Youth prevails in WMDL baseball all-conference teams

Manistee Catholic Central freshman Blake Johnson was named to the West Michigan D League baseball All-Conference first team. (News Advocate file photo)

Manistee Catholic Central freshman Blake Johnson was named to the West Michigan D League baseball All-Conference first team. (News Advocate file photo)

The 2018 West Michigan D League all-conference baseball teams have been released, and suggest a great deal of good baseball yet to come.

Of the 20 players named to the all-league first and second teams, only three were seniors, while five were freshmen in the 2017-18 school year.

One of those in the latter category was Manistee Catholic Central’s Blake Johnson, the only freshman to earn a spot on the all-conference first team.

MCC head coach Blaise LaPrad said that the honor was a significant achievement for a program that started at square one just last year.

“In the larger conferences you don’t really see freshmen wining first-team awards,” LaPrad said. “For me, it was a no-brainer, just because of his value, whether it was pitching, catching, playing in the field, hitting, he had a .417 average in conference play. He’s one of those cornerstone pieces to the program who’s going to be very valuable going forward.”

MCC freshman Mateo Barnett was named second-team all-league.

Brethren, as WMDL co-champion, was well represented on the all-league teams.

Juniors Jake Riggs, Gavin Asiala and Hunter Wojciechowski all earned first-team all-conference recognition, and Adrian Dean, Skylar Wojciechowski, Tyler Guinan and Jalen Guenther, were named to the second team. Riggs was dominant on the mound, not giving up a single earned run in league play this year.

All will return for the Bobcats next season.

“It’s very exciting,” Brethren head coach Julie Riggs said. “What coach doesn’t want the same team to continue building on again? The incoming seniors that we have, the five juniors, are all standout players.”

Darin Stever of MCE, Austin Hoffmann, Billy Sproul and Khole Hoffmann of Pentwater and Dawson Soller of Crossroads round out the rest of the all-league second team.

The rest of the WMDL first team consists of: Daniel Knizacky of Mason County Eastern, Glenn Miller, Max Stoneman and Iain Stewart of co-champion Pentwater and Mike Thorne of Big Rapids Crossroads.

avatar

Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply