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Area baseball players earn All-LKC honors | News, Sports, Jobs



Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Williamstown’s Maxwell Molessa follows through on a swing during a baseball game this spring. The sophomore Molesaa was named first team All-Little Kanawha Conference for the second straight year.

PARKERSBURG — It was a season to remember for the Tyler Consolidated baseball team of head coach Rob Jones.

Not only did the Silver Knights amass a school record 23 victories, but coach Jones also watched his team secure the first Little Kanawha Conference championship in TCHS history.

Leading that charge was junior left-hander Ty Walton, who was honored by league coaches as the LKC’s Player of the Year.

“Ty has worked extremely hard to get to the point he is. He is the first LKC Player of the Year in school history and this was the first team conference title in school history as well,” stated Jones, who was named the LKC Coach of the Year.

“Ty is the kind of player who shows up before everyone else on an early Saturday practice and goes through his entire routine with his bands, weighted balls, stretching and getting his arm and body ready to go. His leadership for the Knights’ baseball program has been key to our success.”

Walton was the only pitcher to shut out Williamstown, which came during the Silver Knights’ 2-0 triumph in the LKC title game at the Sue Morris Sports Complex in Glenville.

On the season, Walton went 8-2 with a 1.04 earned run average and 107 strikeouts in 53 2-3 innings of work. He only allowed 16 hits. Along with a .364 batting average, Walton also had eight doubles, two triples, 22 runs-batted-in and nine stolen bases.

Walton was one of five repeat selections on the all-LKC top unit. Wahama senior Ethyn Barnitz repeated at catcher after batting .391 with seven doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 30 RBIs. He also drew 28 free passes and finished with a .629 on-base percentage.

The other trio of returning all-LKC players were infielders — Tyler Consolidated junior Jayden Helmick, Williamstown sophomore Maxwell Molessa and Braxton County senior Tyler Baldwin, who had a .512 average, six doubles, two triples, three steals and 17 RBIs. Helmick batted .424 with four doubles, four triples, two home runs, 15 runs-batted-in and 30 steals. Molessa, who helped lead the Yellowjackets back to the Class A state tournament, hit .418 with 12 doubles, nine three-baggers, one round-tripper and 17 RBIs while going 27 of 27 on steal attempts.

Joining Walton at pitcher on the first team were Wahama sophomore Bryce Zuspan and Williamstown junior Brayden Coleman. Zuspan also was a key cog in Wahama’s run to the Class A state championship game. He went 11-1 with a 1.80 ERA and punched out 80 in 62 1-3 innings. Coleman was 7-1 with a 2.66 ERA and fanned 57 in 47 1-3 innings.

Garrett Cunningham, a senior from Ritchie County, joined Barnitz as the other catcher on the first team. The Rebel knocked in 38 while hitting .403 with a dozen doubles, one triple and two bombs.

Also making the first team at infield were a pair of juniors — Ritchie County’s Quentin Owens and Gilmer County’s Caden Hall. The Rebel stole 14 bases, knocked in 29 and batted .477 with a dozen two-baggers and four long balls. Hall finished with a .507 average, eight doubles, three triples, six homers, 27 RBIs and 36 stolen bases.

The four all-LKC first team outfield selections went to juniors Logan Roach (.409 AVG, 9-6-0, 22 RBIs) of Wahama and Williamstown’s Harbor Haught (.443 AVG, 4-0-0, 27 RBIs, 29 SBs) along with seniors Josh Walton of Roane County and Braxton County’s Beau Liston (.358 AVG, 7-0-0, 22 RBIs, 12 SBs).

Ravenswood’s Evan Swain, the only freshman on the first team, was selected at utility. The Red Devil had a 5-0 pitching record with one save and 51 strikeouts in 27 innings. He batted .297 with six doubles and 20 runs-batted-in.

Five squads had a pair of selection apiece on the all-LKC second team and that included Ravenswood, which landed Anthony Anglin at catcher and Beau Bennett at infield. South Harrison had pitcher Josh Thomaschek and infielder Dylan Richards. St. Marys was represented by catcher Josiah DeMoss and outfielder Shane Moran. Williamstown had second team selections with Carson Hill in the outfield and Ty Ott at infield. Aiden Eddy of Doddridge County was the second team utility and Bulldog teammate Colt Sutton was honored at infield.

Also making the second unit were pitchers Bryant Yoak of Calhoun County and Andrew Adkins of Clay County, infielder Aaron Henry of Wahama as well as three other outfielders in Gilmer County’s Colton Hall, Tyler Consolidated’s Hayden Brown and Braxton County’s Brayden Helmick.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com



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