Irwin Region 6 Pitcher of the Year, Morrison Defensive MVP as Dragons put 8 on all-star team

Warren baseball players display their Region 6 all-star selection plaques following the team’s season-ending banquet at Legion Field, Monday, June 4, 2018. From left: Adam Irwin (First-team pitcher, Region 6 Pitcher of the Year), Owen Balas (First-team utility), Derek Knapp (First-team 2b), Nate Betts (Second-team OF), Aidan Morrison (First-team c, Region 6 Defensive MVP), Lance Baldensperger (First-team OF), Austyn Cummings (Second-team 1b) and Mitchell Grosch (First-team 3b).

Eight Warren baseball players earned first- or second-team Region 6 all-star bids this season, as voted on by region coaches.

In addition to their first team selections, Adam Irwin was named Region 6 Pitcher of the Year and catcher Aidan Morrison earned the Region 6 Defensive MVP.

Irwin was dazzling this season, pitching to the tune of a 4-0 record with a save in six appearances with a 0.52 ERA. In 27 innings he allowed just 15 hits and issued only eight walks with 24 strikeouts. He allowed only two runs on the year, both earned, one on a solo homerun to General McLane’s Derek Fay and one wild pitch that scored Harbor Creek’s Lucas Folmar.

Morrison committed just three errors in 116 total chances this season, with 93 put outs and 20 assists. Offensively, the junior slashed .358/.400/.492 with three doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI.

Joining the battery mates on the first team are seniors Owen Balas (utility) and Derek Knapp (2b), junior Lance Baldensperger (OF) and sophomore Mitch Grosch (3b). Senior Nate Betts (OF) and junior Austyn Cummings (1b) were named to the second team.

Building on a strong freshman campaign, Grosch led the Dragons with a .508/.570/.646 line while collecting six extra base hits (four doubles, a triple and a homerun), scoring 22 runs and driving in 21. He started the year with a 16-game hitting streak and was hit by a pitch (6) twice as often as he struck out (3).

Balas closed out his high school career with a .426/.459/.555 with four doubles and a homerun. He scored 13 runs while driving in 14. Knapp hit .258 with 12 runs scored, three doubles and nine RBI. Knapp was second on the team with 14 walks. He was stellar in the field, sporting a .929 fielding percentage with 34 put outs and 31 assists, while committing just five errors. Baldensperger slashed .348/430/.492 with 20 runs scored and another 20 driven in and had three doubles, two triples and a monster grand slam to dead center at Legion Field.

Cummings, coming off a Region 6 Co-MVP season, started slow offensively, but picked things up as the season wore on. He finished with a .322/.468/.559 line scored 16 times and drove in 14. He led the team with 18 free passes and saved his best for last, going 2-3 with a pair of blasts to right and three RBI in the Dragons playoff loss to Meadville.

Betts hit .309 with 12 runs scored and another dozen driven in. He split time between short and left and was solid defensively at both positions.