2018 Superior Telegram All-Area Baseball Team
The 2018 Superior Telegram All-Area Baseball team includes just one returning player and a mix of upper and lower classmen.
Making up this year’s squad are five seniors, four juniors and one sophomore and freshman.
Northwestern junior Nate Sedin is the 2018 Telegram Player of the Year. Tigers teammates on the squad are junior Carson Holsclaw; sophomore Jake Brill; and freshman Dylan Ronchi.
Superior Spartans honored are seniors Drake Samarzia, Mason Moen and Brandon Wing, the only member of the 2017 team; and juniors Isaac Rios and Ben Rhodes.
Honored from Solon Springs are seniors Chase Latvala and Ethan Skaggs.
Other players nominated were Superior’s Judd Erickson; Northwestern’s Gabe Beeksma; and Solon Springs’ Dane Banks and Noah Stano.
NOTES: Superior won its second straight Lake Superior Conference title, while Northwestern finished second in the Heart O’ North Conference.
Jr. • P/IF/DH • Northwestern
- The 2018 Superior Telegram Player of the Year had a batting average of .507. He was 35-of-69, including nine doubles, 28 RBIs and 15 runs scored. ... On the mound he was 5-1 with 30 strikeouts, 20 walks and 17 earned runs over 38 innings.
- Was first-team all-conference and named to the WBCA All-Northwest District team.
- “Justin was our most dependable player this season,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “He was a workhorse on the mound and an example to our younger players. He is an exceptional baseball player.”
Sr. • SS • Solon Springs
- Team leader in hits (15) and doubles (three); second in average (.395); and third in slugging percentage (.474), OPS (.963) and RBIs (nine). He also scored 12 runs and struck out only twice.
- First-team All-Indianhead Conference.
- “Four-year starter who reluctantly moved back to shortstop out of need for this year,” SSHS coach Nate Ahlberg said. “He matured at the plate and looked to hit the ball to the opposite field more often. He even laid down a couple of successful bunt hits. Solid final season for Chase.”
Jr. • SS • Superior
- Led the Spartans in average (.373), hits (25), doubles (2), triples (2) and hit by pitches (9). He was also third in RBIs (12) and runs scored (16). ... On the mound he struck out 10 batters in 8.1 innings.
- Honorable mention -All Lake Superior Conference.
- “Ben was our most consistent hitter and was often the spark plug that helped our offense go,” SHS coach Don Dembroski said. “A very good leadoff hitter with a OBP over .500, a team captain, one of our most focused competitors, and a mainstay at shortstop.”
Sr. • P/3B • Superior
- Led all Superior pitchers with a 6-2 record, 27 strikeouts and a .866 ERA in 32.1 innings. ... Only four of the eight runs scored off him were unearned. ... On offense he batted .279 with 12 hits, seven RBIs and nine runs scored.
- “Drake had an excellent season on the mound,” SHS coach Don Dembroski. “His WHIP, BAA, control and ERA were good enough to rank him up there with the best we’ve had since 2000. A versatile player, Drake started as an outfielder and didn’t start working as a pitcher until late into his sophomore year.”
Sr. • 3B • Solon Springs
- Team leader in runs scored (16), doubles (3) and home runs (1); second in RBIs (12), OBP (.532), slugging (.529) and OPS (1.061); and third in average (.353).
- Only struck out once this season.
- All-Indianhead Conference honorable mention.
- “Four-year starter that anchored third base for us this season,” SSHS coach Nate Ahlberg said. “Ethan has hit well for average in previous seasons, but added some much-needed power to our lineup this year.”
So. • 3B/SS/LF • Northwestern
- A batting average of .453 (29-for-64) included one home run, four triples and 10 doubles. He also scored 30 runs, stole 14 bases and walked 18 times. … He also had a 3-1 pitching record with 25 strikeouts, 19 walks and 16 earned runs in 23-plus innings.
- He was a first-team infielder on the Heart O’ North All-Conference baseball team.
- “Jake is a versatile infielder and leadoff hitter who has the ability to make great plays in the field and at the plate,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “He is a leader on and off the field.”
Sr. • P/DH • Superior
- Was second on the team with a .370 batting average and hits (20). ... On the mound he was 2-0 with a save, 19 strikeouts and a 2.864 ERA over 14.2 innings.
- Second-team All-Lake Superior Conference.
- “Mason had a great senior season and was our most improved player,” SHS coach Don Dembroski said. “He raised his average by over .250 points in 2018, and, although he was our regular DH, he was also a crafty lefty on the mound and can play first base. A great team player who always keeps his composure.”
Jr. • OF • Superior
- Was one of the Spartans’ top three hitters all season, leading the team in extra base hits (5), RBIs (15), slugging (.536) and OPS (.998). …
- Finished with .357 batting average. His 20 hits included two home runs, a triple and two doubles.
- “He did a nice job in the middle of the lineup this year and helped us score runs,” SHS coach Don Dembroski said. “His inside-the-park home run against Denfeld was turning point in that conference game.”
Fr. • 2B • Northwestern
- Had a breakout freshman season, batting .380 (21-for-55) with 13 runs scored, 15 RBIs and nine walks.
- Second-team infielder on the Heart O’ North Conference all-conference baseball team.
- “Dylan stepped up as a freshman, hitting well over .400 in HON play,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “He is a fundamentally sound baseball player who was a very dependable second baseman. He has very bright future ahead of him.”
Jr. • OF • Northwestern
- Sported a .500 average and among his 35 hits were a triple and eight doubles. He also stole 10 bases, scored 24 runs and walked nine times.
- A first-team outfielder on the Heart O’ North All-Conference baseball team.
- “Carson worked extremely hard to become our leading hitter in conference play,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “He has great plate discipline, and he was extremely valuable defensively, moving from infield to center field midway through the year due to injuries.”
Sr. • P • Superior
- Was near the top of all pitching categories. He was second in innings (32), record (4-2), ERA (.875), and earned runs (4). Also third with 17 strikeouts.
- First-team All-Lake Superior Conference.
- “Brandon was one of our top pitchers once again,” SHS coach Don Dembroski said. “His ERA ranks him among the best since 2000. We don’t win back-to-back conference championships with his arm. One of the great character guys on the team, a true selfless player, who always encouraged his teammates and was willing to do whatever was best for the team.”