All-GVC baseball honors for nine county players

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

While baseball season in Maries County may have ended without a district title for either Belle’s Tigers or Vienna’s Eagles, a total of nine county baseball players earned recognition from the coaches of the Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) and the Class 3, District 9 Baseball Tournament.

Named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the GVC was Vienna senior pitcher Logan Agan.

At the plate, Agan led the Eagles with 35 hits, 25 singles, four home runs, 27 runs batted in (RBI), 29 runs scored and 11 walks.

He also posted team highs in batting average (.449), on-base percentage (.538) and slugging percentage (.692).

Pitching in 12 games in a team-high 51 innings, Agan led the team with a 6-4 record while striking out a team-high 103 batters to go along with a mere 22 walks. He also led the team with a low 1.33 earned-run average (ERA).

Fellow Eagles on the All-GVC Baseball First Team included Dylan Buschmann, McCrae Fuller and Gavin Stricklan.

Buschmann batted .395 while tying for the team lead in double with six alongside Stricklan. Those two along with Agan and Fuller each had a triple to tie for the team lead.

Fuller was also a key arm for the Eagle pitching staff.

Pitching 37 innings in 14 games, Fuller had a 5-2 record with one save. He also struck out 47 batters compared to 20 walks.

Stricklan led the team in saves with two while pitching in 11 games to go with two starts.

Posting a 1-1 record, Gavin struck out 22 batters while walking only nine.

Chris Feeler’s Belle Tigers also had four players named to the All-GVC First Team.

Spending most of his time behind the plate doing the catching, Jat Ridenhour was at or near the top in several offensive categories.

Leading the team with 31 hits, Jat saw 15 go for singles to go along with a team-high 12 doubles.

He also record one triple along with Dylan Light and Mason Butler to tie for the team lead.

Ridenhour also played long ball the most often leading the team with three home runs.

Nearly getting a hit in every other at bat, Jat led the team with a .484 batting average to go along with a .600 slugging percentage and an .844 on-base percentage.

Primarily in the infield, Feeler played in all 23 games for the Tigers.

He was third on the team in runs scored with 24 and the most patient person at the plate drawing a team-high 19 walks.

Starting six games and seeing the pitching mound in 11 total contests, Feeler finished with a 4-1 record to go along with 29 strikeouts and 14 walks. He also had a team-low 1.23 earned-run average.

Finishing his career as a Belle Tiger, Fortner logged a team-high 55 innings pitched recording a five wins against two losses to lead the team in victories.

In spite of allowing a team-high 51 hits, the future William Woods Owl struck out a team-leading 68 batters while walking only 14 batters.

Equally as good at the plate, Fortner recorded 25 hits in 62 at-bats giving himself a .403 batting average good for second place on the team behind Ridenhour.

Rounding out Maries County’s contingency of All-GVC First Team baseball players was Mason Butler.

Also seeing action in all 23 games, Butler was third on the team with 26 hits, second in singles with 19 and second on the team with 29 runs scored.

Belle’s final All-GVC selection was Honorable Mention player Ethan Loughridge.

Joining Butler and Feeler seeing action in all 23 games, Loughridge was second on the team with 28 hits while posting a team-high 22 singles.

Edging Ridenhour, Loughridge led the Tigers with 29 RBIs.

Close behind Ridenhour and Fortner, Loughridge was third in the batting race for the Tigers posting a .389 batting average.

Aside from Maries County’s eight first-team selections, other All-GVC First Team nods went to Garrett Marshall (Steelville), Ryan Karl (Cuba), Connor Gipson (Cuba), Kadin Norris (Steelville), Tyler Lewis (Bourbon), Rylee Mabe (Steelville) and Austin Clayton (Cuba).

Additional honorable mention selections along with Loughridge were James Young (Steelville), Eric Sansouci (Bourbon), Cameron Payne (Viburnum) and Wyatt Whittaker (Cuba).

Additional postseason honors from the coaches in the MSHSAA Class 3, District 9 Baseball Tournament at Cuba went to the Belle quintet of Ridenhour, Feeler, Fortner, Butler and Loughridge.

Ridenhour was also named the MVP of the district tournament in spite of the Tigers falling to Linn 8-3 in eight innings in the Class 3, District tournament semifinals at Cuba High School.