Conklin earns All-State baseball honors

Billy Conklin slides safely into second base during the season.

EVART — Billy Conklin just about did it all for Evart’s baseball team, in leading the team to a 30-7 record, its first Highland Conference title since 1996 and its first district crown since 2008.

He’s earned plenty of postseason awards including all-conference and all-district, and team offensive MVP.

But Conklin has received the ultimate award which the Michigan High Schoool Baseball Coaches Association has announced; All-State first team for Division 3.

Conklin was one of seven infielders selected. He was an infielder and had 32 runs scored, 42 hits. RBIs, seven doubles, three triples one home run, 17 stolen bases, a .466 batting average and three strikeouts.

“Billy is our offensive leader,” Evart coach Josh Johnson said. “He is a tough guy to get out. He has power and speed.”

Johnson said Conklin will be playing baseball at Delta Community College.

“He made a late decision on this last week,” Johnson said. “He has been our gritty-offensive MVP all season. His offensive stats will be missed.”

Conklin had been chomping at the bit since he broke his leg late in the Evart football season to return to a regular sports routine.

“My leg isn’t 100 percent yet,” Conklin said during preseason baseball practice. “I’m looking for the season opener and for it to be 100 percent.”

Conklin saw limited action during basketball season.

“It’s frustrating not to be out there and with your friends,” he said.

It’s Conklin’s fourth year of varsity baseball.

At third base, “I believe I have great range and great arm,” he said, adding his strength at catcher, “are my arm and knowledge and knowing how the game is going and what needs to happen. My strength at pitching is my arm speed.”

Conklin played during the 2018 summer for the Quad City team based out of Big Rapids.

He batted .495 as a junior.

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with Herald Review as well as the Pioneer and The Lake County Star. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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