CENTENARY, Ohio — In more ways than one, this was a “Final Four” for the Gallia Academy High School baseball team.
That’s because the Blue Devils — in their final season as a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League — landed four players on the 2016 all-SEOAL baseball all-league club, which was announced on Thursday.
This is also the first, and actually only, season for the soon-to-be defunct SEOAL to feature four full-time members.
Gallia Academy is a charter member of the league, along with Jackson and Logan, but the Blue Devils and Blue Angels are now full-time members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
How fitting, then, that Gallia Academy’s final four all-league honorees are all seniors.
The Blue Devils’ first-teamers are catcher Anthony Sipple and infielder Eric Ward, while infielder Matt Bailey and outfielder/pitcher Kole Carter captured Honorable Mention.
Sipple is the Blue Devils’ only first-team repeater from a year ago, while Ward and Bailey both made Honorable Mention last season.
Gallia Academy’s (2-4) only wins in SEOAL play this spring were against winless Logan (0-6).
Jackson, which won its third consecutive league championship, and Warren won the league with identical 5-1 records.
Those two teams won on their home fields by a single run (2-1 at Jackson and 8-7 at Warren) in walkoff fashion.
They also shared the Coach of the Year honor, with Jackson’s Josh McGraw and Warren’s Ryan Lemley landing the award.
McGraw repeated as COY, while Jackson senior Hunter Sexton did the same as Player of the Year.
Sexton secured first-team honors for the third straight season, as did Logan junior catcher Hunter Krannitz.
The other Ironmen first-teamers along with Sexton were first-time honorees — junior catcher Billy Cooper, senior outfielder Collin Massie and senior second baseman Lukas White.
Lane Little — a senior shortstop — landed Logan’s other first-team spot, while Warren tied Jackson with four first-team selections.
The Warriors’ first-team foursome featured senior catcher Jake Davis and senior shortstop Trace Schafer, along with junior infielders Bryce Gandee and Tanner Proctor.
Proctor repeated to the first team, while Davis made Honorable Mention last year.
Speaking of Honorable Mention, all four squads automatically received two choices.
Jackson senior pitcher Logan Largent repeated, as Ironmen senior outfielder Tyler Storms also made all-league two years ago.
Warren juniors Tanner Neal and Chase Weihl were its two picks, along with Logan’s duo of senior Denny Powers and sophomore Gage Sisek.
Sisek, in fact, was the only sophomore or even freshman on the entire list.
The all-SEOAL baseball unit is selected by the league’s coaches, with a panel of print media which cover the league voting for Player of the Year.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106