CLARION, Pa. – Hunter Fitzingo was a key cog in Moniteau’s run to the District 9 Class 2A baseball title this season both at the plate and on the mound, and, as a result, Fitzingo is the 2019 D9Sports.com District 9 Baseball Most Valuable Player.
(Photo of Moniteau’s Hunter Fitzingo. Photo by Mike Schnelle)
Joining Fitzingo in being honored by D9Sports.com are DuBois Central Catholic’s Justin Miknis as the Offensive Player of the Year, Clarion’s Chase Kriebel and St. Marys’ Nate Beimel as the co-Pitchers of the Year, Kriebel as the Rookie of the Year and Elk County Catholic’s James Slay as the Coach of the Year.
2019 D9SPORTS.COM BASEBALL AWARD WINNERS
MVP: Hunter Fitzingo, Moniteau, Senior
Fitzingo hit .426 with a 1.183 OPS for the Warriors, who beat Coudersport for the District 9 title.
He was also the ace of the Moniteau pitching staff going 4-1 with a 2.07 ERA. In 54 innings of work, he struck out 81 and walked 17. Opponents hit just .182 against him.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justin Miknis, DuBois Central Catholic, Senior
Miknis, a catcher, hit .500 (27 of 54) for the Cardinals this season and also walked 14 times giving him an on-base percentage of .600. He also had four home runs, eight doubles and 17 RBIs and finished with a 1.470 OPS. In 70 plate appearances, he struck out just three times.
Miknis has a scholarship to Kent State and was also drafted in the 35th round of the MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
CO-PITCHERS OF THE YEAR: Chase Kriebel, Clarion, Freshman and Nate Beimel, St. Marys, Senior
Both of these left-handed hurlers had dominating seasons for their respective playoff squads.
Kriebel burst onto the scene as a freshman and quickly became the Bobcats ace going 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA. In 43 ⅓ innings of work, he struck out 97 and walked just 14. Opponents hit a meager .088 against him.
Beimel, who earns Pitcher of the Year honors for the second straight season, was just as good going 5-2 with a 0.83 ERA. In 42 innings of work he struck out 98 and walked 29. Opponents hit .134 against him.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Chase Kriebel, Clarion
In addition to his excellence on the mound (0.32 ERA), Kriebel was also solid at the plate for Clarion hitting .298 with three doubles, a triple and 14 RBIs.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR: James Slay, Elk County Catholic
In his first year as manager of the Crusaders, Slay helped guide ECC from the No. 5 seed in the District 9 Class 1A playoffs to the District 9 championship. His team was the lone D9 baseball team to win a PIAA playoff game advancing to the quarterfinals.
Maybe more impressive, ECC started the year slowly going just 4-5 through April 17 but finished the season winning 12 of its final 16 games. That included an incredible turnaround in the D9 semifinals against DuBois Central Catholic, a team the Crusaders lost to twice in the regular season by scores of identical 10-0 scores. But in the postseason, ECC beat DCC, 8-6, to advance to the D9 title game where it beat Otto-Eldred. The May 24 playoff win over the Cardinals came just nine days after the second 10-0 loss to DCC.