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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Nine Trojans on SEC all-conference teams

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Jul 24, 2017
Cam Baumann

Fairfield was well represented on the Southeast Conference’s all-star baseball teams announced last week.

The Trojans landed five players on the first team, two on the second and two honorable mentions.

 

First team

The Trojans on the first team were pitchers Cameron Baumann and Graham Kuehl, catcher Kosta Papazoglou, infielder Austin Simpson and outfielder Cade Lisk.

Baumann was a strikeout machine in his senior season. His 78 punchouts were tops in the conference by a mile. The next closest contender was Keokuk’s Ethan Blaise at 45. Baumann held hitters to a .206 average and posted a 2.18 earned run average. He also hit .374 at the plate.

“Cam has been a varsity pitcher since he was in eighth grade,” said Trojan head coach Josh Allison. “He dominates on the mound, and he’s always been a strikeout pitcher.”

Allison said Baumann’s 344 career strikeouts are likely a school record.

Kuehl had more starts than any pitcher in the Trojans’ rotation at 10, and his seven victories were the most in the conference. He posted a sparkling 2.11 ERA and held opposing hitters to .232. He’ll have one more year of eligibilty to improve those marks even more.

“I think Graham will be the ace of the staff next year,” Allison said. “He’s done a great job. All of his hard work is paying off.”

Catching those two first-teamers was Papazoglou, a sophomore. Kosta led the team in doubles with 15, and was second in the conference in runs batted in with 44. His 24 walks were second in the conference, and explains how he was able to maintain such a high on-base percentage at .461.

“Kosta does a really nice job as a catcher. His ability to block and throw are right up there, and he swings the bat well, too,” Allison said.

Simpson provides one of the most potent bats in Coach Allison’s lineup. His 54 RBIs led the conference, and his .507 on-base percentage was the best on the team. He hit for power, amassing four long balls, but that didn’t mean he was a free swinger. He walked three times as often as he struck out.

“Austin’s biggest thing is that he hardly strikes out,” said the coach, referring to Simpson’s paltry strike out total of five. “He was third in RBIs in Class 3A and eighth overall. He came through when guys were on base.”

Lisk was one of the most dependable outfielders in the conference. The junior batted .372, knocked in 18 runs and scored 23. He was also a highly capable pitcher, where he held opposing batters to a team-low .193 average.

“Cade caught everything that was hit to him. He made all the routine plays like you’re supposed to,” Allison said. “We used him more in a relief role as a pitcher. Next year, he’ll be more a starting pitcher.”

 

Second team

The second team includes a pair of Trojan infielders: third baseman Hunter Hoskins and second baseman Tristin Waugh.

Hoskins, a junior, led the conference in runs, partly because he was always on base. He batted .396 and slugged four homers.

“Hunter was pretty solid for us defensively, and his best defense came during the conference season,” said the coach. “He runs really well, too. He led the team in stolen bases [with 15].”

The sophomore Waugh led the conference in home runs with seven. He drove in 36 runs and posted an on-base percentage of .424.

“Tristan made a transition to a new position,” said the coach. “He was an outfielder and then a backup catcher last year. We had an opening at second base, and he wanted to play there. By the end of the season, he was making great plays.”

 

Honorable mention

Fairfield’s honorable mentions were senior Brandon Smithburg and sophomore Cooper Drish. Smithburg caught everything hit his way in left field. He scored 28 runs and got on base at a .383 clip. Smithburg tied for the conference lead in the painfull statistic of getting hit by a pitch, which happened 11 times.

“Brandon’s swing started coming around near the end of the season. He would always find a way to get on base. He’d work counts, and wasn’t afraid to get hit if a pitcher came inside. He was valuable to us on the field and as a team leader,” said Allison.

Cooper’s season was cut short by injury in early July, but his accolades were still impressive enough to warrant an honorable mention. He had an on-base percentage of .431 and scored 28 runs. He had a keen eye at the plate, too, walking 18 times to only eight strikeouts.

“Cooper was our shortstop for the majority of the season, but he hurt his elbow at the Wilton game [on July 5],” said Allison. “With Jordan Reid and Alex Crile graduating, we needed someone to fill those middle of the diamond spots. Cooper took the bull by the horns and said, ‘This is where I want to play.’”

 

Academic all-conference

Several Trojans were honored for their commitment to academic excellence. The academic all-conference team featured seniors Smithburg and Brian Buch, and juniors Hunter Drish, Hoskins, Kuehl and James Lyman.

 

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