Hancock County’s Hoosier Heritage Conference baseball players took the majority of spots on the All-HHC team, selected Tuesday evening.
League champion Mt. Vernon, the first program to win three straight outright conference titles, led the way with five selections. Greenfield-Central had four and New Palestine had three.
The 12 local players made up the majority of the 21-member team. New Palestine head coach Shawn Lyons, whose team is playing in the Plainfield Semi-State Saturday, was selected co-coach of the year with Yorktown’s PJ Fauquher, whose Tigers won their Class 3A sectional.
It was the second straight year Lyons has been named HHC Co-Coach of the Year.
Mt. Vernon’s five players included seniors Eli Bridenthal, Konnor Scheidt and Joseph Wilson and juniors Nick Heitman and Cameron Sullivan.
Bridenthal, who had his final high school season cut short due to injury, hit .462 and stole 12 bases. He was 3-0 on the mound with a 1.05 ERA. He struck out 26 in 13 1/3 innings pitched with just three walks and eight hits.
Scheidt, a first baseman, tied for the conference lead in home runs with seven and was second in RBIs with 33. The left-handed hitting slugger batted .310 and had seven doubles.
Wilson pitched and played outfield. He hit .375 with a home run and nine RBIs. On the mound, he was 3-2 with a 4.29 ERA.
Sullivan took over the duties of ace of the staff when Bridenthal went down. The junior went 6-0 with a 1.55 ERA. In a team-high 40.2 innings pitched, he struck out 78 and gave up just 23 hits.
Heitman was a pitcher/outfielder for the Marauders. On the hill, he went 3-3 with a 3.53 ERA. He struck out 62 in 35 2/3 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .356 with 10 doubles, two homers and 27 RBIs.
Joining Lyons on the squad were senior outfielder Wes Stiller, senior pitcher/shortstop Blaine Nunnally and junior pitcher Michael Thorpe.
A left-handed hitting slugger, Stiller, the team’s starting right fielder, led the conference in RBIs (42) and slugging percentage (.747) and is tied with Scheidt in home runs with seven. He is hitting .410 with a .514 on-base percentage.
Nunnally has been a standout on the mound with a conference-best seven wins. He heads into semi-state play Saturday with a 7-1 record and 1.34 ERA. He has 85 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings pitched. Offensively, he’s one of the league leaders in stolen bases with 19 and is hitting .320 with eight doubles and 30 runs scored.
Thorpe is one of the HHC leaders in ERA at 1.18. He is 6-2 in 11 appearances and has one save.
For Greenfield-Central, all four of its selections were seniors, A.J. Oden (shortstop), Grant Shepherd (outfielder), Conner Sims (pitcher/outfielder) and Andrew Zellers (first baseman).
Oden hit a team-high .380 with a pair of home runs, six doubles and 21 RBIs. He scored 22 runs.
Shepherd hit .359 with 23 hits and nine RBIs. He had a pair of doubles, a triple and 11 runs scored.
Sims batted .368 with a team-best three home runs and also led the Cougars in RBIs with 27. He was co-leader with Zellers with seven doubles. On the mound, he led the Cougars with 66 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings pitched.
Zellers was tops on the club in stolen bases (14), runs scored (28), slugging percentage (.611) and triples (2). He hit .375 with two home runs and 14 runs batted in.
Mt. Vernon won the conference title with a 13-1 record. The Marauders won their first 13 games before losing their finale — after already clinching the league title — to second-place Yorktown (11-3). New Palestine, the lone HHC team still playing in the state tournament, finished 9-5 in league play. Greenfield-Central was fourth at 8-6. The last half of the league standings, in order, included Shelbyville (6-8), Pendleton Heights (5-9), Delta (2-12) and New Castle (2-12).
Other selected to the team included, Delta — Zane Cline (sophomore, pitcher); New Castle — Gavin Frazier (junior, shortstop/pitcher); Pendleton Heights — Nathan Gilmet (senior, catcher), Spencer Leppink (senior, shortstop/pitcher); Shelbyville — Aiden Smith (freshman, outfielder/pitcher); Yorktown — Jackson Furnish (senior, outfielder/pitcher), Jacob Grim (junior, outfielder/third baseman), Jayce Key (junior, catcher) and Cole Temple (senior, shortstop/pitcher).