Panther baseball team wraps up season 3rd in the region
The Rugby PanthersBaseball Team won a third place finish in the Region Tournament held at Corbett Field in Minot. With the change in the league after two regions were combined, Rugby was a member of the toughest league in the state and was rated second in that league, according to Coach Jim Cameron.
“I think we did real well,” said Cameron. “We beat the team that was rated as #1 in the state all season, Minot Ryan.”
Highlights for Rugby in the region tournament include when Andrew Hershey drove in two RBIs and Zach Thompson added another one, all in the first game of the tourney. One of the highlights of the season was when Alex McClintock hit a home run against North Star.
End-of-the-season awards were presented, recently, and they went to: Garrett Thompson, Most Valuable Player, Garrett and Zach Thompson, Most Valuable Pitchers, Jayden Welk, Best Defense and Riley Olsen, Highest Batting Average.
Rugby ended its season with a win-loss record of 12-6. Riley Olsen had the highest batting average on the team at .343. followed by two pitchers, Garrett Thompson with .334 and Zach Thompson at .303. Zach Leer, left fielder, with a .297 batting average will be back to play again next year.
“My outfielders were great this year,” said Cameron. “Wyatt Thompson, and Riley Olsen will be leaving, but Zach Leer stays.”
“I will have a building team next year,” said Cameron. “I will lose five seniors, all starters.”
He will have four returning starters on which to build, however, he is losing his whole pitching squad.
“Pitching will be the biggest area to build,” he said.
Graduated seniors include: Zach Thompson and Garrett Thompson both pitchers, Wyatt Thompson, left tfielder, Riley Olsen, oufielder, and Alex McClintock, third base.
“Zach Berube will be back,’ said his coach. “He has done a great job at shortstop.”
Jayden Welk will also be back. “Welk anchors the infield,” added Cameron.
The team will also have an experienced catcher in Andrew Hershey who will be coming back next year.
Cameron has a real soft spot in his heart for this particular team. He has coached them since the very beginning starting around when they were midgets.
“They were a lot of fun,” he said. “I love coaching boys who want to learn.”
In fact eight of these starting nine went to state in 2008 in Babe Ruth together and Jim was their coach.
“I enjoyed coaching them,” said Cameron. “I got to watch them grow in baseball and in stature and character.”
Cameron is going to miss them, but he is also looking forward to building another team and watching them grow.
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