BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester baseball team’s season did not end the way they would have hoped when they lost to Bremen on Memorial Day in the sectional final.
That, however, should not take away from the season of senior Tarick McGlothin, our pick for RTC Baseball Player of the Year.
McGlothin hit. 385 with a team-high three homers and 15 RBIs. He stole 18 bases in 19 attempts. Symbolic of the team’s formidable pitching depth, he had a 1.75 ERA in nine relief appearances.
If that is not impressive enough, we thought McGlothin could impact a game defensively from his shortstop spot with his footwork and accurate throws.
Indiana Wesleyan University would agree with us, as he is heading there to play baseball starting next year.
McGlothin headlines our All-RTC baseball team. This is the third year we have put together this team, and while this is the first year we did not have a local sectional champion, this would appear to be the strongest group of pitchers that we have encountered.
Kids are enthusiastic about the game, and based on what we have seen in Town and Country play this summer, we are optimistic that the pipeline of talented pitchers is just starting.
As for our All-RTC baseball team, we thank area coaches for talking to us about their players and sending us their statistics that helped inform this list.
We also developed our opinions after spending hours at the ballpark this spring.
Having said that, this list is ours and ours alone, and we take full responsibility for it.
Tanner Reinartz (Rochester) – From his no-hitter against an Eastern team that wound up winning their sectional in his first start, it was clear that Reinartz had raised his level a notch. He went 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 40 ⅓ innings. Should we also mention that he might be the best pure hitter in the area? He also raised his batting average from .394 last year to .506 this year and had a team-high 35 RBIs.
Aaron Huffman (Rochester) – Huffman went 7-0 with a 1.58 ERA and was the co-ace of the Zebra staff along with Reinartz. He had 52 Ks in 40 innings without explosive velocity because he had great movement on his pitches, and he also forced a lot of weak contact.
Brayden Erickson (Pioneer) – Pioneer went from 10 wins last year to 15 wins this year, and they stayed in the Hoosier North title hunt until the final week. Erickson was the main reason why, hitting .486 with five homers and 31 RBIs and slowing polish and dominance on the mound in recording 71 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Annikan Pettit (Tippecanoe Valley) – Pettit hit .383 and struck out four times while playing all 22 games. The Grace College recruit also brings out the best in his pitchers with his game-calling and pitch-framing skills.
Jake Seuferer (Rochester) – Seuferer is the clean-up hitter in a loaded lineup. He hit .341 with two homers and 16 RBIs and seemingly did his best hitting against the best opposing pitchers.
Eli Miller (Pioneer) – Miller hit .365 at the plate and got the most out of his pitchers, whether it was one of the Erickson brothers or Caleb Sweet or Brenton Gaumer.
Tarick McGlothin (Rochester) (Player of the Year) – Rochester has had a good team for a while now, going back to 2019, but they have never had a player like McGlothin. He is a polished baseball player who embraces his craft, not just a great athlete trying to play baseball. That is what sets him apart.
Carson Paulik (Rochester) – Paulik was a freshman who wasted no time – OK, for the record, he spent one game on the JV in early April – in making an impact on the varsity. He hit .402 with 29 RBIs and earned his spot near the top of the order. He is also a capable pitcher and outfielder.
Talon Zeider (Caston) – Zeider was Caston’s best hitter, hitting .338 with a .970 OPS, and he did so out of the leadoff spot in the batting order. He was both a sure-handed shortstop and a pitcher who went 6-3 with a 2.36 ERA.
Noah Prater (Tippecanoe Valley) – Prater hit .274 and was a very strong first baseman and team leader.
Brayden Zink (Rochester) – Zink’s mound time was limited due to arm problems, but he had his best season at the plate, repeatedly coming up with clutch hits with men in scoring position and driving in 31 runs.
Derek Duncan (Pioneer) – Duncan, a senior second baseman, was an athletic defender who also had 27 RBIs at the plate.
Caleb Sweet (Pioneer) – Sweet, a senior first baseman, hit .411 with 11 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs. He also was a key performer on the mound, often coming in relief and quelling any opposing comebacks.
Markus Bernicky (Tippecanoe Valley) – Bernicky did not pitch as much as we thought he might this year, but Bernicky still impacted most games with his bat. Valley hit four homers as a team, and Bernicky hit three of them. He was one of just two players to homer off Rochester’s Reinartz. He also had a team-high 19 RBIs.
Jackson Kindig (Argos) – Kindig was the most experienced player on Argos’ roster by a good margin, and he showed why by hitting .438. He also was a pitcher and a catcher.
Hayden Parker (Culver) – If the Cavs are traveling the long road to respectability, then Hayden Parker is driving the bus. He’s a center fielder and a speedy leadoff hitter who is showing more extra-base power.
Ethan Medina (Rochester) – Medina was a thoughtful hitter who hit .273 with 19 RBIs and was also an excellent defensive center fielder.
Drew McKaig (Pioneer) – McKaig hit .293 and showed underrated extra-base power.
Gavin Young (Rochester) – Young hit .339 with seven extra-base hits and 16 RBIs. On many teams, he would hit fourth or fifth; on the Zebras, he typically hits eighth or ninth.
Hunter Craft (Tippecanoe Valley) – If you yelled “wear it” at Craft during a game, he usually took your advice: He was hit by 11 pitches, most of any player in the area. Craft was the leadoff hitter who brought speed to Valley’s lineup and their defense in center field.
Evan Myers (Tippecanoe Valley)
Noah Herd (Caston)
Gavin Mollenkopf (Caston)
Jake Erickson (Pioneer)
Hunter Campbell (Rochester)
Cameron Manuel (Tippecanoe Valley)
Pete DuVall (Caston)
Jonas McCuen (Culver)
Luke Hunting (Rochester)
Cody Smith (Tippecanoe Valley)
Caleb McCuen (Culver)
Nate Manikowski (Argos)
Jackson Rentschler (Caston)
Landen Bumford (Rochester)
Brenton Gaumer (Pioneer)