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  • Val T.

All-RTC baseball: Spin it to win it: Caston star is RTC player of year

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

As a pitcher, hitter and baserunner, no RTC area baseball player meant more to his team than Caston’s Joey Spin, and he is our selection for RTC Baseball Player of the Year for the second straight year.

Two-Time RTC Baseball Player of the Year Joey Spin

Spin was on the mound for wins over West Central and North Miami as the Comets won Class 1A, Sectional 52, and he was beating South Central through five innings in the regional semifinals before one bad inning led to the end of the season.

Still, it was an impressive showing. Spin mastered a two-seam fastball that he could jam on the hands of right-handed hitters and force weak ground balls, and he could mix that in with a big breaking curve. Spin was also a control pitcher in an era of high school baseball – stop the presses if he ever walked anybody – where that is rare.

Here is a list of players who will join Spin on our All-RTC baseball team. Including Caston, it was an outstanding baseball season in our area with Winamac taking conference and sectional titles, Rochester staying in Three Rivers Conference title contention for much of the season, and Argos.

Outstanding players could be found at those schools as well as places like Tippecanoe Valley and Pioneer. Clearly, there is passion for the game in our area. Any notion that baseball is falling out of favor with the younger generation has not been paying attention.

Pitchers

  • Joey Spin (Caston) – Spin also hit .468, and his 36 hits were the most of any area player. He also had 18 walks on top of that. In addition, he stole 24 bases, which meant he was constantly on base and if you didn’t get him out, he would basically turn a single or a walk into a double.

  • Mitchell Bonnell (Winamac) – Bonnell had 62 strikeouts in 42 innings while allowing just 23 hits. When he was on, he was dominant.

  • Brayden Erickson (Pioneer) – Erickson had a 2.44 ERA and more than three times as many strikeouts (64) as hits allowed (20).

Catchers

  • Tyler Perry (Winamac) – Perry hit .400 with seven homers. With essentially all the power taken out of today’s aluminum bats, there are many teams who will not get close to seven home runs.

  • Annikan Pettit (Tippecanoe Valley) – Pettit hit .426 with three homers and 16 RBIs. That included a two-homer, six-RBI day against eventual Class 1A regional champion South Central (Union Mills). He is also a fine handler of a pitching staff.

  • Sam Smith (Caston) – Smith was healthier in 2022 than 2021, and it made a big difference. He hit .360 and showed the capability of hitting high velocity pitches.

Infielders

  • Tarick McGlothin (Rochester) – McGlothin had a .506 on-base percentage, and he stole 14 bases. Perhaps most impressively, he led the team with 23 RBIs even though he hit leadoff. While he went the entire regular season without allowing a run on the mound, he is also a fundamentally sound defensive shortstop.

  • Pete DuVall (Caston) – DuVall went 7-0 with a 1.05 ERA on the mound for his sophomore season, but his greatest contribution might have been his walk-off home run against North White in the sectional. He’s also a top defensive third baseman when he is not pitching.

  • Tanner Reinartz (Rochester) – Reinartz led Rochester with a .394 average and 26 hits. He also became more smooth at third base as the season progressed. He’s also a promising pitcher, going 2-0 with a 2.74 ERA.

  • D.J. Estep (Tippecanoe Valley) – Estep hit .353 with two homers and 10 RBIs and also showed off a strong arm at third base.

  • Caleb Good (Winamac) – Good hit over .400 with six homers and also showed off great speed on the bases and range at shortstop.

  • Caleb Seymour (Winamac) – Seymour split time between first base and the pitcher’s mound, and he also hit .471 with 24 RBIs.

  • Dylan Kindig (Argos) – Like Seymour, McGlothin and DuVall, Kindig was an outstanding pitcher who also could play all over the diamond for the Dragons.

Outfielders

  • Hayden Clark (Winamac) – Clark hit .408 and he stole 26 bases for the Warriors. He gave all kinds of RBI opportunities for players like Seymour, Bonnell and Perry.

  • Russell Compton (Winamac) – It’s hard to think about Clark without thinking about Compton. He hit .391 and stole 27 bases.

  • Ethan Medina (Rochester) – Medina hit .322 and was a line-drive machine, even while he played through a late-season ankle injury.

  • Gavin Clem (Pioneer) – Clem had a .440 on-base percentage, and his throw to cut down a runner at the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning at Caston was the best defensive play we saw all year.

  • Evan Elliott (Rochester) – Elliott came out of an early-season slump and finished with a .300 batting average, and he also was a very good defensive right fielder.

  • Braxton Davis (Tippecanoe Valley) – Davis might not play much outfield, but we will find a place on our team for a guy who hits .340 and makes consistently hard contact.

  • Cameron Manuel (Tippecanoe Valley) – Manuel hit .317 and was an asset in right field and on the mound for the Vikings.

Honorable mention

  • Caleb Sweet (Pioneer)

  • Carter Field (Winamac)

  • Jake Seuferer (Rochester)

  • Kurt Johnson (Argos)

  • Caleb Stinson (Caston)

  • Caden Couch (Pioneer)

  • Aaron Huffman (Rochester)

  • Markus Bernicky (Tippecanoe Valley)

  • Brayden Zink (Rochester)

  • Derek Duncan (Pioneer)

  • Dylan Brown (Winamac)

  • Kole Burkholder (Argos)

  • Jackson Rentschler (Caston)

  • Colton Ferverda (Rochester)

  • Noah Prater (Tippecanoe Valley)

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