With the 2019 high school baseball season officially coming to a close for all area teams last week the Williamson Daily News chose its 2019 All-Area Baseball Team earlier this week and Belfry senior Avery Browning was named captain of the elite squad.
Browning was a four-year starter on the diamond for longtime Belfry coach Michael Hagy who flourished his senior season both at the plate and on the mound.
He finished the year with a 4-1 record on the bump with a sparkling 1.15 ERA in a team high 48.2 innings pitched. He only allowed 40 base hits all season long and struck out 49 batters while only allowing 25 free passes.
He also led the team in saves with three.
At the plate Browning finished with the second highest batting average on the team as hit .434 on the season with seven doubles, three triples, one home run and 24 RBIs.
He was arguably the toughest No. 9 hitter in the entire 15th Region to get out as he only struck out nine times all season and drew 11 walks.
Browning, who was also a two-year starter at quarterback for coach Philip Haywood, was a perfect 11 for 11 in stolen bases and scored 33 runs which was second on the team.
He helped lead the Pirates to a 20-10 record in the 2019 season and a berth in the 15th Region Tournament for the first time since 2015.
Joining Browning on the 2019 All-Area Team are teammates Brett Coleman, Kaleb Taylor, Austin Fields, Sean Cochran, and Logan Windle as well as Andrew Allen, Daylin Goad, Lance Lester, and Ashton Deskins from Mingo Central, Ethan Varney and Dakota Vance from Tug Valley, and Brandon Turnmire from Phelps.
Here is a capsule look at the rest of the WDN All-Area selections:
Andrew Allen: Allen played shortstop for the past three seasons for the Miners and was their ace on the mound as he went 5-1 during his senior season with beautiful a 1.69 ERA and 49 strikeouts with only 22 walks in 53 innings pitched. He pitched Mingo Central to their first ever victory over Logan beating the Wildcats 2-1 in sectional play.
Allen also hit .347 at the plate with four doubles, two triples, seven RBI, 12 stolen bases and 20 runs scored. He has signed to continue his career with Alice Lloyd.
Ethan Varney: Varney was once again the top-pitcher on a Tug Valley squad that won two games in sectional play but fell to eventual state semifinalist Huntington St. Joe.
He played all over the diamond defensively but his best position is behind the plate. He was also the Panthers top hitter finishing with a batting average above .450 with 25 stolen bases.
Logan Windle: The freshman was the starting backstop for the second straight season for the Pirates and consistently batted at the top of the order all season long. He finished the season with a .292 average with two doubles, one triple, and 26 RBIs which was second on the team. He also displayed an above average eye as he drew 19 walks on the season, second on the team, while only striking out 12 times.
Brandon Turnmire: The south-paw has been one of the top athletes on the campus of Phelps High School for the past few years and continued to prove that this spring. He was the de-facto ace for first year coach William Stevens and also batted leadoff with a batting average above .400. He also stole over 20 bases on the year and played centerfield when not on the mound.
Kaleb Taylor: Taylor had another dynamic year for coach Michael Hagy at the plate as he consistently set the table batting leadoff finishing with a .404 average, four doubles, one home run, and 20 RBIs. He led the team in a wide margin with 44 runs score and was one of the leaders in stolen bases in the 15th Region as he swiped 30 bags in 32 attempts. On the bump, he was the Pirates No 2 pitcher and finished with a 4-4 record and a 4.17 ERA in 43.2 innings pitched. He led the team with 50 strikeouts and only struck out 24 batters.
Daylin Goad: Goad made a name for himself last fall on the gridiron and continued to show that he is one of the top multi-sport athletes in the area. He was the most powerful bat in the Miners lineup as he led the team in extra base-hits with nine.
"Day Day" finished with a .353 average, to go with seven doubles, one triple, one home run, 13 RBIs, and 19 runs scored. He also threw 21.1 innings on the mound for coach Logan Lester and struck out 26 batters but also walked 29.
Brett Coleman: The three-sport athlete flourished this season at the plate for the Pirates as he led the team with a .439 batting average and also led the team in walks with 20 while only striking out 13 times all year. He had three doubles and a triple and knocked in 23 runs while scoring 33 of his own and swiping 15 bases on 15 attempts while patrolling centerfield on the defensive side of the ball. He also pitched 23 innings on the mound and finished with a 2-2 record and a 3.65 ERA but struggled with his control as he walked 31 batters and struck out 17.
Dakota Vance: The senior has been a model of consistency at Tug Valley over his four-year career at both the plate and on the mound.This past season he hit in the middle of coach John Varney's lineup all season long and helped lead the Panthers to an 8-19 record. He drew the start on the mound against several of the Panthers toughest opponents in 2019. He finished the season with a batting average above .375. He is also the founder of the Tug Valley area bass team.
Sean Cochran: The junior slugger came up huge more times than not for the Pirates in 2019 as he routinely delivered base-hits with runners on base. He led the team in RBIs with 29 and finished with a .358 batting average including six doubles.
In Belfry's win in the 15th Region Tournament against Shelby Valley he led the way with a 3-5 performance including a double and two RBIs. He was primarily the designated hitter for coach Hagy but also played some at first base.
Ashton Deskins: The freshman from Williamson had big expectations this season stepping up to the high school level and he lived up to those in a big way. He led Mingo Central in batting average as he hit at a .355 clip and also led the way in RBIs with 17. He was first on the team with 17 walks in 2019 while only striking out 14 times all season long against tough Cardinal Conference pitching. Deskins played all over the diamond for coach Logan Lester and will be expected to contribute more on the mound in the future.
Austin Fields: Fields was the most powerful bat in the Pirate lineup in 2019 as he led the team in extra base hits with 12. He finished the year with a .312 average and stroked 11 doubles, one home run, and knocked in 23 runs while scoring 23 of his own.
He blasted a grand slam deep over the left-field fence in a 17-4 win over Logan County foe Man early in the season. He also played all over the infield for coach Michael Hagy.
Lance Lester: What the senior first baseman lacked in size and athleticism he made up for with hard work and a high baseball IQ as he carved himself out a solid high school baseball career for the Miners.
After a slow start in 2019 he ended the season hitting .329 with five doubles while knocking in 10 runs. He was a vacuum defensively over at first base the last three-years for coach Logan Lester.
2019 WDN All-Area Team
C- Logan Windle- Fr. – Belfry
IF- Daylin Goad - So. - MCHS
IF- Dakota Vance - Sr. – TVHS
IF – Lance Lester – Sr. – MCHS
OF – Brandon Turnmire – Sr. – Phelps
OF – Brett Coleman – So. – Belfry
Util – Kaleb Taylor – Jr. – Belfry
Util – Ashton Deskins – Fr. – MCHS
Util – Austin Fields – Sr. – Belfry
P – Ethan Varney – Jr. - TVHS
P – Avery Browning – Sr. – Belfry (Captain)
P – Andrew Allen – Sr. – MCHS
DH – Sean Cochran – Jr. – Belfry
Special Honorable Mention: Justin Hall, Alex Vance, Kobe Smith (Tug Valley), Levi Davis, Tyler Slone, Isa Scales, Jace Dotson (Mingo Central), Garrett Clevenger, Riley Dotson (Phelps), Wyatt Webb (Belfry).
Jarrid McCormick is a sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.