Rio Grande baseball standouts recognized

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande was well-represented in the 2019 All-River States Conference Baseball Teams and Awards, which were announced Thursday night during the RSC Baseball Championship at VA Memorial Stadium.

The All-RSC Baseball First & Second Teams were unveiled, along with the RSC Gold Glove Team, the RSC Champions of Character Team and the big individual awards for RSC Player, Pitcher, Coach and Freshman of the Year.

Rio junior catcher Dylan Shockley (Minford, OH) was named RSC Baseball Player of the Year for the second season in a row, while his teammate, senior Zach Harvey (Kenova, WV) was chosen as RSC Pitcher of the Year.

Shockley batted .380 with 20 doubles, four triples, four homers and 38 RBIs. He has 71 hits in 52 games and has also thrown out 15 base runners as catcher.

As a pitcher, he has appeared in 14 games as a closer with a 4-0 record, 2.08 ERA and six saves.

Harvey is the top starting pitcher in the conference at 11-2 with a 2.52 ERA. He has 109 strikeouts in 89.1 innings, four complete games and three shutouts. Opponents hit .234 against him this year.

Manny Cervantes, in his fifth year as head coach at Asbury (Ky.) University, was picked as RSC Coach of the Year. The Eagles also had shortstop Trevor Campbell named RSC Freshman of the Year.

Cervantes earned top coach honors by leading the Eagles into the playoffs and winning the season series verus three of the six postseason teams. Asbury took a record of 24-20 overall, 15-12 RSC into the playoffs.

Campbell, a shortstop and lead-off hitter, was named the best freshman hitting .372 with 55 hits, both team-highs for the Eagles. He also amassed five doubles, four triples and three home runs during the year.

The All-RSC Baseball First Team included 17 players — four starting pitchers, one relief pitcher, two catchers, four infielders, four outfielders, a designated hitter and a utility player. The All-RSC Second Team recognized 18 more players with an additional relief pitcher being named.

Rio Grande had a total of four players on the All-RSC First Team to tie for the league-most. Joining Shockley and Harvey on that squad were freshman second baseman Clayton Surrell (Carroll, OH) and senior outfielder David Rodriguez (Santo Domingo, D.R.).

IU Kokomo also had four players on the first team with those being starting pitcher Owen Callaghan, first baseman Dalton Clarke, outfielder Jared Heard and designated hitter Austin Weiler.

IU Southeast and Point Park (Pa.) University had three players on the first team. The Grenadiers placed three pitchers with starters Chas Adams and Jack Wohlert and reliever Kyle Hawkins. Point Park received first-team mention for catcher Luis Mujica, third baseman Erik Montero and outfielder Ed Pfluger.

Asbury had utility player Paul Haupt join Campbell on the first team. Midway (Ky.) University placed outfielder Kurt Paldino on the first team.

The All-RSC Second Team had the 18 players come from eight different teams. IU Southeast had the most with four named followed by IU Kokomo and Asbury with two each.

Rio Grande senior shortstop Michael Rodriguez (Santo Domingo, D.R.) was the RedStorm’s lone second team selection.

The RSC Gold Glove team named one player from each position who was the best defensively in the league. IU Kokomo led the honors with five players named. The Cougars had their entire outfield, first base and shortstop represented.

Shockley was Rio’s lone Gold Glove pick at catcher.

The league also named a Champions of Character Team, identifying one player from each school who best displays the NAIA Champions of Character trailts of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. These players were nominated by their head coaches.

Freshman pitcher Trevor Gerstenberger (Jackson, OH) was Rio’s representative on the list.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.