. He was a tremendous guy to have on any team and will be deeply missed.”
AUSTIN CURRY, Union Local. This 3-year mainstay was a catalyst for the Jets this season. He hit .368, scored 22 runs, drove in a dozen and stole 17 bases.
In addition, the shortstop banged out 28 hits, including seven doubles and a home run.
“Austin is a very knowledgeable baseball player,” Union Local head coach Mark Cisar assessed. “He meant a lot to our team because if he got on base, you could usually count on him scoring a run.
“He hit leadoff for us at times, but at other times, be batted in the No. 4 hole,” Cisar added. “Great kid. Hard worker.”
DYLAN MACMILLAN, Barnesville. The Shamrocks shortstop/relief pitcher hit .354 with 28 hits in 26 games. He scored 18 runs and drove in 22. He walked 18 times and swiped 10 bases.
Defensively, he charted a .962 fielding percentage. He only had four errors in 101 chances.
“Dylan was one of the keys to the turn around in our season. We were on pace to be the worst team in regards to record in Barnesville history and took it upon himself to not let that happen,” Barnesville head coach D.J. Butler allowed. “He led by example with his play, work ethic and attitude.
“The only four year lettermen in this class he has been a valuable part of the program and will be sorely missed. Dylan was not only a great baseball player for us but also an above average student and just a great all around young man.”
JUSTIN CLIFFORD, Harrison Central. In just his second season at the Huskies’ helm, Clifford watched his team capture the OVAC Class 4A championship, along with sectional, district and regional crowns on its way to Columbus.
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