It’s time to honor the boys of spring.
It was an exceptional year across the board for the county, with Starr’s Mill, McIntosh, Whitewater, and Fayette County sweeping the four playoff spots out of their region. In Class 4A, Sandy Creek battled through one of the toughest regions in any classification, building momentum for a bright future.
Among the great team showings are accolades for individual standouts.
Brian Port of Starr’s Mill is the Player of the Year. Port, a shortstop signed to Coastal Carolina, was an impossible out for the opposition. He hit .490 with a .595 on-base percentage with 3 home runs, 6 doubles, and 5 triples. His bat control was off the charts with only 10 strikeouts in 96 at-bats.
“I have coached a lot of good players, and even some great ones, but Brian may be the best one I have ever coached,” said his coach, Brent Moseley. “He just does the little things that winners do. When he comes in the dugout after an inning, he always puts his batting helmet on, no matter where we are in the lineup. He is always ready.”
Chase Townsend of Whitewater is Pitcher of the Year. Townsend, a Georgia Highlands College signee, baffled hitters all season, posting a 6-0 record and 1.50 ERA with 33 strikeouts.
Ty Butler of McIntosh is the Two-Way Player of the Year. Butler, a Kennesaw State signee, dazzled both on the mound and as a left fielder. As a pitcher, he posted a 4-0 record with a 0.28 ERA, allowing just one earned run in 24 innings pitched, along with 32 strikeouts. At the plate, he hit .408 with a .530 on-base percentage.
Jonathan Little of Sandy Creek is the Freshman of the Year. Little made a splash in his debut, starring for the Patriots as both a pitcher and a shortstop. At the plate, he hit .353 with 27 hits. On the mound, he led the staff in games pitched, throwing 22 innings, mostly in relief.
In a season where every school’s leader would be an excellent choice for top honors, Brent Moseley of Starr’s Mill is Coach of the Year. Leading a young team, Moseley took his Panthers to another region championship and a sparkling 29-6 record. Along the way, he captured his milestone 400th career victory.
The All-County First Team kicks off behind the plate with Sean White of Starr’s Mill and Ryan Sanders of McIntosh. White hit .388 with 10 doubles. Sanders hit .444 with 1 home run and 16 RBIs.
The infield is made up of Landon Busby of Whitewater, Chay Yeager of Starr’s Mill, Kanoti McDaniel of Sandy Creek, and Tucker Dorrity of Fayette County. Busby, playing third base, hit .378 with 10 RBIs. Yeager, lining up at second base, hit .390 with 4 doubles, 3 triples, and 1 home run. McDaniel, playing second base, hit a team-high .458 for the Patriots. Dorrity, a shortstop, hit .475 with 15 RBIs.
The outfield is composed of Thad Ector of Starr’s Mill and McIntosh’s Andrew Pinckney and Burton Hahn. Ector, a sophomore, hit .352 with 4 doubles, 3 triples, and 1 home run. Pinckney, a senior headed to Alabama, hit .389 with 5 home runs and 21 RBIs. Hahn, a junior, hit .383 with 2 home runs and 10 RBIs.
Designated hitter Matt Morgano of Whitewater rounds out the lineup. Morgano hit .333 with a .600 on-base percentage.
The pitching staff is made up of Connor Housley of Sandy Creek, Daniel Courtney of Starr’s Mill, and Braxton Roop of McIntosh. Housley, a University of Tennessee signee who was also drafted by the Texas Rangers, posted a 2.15 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched. Courtney tallied an 8-1 record with a 1.88 ERA over 44 innings pitched. Roop, a sophomore, went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 29 strikeouts.
The First Team is rounded out by the two-way players who starred on the mound and with a bat. Dylan Morris of Whitewater racked up a sterling 0.61 ERA and hit .412 with 8 RBIs. Andrew Villiger of McIntosh posted a 3-1 record and 2.80 ERA, along with a .500 batting average.
The All-County Second Team is a skilled crew.
Catchers Javious Reynolds of Fayette County and Chris Buchanan of Whitewater open things up. Reynolds, a sophomore, hit .356 with 8 RBIs. Buchanan, a sophomore, hit .270 while playing stellar defense behind the plate.
The infield is made up of Whitewater’s Zach Leischner, Sandy Creek’s Brian Siefert, and McIntosh’s Jack Bukowski and Ryder Wagenknecht. Leischner, a junior, hit .345. Siefert, a junior first baseman, hit .315 as one of his region’s top defensive players. Bukowski, a senior, hit .380 with 10 RBIs. Wagenknecht, a sophomore, hit .444 with an on-base percentage of .615.
The outfield is composed of Hunter Lawson of Starr’s Mill and Whitewater’s Maddox Mueller and Thomas McKenzie. Lawson, who also saw time at catcher, hit .356. Mueller, a junior, hit .310 and racked up 14 stolen bases. McKenzie, a senior, hit .290.
Designated hitter Jack Brown of McIntosh caps off the lineup. Brown, a junior, hit .389 with 1 home run and 16 RBIs.
The pitching staff is made up of Starr’s Mill’s Eli Jones and Whitewater’s Jacob Atha and Jake Garner. Jones posted a 4-4 record and a 1.53 ERA over 45 innings. Atha, a senior, tallied a 1.40 ERA with 12 strikeouts and just 3 walks. Garner, a sophomore, posted a 2-1 record with a 1.28 ERA and 29 strikeouts.
The two-way players are Starr’s Mill’s Beau Gardner and Fayette County’s Tyler Patrick. Gardner posted a 4-0 record with 1 save and a 3.45 ERA and hit .318 with 3 doubles. Patrick led the Tigers in wins, while hitting .373 with 7 RBIs.
The county’s honorable mentions are a talented bunch. Fayette County’s honorees are Zach Scott and Jonathan Hall-Thompson. McIntosh’s honorees are Spencer Miller, Blake Summers, Dakota Rowan, and Jacob Woods. Sandy Creek’s honorees are Glenn Green and Jordan Thomas. Whitewater’s honorees are Chandler Tillman, Brett McPeters, Connor Faulkner, and Zach Betsill. Our Lady of Mercy’s honorees are Connor Dillon, Liam Malally, and Michael Scott.
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