Jun. 30—Two East Fairmont Bees and one Husky from the state runner-up North Marion team were counted among the Class AA all-state baseball selections, released Wednesday by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
For East Fairmont, senior pitcher Cole Peschl made the first team, and junior centerfielder Clay Hershberger was an honorable mention.
For North Marion, senior catcher Jace Reinhardt nabbed a spot on the first team as a utility player.
It was the first selection for all three players. There was no high school baseball season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peschl had an otherworldly senior campaign, piling up 117 strikeouts over 51 innings pitched with a 0.14 ERA. He tossed two no-hitters and recorded a save. At the plate, Peschl batted .479 to go along with 13 doubles, two triples and two home runs.
"Personally, Cole had a tremendous year, as far as statistics go," East Fairmont head coach Joe Price said. "He gave up 11 runs, only one being earned — 51 innings pitched, 117 strikeouts. The kid was just completely dominant on the mound."
Fellow first-teamer Jace Reinhardt had a season worthy of the recognition, as he lead the Huskies to their first ever state playoff berth, and an upset win over the top-seeded Independence Patriots to send North Marion to the title game. Reinhardt, primarily a catcher, hit .504 with 41 RBIs and 18 doubles.
Reinhardt also excelled on the mound for the Huskies, pitching his best in the biggest moments — including starting a regional game against Frankfort, and the state semifinals against Independence. Reinhardt allowed only two runs in North Marion's 7-2 semifinal victory.
That versatility might have contributed to the senior making the first team as a utility player instead of a catcher.
"I thought he's one of the top catchers in the state," North Marion head coach Vic Seccuro said. "And as a pitcher, what he did in the postseason, it was an unbelievable job. And he's played a little bit of outfield for us as well.
"It's still a great honor, I don't care what position he's listed as."
All three players had the statistics to merit their selections, but their value to their teams went beyond the numbers, their coaches said.
"Coming in, having a senior in cole and a junior in Clay, you expect leadership qualities out of your upperclassmen," Price said. "And they both exhibited the leadership that we need as a team to take the next step, because we played a lot of underclassmen."
"I was really impressed with [Reinhardt's] leadership within the team, he's definitely a team player," Seccuro said. "He always thought about the kids first, and then whatever he did individually, it just happened, and it's because he's just a great player."
Reinhardt will be continuing his baseball career at South Carolina Upstate. Peschl will likewise continue to play in college, joining the University of Charleston Golden Eagles.
"Cole is going to be an extraordinary player in the MEC," Price said of his graduating dual-threat. "He has the ability to be an extraordinary player in the MEC as a two-way guy. I spoke with coach [Robbie] Britt at the University of Charleston, and he's very open to using a two way guy."
When it comes to next season for East Fairmont, Peschl was the lone senior for the Bees in what Coach Price described as an "up-and-down" 10-16 season. Going into next season, Hershberger will have an even larger role for Price's squad.
"Clay's going to play a big part of what we do next year," Price said. "He'll be back in the outfield, and he'll see mound time next year, even more than what he did this year. We're going to lean on Clay pretty heavily as a senior leader, along with the other seniors that we'll have."
Class AA all-state baseball team
P — Collin Cottrell, Sissonville, Jr.
P — Cole Peschl, East Fairmont, Sr.
P — Kyler Morrow, Point Pleasant, Sr.
P — Carson Deeb, Bluefield, Sr.
C — Parker Redden, Shady Spring, Sr.
C — Joel Beattie, Point Pleasant, Sr.
IF — Michael McKinney, Independence, Jr.
IF — Matthew Toops, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
IF — Xavier Lopez, Robert C. Byrd, Sr.
IF — Brayden Arcuri, Lincoln, Jr.
IF — Nick Hamrick, Philip Barbour, Sr.
OF — Atticus Goodson, Independence, Jr.
OF — Korbin Bostic, Logan, Jr.
OF — Hunter Patterson, Oak Glen, Sr.
UTIL — Clay Basham, Independence, So.
UTIL — Dawson Maynard, Logan, So. (captain)
UTIL — Jace Rinehart, North Marion, Sr.
UTIL — Peyton Stover, Winfield, Sr.
P — Tyler Fenwick, Logan, Sr.
P — Alex Epling, Scott, Sr.
P — Will Hunt, Lewis County, Sr.
P — Tyler Kelley, Weir, Jr.
C — Brady Whitacre, Frankfort, Sr. (captain)
C — Nick Grayam, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
IF — Hunter Harmon, Bluefield, Sr.
IF — Dylan Griffith, Sissonville, Sr.
IF — Nick George, Robert C. Byrd, So.
IF — Riley Nicholas, Nicholas County, Sr.
IF — Alex Johnston, Shady Spring, Jr.
OF — Levi Cassidy, Wayne, So.
OF — Brandon Wiley, Bluefield, Sr.
OF — Jeremiah Carpenter, Lincoln, Jr.
UTIL — Cameron Cade, Wayne, Sr.
UTIL — Griffin Miller, Scott, So.
UTIL — Spencer Kenney, WestSide, Sr.
UTIL — Alex Wilson, Philip Barbour, Sr.
Noah Broadwater, Keyser; Carson Brown, Independence; Kerry Collins, Bluefield; Tanner Cook, Robert C. Byrd; Cody Cooper, Philip Barbour; Elijah Farrington, Independence; Coby Gorby, Lincoln; Dylan Grant, Scott; Gage Harman, Robert C. Byrd; Clay Hershberger, East Fairmont; Matthew Hutson, Liberty Harrison; Chase Jackson, Wayne; Will Kirkendall, Chapmanville; Andy Lester, Independence; Grant Lowther, Robert C. Byrd; Andrew Lynch, Frankfort; Griffin Miller, Scott; Thatcher Poteat, Shady Spring; Brayden Queen, Wayne; Jake Ramey, Logan; Bryson Redmond, Bluefield; Brandon Simpson, Wyoming East; Carson Stotler, Berkeley Springs; Kobey Taylor-Williams, PikeView; Andrew Westfall, Frankfort; Garrett Williamson, Logan; Alex Wilson, Philip Barbour; David Young, Shady Spring
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