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VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: ATHENS' FORBES REPEATS AS BASEBALL "PLAYER OF THE YEAR" — TIOGA'S SIMMONS, HENDERSHOT, MANUEL AND SAYRE'S ROCKWELL ALSO EARN ACCOLADES (9 PHOTOS) (2015-06-26)

Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — It was quite a high school baseball season in the Valley with all four schools winning at least one postseason game and all four teams featuring numerous players earning postseason accolades.

It made doling out the Valley Sports Report honors a difficult chore, but in the end Athens senior Tyler Forbes stood out as “Player of the Year” for the second consecutive year, while Tioga senior Peter Simmons is the “Pitcher of the Year,”  his teammate sophomore Parker Hendershot is the “Offensive Player of the Year,” and Sayre freshman Jordan Rockwell is the “Newcomer of the Year.”

Forbes has been the cornerstone of the Wildcat pitching staff since bursting onto the scene with a 3-0 record his freshman year.

This season against rugged competition in the NTL, Forbes was 3-3 with two saves and a 1.59 ERA. He fanned 60 and walked eight in 32 2/3 innings and allowed opponents to hit just .118.

At the plate, Forbes hit .450 with nine doubles in 27 hits, seven steals, 19 runs scored and 23 RBI. He struck out just once in 75 plate appearances.

The Tigers’ ace for four years, Simmons posted a 6-2 record with a 2.69 ERA in his senior season. He fanned 98 and walked 17 in 67 innings on the mound.

Simmons graduates as the school’s all-time winningest pitcher with 25 career wins (against just four losses) and also tied the school record, previously set by his father Randy Simmons in 1985, for strikeouts in a game with 17.

Hendershot had an amazing season at the plate with a new school-record 49 hits and a .521 batting average. He also had a .583 on-base percentage and led the team with 41 runs scored, 33 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

He also had 19 extra-base hits — 12 doubles, five triples and two home runs — for an .819 slugging percentage and had an astronomical 1.402 OPS.

Rockwell immediately became the Redskins No. 1 starter and their starting shortstop. He was 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA on the mound, striking out striking out 22 and walking 15 in 34 innings.

At the plate, Rockwell hit .254 (15 hits in 59 ABs), but drew 16 walks and was hit by a pitch for a .485 on-base percentage. He had two doubles, one triple and seven RBI, while stealing seven bases and scoring 22 runs.

Waverly senior Zac Saxon and Manuel — both center fielders — both have blazing speed and get good jumps on fly balls. The combination makes both outstanding defenders and earns them “Co-Defensive Player of the Year” honors.

Longtime Tioga skipper Bob Seymour piloted his team to its first state playoff appearance in 30 years, culminating in a trip to the semifinals. The Tigers ended the year ranked fourth in the state with a record of 19-3, earning Seymour 2015 “Coach of the Year” honors.

The 2015 “All-Valley Baseball Super 7”
Tyler Forbes, senior, Athens:
See above.

Peter Simmons, senior, Tioga: While his pitching numbers (see above) were tremendous, Simmons also contributed in a big way at the plate, hitting .358 (29 hits) with 23 runs scored and 24 RBI.

Parker Hendershot, sophomore, Tioga:
While he enjoyed a record-breaking season at the plate (see above), Hendershot also enjoyed a strong season on the mound. He was 5-1 with a 1.39 ERA and fanned 40 and walked 10 in 26 innings.

Jesse Manuel, junior, Tioga:
A speedy outfielder with incredible range, Manuel hit .316 (25 hits) with 31 runs, 13 RBI and nine stolen bases.

On the mound, Manuel was 7-0 with a 2.79 ERA. He fanned 67 and walked just 13 in 42 innings of work.

Matt Williams, sophomore, Sayre: An outstanding defensive first baseman, Williams hit . 421 (24 hits in 57 ABs) with 14 walks and was hit by pitches three times for an on-base percentage of .554. He had four doubles, two triples, 10 stolen bases and 24 RBI.

Zane Vargason, senior, Athens:
A big and fast outfielder with good range defensively, Vargason hit .448 (26 hits in 58 at-bats) with 13 walks and a .579 on-base percentage. He had six doubles, four triples, nine stolen bases, 27 runs scored and 26 RBI.

He also appeared in two games on the mound with a 1-0 record. He pitched four innings with allowing a run, striking out five and walking two.
 
Zac Saxon, senior, Waverly:
A speedy outfielder who covered a lot of ground, Saxon hit .333 (20 hits in 60 ABs) and walked a team-best 24 times for a team-high .551 on-base percentage. He also had a team-high 12 extra-base hits — eight doubles and four triples — for a .600 slugging percentage and a 1.151 OPS.

Saxon also scored 30 runs scored and recorded 16 stolen bases. He had 20 RBI and was hit by pitches a team-high five times.

The 2015 “All-Valley” baseball team:

Catcher: Mitchell Taylor. freshman, Tioga: Taylor was inserted into the started line-up on Opening Day after junior Tanner Folk broke his foot. He responded by playing well defensively and hitting .392 (29 hits) and had a .454 on-base percentage. He also scored 32 runs and had 23 RBI.

First Base: Kyle Kinsley, senior, Waverly:
A very good defensive first baseman, Kinsley hit .347 (25 hits in 72 ABs). He also drew 19 walks for a .489 on-base percentage, and had a .500 slugging percentage and a .989 OPS. He scored 31 runs and had 15 RBI and six extra-base hits, including three doubles and two home runs.

Second base: Ben Rubert, senior, Athens:
A very good defender, Rubert had a knack for getting the big hit or making the big defensive play.

Shortstop: Parker Hendershot, sophomore, Tioga: See above.

Third base: Collin Traub, senior, Waverly: An excellent defender at the hot corner, Traub hit .250 (19 hits in 76 ABs) with 14 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Extra infielder: Peyton Miller, junior, Waverly: A slick-fielding shortstop with a strong arm, Miller hit .321 (25 hits in 78 ABs) with six doubles, 15 RBI and 24 runs scored. He also stole 12 bases.

Outfield: Luke Newman, sophomore, Athens: Newman was a clutch hitter and run-producer for the Wildcats. He hit .364 (24 hits in 77 ABs) with 10 walks and a .455 on-base percentage. He had six doubles, one triple, one homer run and 28 RBI with 16 runs scored and five stolen bases.

Outfield: Jesse Manuel, junior, Tioga: See above

Outfield: Zane Vargason, senior, Athens: See above.

Outfield: Zac Saxon, senior, Waverly: See above.

Extra outfielder: Nick Vosburg, senior, Athens: A top-notch defensive outfielder with excellent range, Vosburg hit .357 (20 hits and 56 ABs) with six RBI, 21 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. He walked six times and was hit by pitches nine times for a .493 on-base percentage.

Designated Hitter: Connor Hanafin, freshman, Sayre:
A clutch hitter, Hanafin hit .397 (23 hits in 58 ABs) with three doubles, 19 RBI and 11 runs scored. He also drew 11 walks and was hit by three pitches for a .514 on-base percentage.

Utility Player: Adam Layman, senior, Tioga:
Adept at first base or in the outfield, Layman hit .474 on the season (36 hits) with a .538 on-base percentage. He had 12 extra base hits — eight doubles and four triples — for a .684 slugging percentage and had 31 runs scored, 22 RBI and 11 stolen bases.

PITCHERS
Peter Simmons, senior, Tioga: See above.

Tyler Forbes, senior, Athens: See above.

Jesse Manuel, junior, Tioga: See above.

Sam Perri, senior, Athens: 
Perri was 5-0 on the mound this season with a 2.42 ERA. He struck out 19 and walked 13 in 33 2/3 innings pitched. Opponents hit .162 against him.

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