By Matthew Davis
With input from area baseball coaches, the Sun Focus All-Area Baseball Team for 2017 has been selected. These players helped their teams success this spring as all four area schools won at least one section tournament game. Many of the following players return next year to help their squads improve.
Will Rog, senior, Totino-Grace – Rog hit .314 and posted 16 RBI and two home runs in 70 at-bats. He made All-Northwest Suburban Conference honorable mention.
Adam Craine, junior, Fridley – Craine caught for all but three of the Tigers’ games. He also made noise with his bat as he drove in 20 runs and scored 12, including a home run, this spring. He had a .344 average at the plate, which included seven doubles.
Kyle Halverson, senior, Totino-Grace – Halverson batted .380 and had 13 RBIs, six doubles and a tripe in 79 plate appearances. He earned All-Northwest Suburban Conference honors and made the Metro North all-star team.
Charlie Waters, senior, Totino-Grace – Waters posted 16 RBIs and five doubles in a .355 season at the plate in 76 appearances. The Eagles senior played catcher on defense and earned All-Northwest Suburban Conference honors.
Isaac Becker, freshman, Columbia Heights – Becker led the Hylanders in RBI with 22 and hit .308 in 65 plate appearances. He also scored 18 runs and had nine extra-base hits. Becker also pitched and went 2-1 and collected a save in 12 innings of work.
Carson Schicker, sophomore, Irondale – Schicker batted .329, drove in eight runs and scored 15 for the Knights. He made big plays in center field and had just two errors in 57 fielding attempts.
Caleb Brandt, junior, Fridley – Brandt had 30 stolen bases, the highest amount in the state this spring. He also had top-10 marks in batting at .453, RBIs at 25 and runs at 27. He reached the base paths in half of his plate appearances with a .500 on base percentage.
Nolan Neilson, senior, Totino-Grace – Neilson went .319 in 90 at-bats, including a home run and five doubles. Neilson made lots of defensive plays and earned All-Northwest Suburban Conference honorable mention.
Dylan Lentz, junior, Columbia Heights – Lentz had a 1.64 regular season ERA and a 3-0 record. He struck out 21 batters in 21 1/3 innings. He also stepped up at the plate with a .310 batting average, 10 RBI and seven runs scored.
Blake Miesen, senior, Columbia Heights – Miesen had a 1.78 ERA and a 3-3 record on the mound. He fanned 24 batters in 43 1/3 innings of work. He also chipped in offensively with 11 RBI and 18 runs scored on .317 batting.
Evan Shaw, sophomore, Fridley – Shaw had an 8-2 record and two saves with a 1.307 ERA and 87 strikeouts. He walked 10 batters all season in 75 innings of work.
Noah Couwenhoven, junior, Fridley – Couwenhoven gave the Tigers a force anywhere he played. He batted .349 with 19 RBIs and 12 runs scored. He also pitched with a 6-4 record and two saves in 55 innings of work. He struck out 76 batters and had a 2.418 ERA.
Dylan Irving, junior, Irondale – Irving threw 46 innings and and went 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA. He started eight games overall as the team’s top pitcher, but he also spent time at first base. He made two errors in 62 fielding opportunities.
Carter Jorgensen, sophomore, Irondale – Jorgensen had a 2.80 ERA in 30 innings pitched. He also fielded effectively as a third baseman with just five errors in 48 fielding attempts.
Follow the Sun Focus on Twitter at @MnSunFocus and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SunFocus