2009 WDN All-Area baseball team named|Experience proves key for all-area honorees

Published 6:46 am Sunday, July 12, 2009

Staff Writer

From putting up big numbers at the plate, to mowing down the competition in dominating fashion, all-area performers have always been good all-around athletes and students. This year’s all-area baseball honorees did not disappoint in such respect.
The honorees are led by Eli Spruill, a ball player about as well-rounded as they come. Spruill, a rising senior at Plymouth, shined in every aspect of the game as the WDN’s Player of the Year, posting a .590 batting average, as well as a 9-2 record on the mound. Spruill was also honored as the Albemarle Conference Player of the Year, made the all-state team and was named his team’s Most Valuable Player. Not to be outdone, Southside’s Eric Boyd hit for a .413 average on his way to an all-conference honor and the Seahawks’ Most Valuable Player award. Hitting out of the leadoff spot all-season long, Boyd posted a .543 on-base percentage. He compiled a 2.38 ERA, going 8-1 with seven complete games to earn the honor of WDN’s Pitcher of the Year. Washington head coach Darin Vaughan led the Pam Pack to their first playoff win in over a decade to garner the WDN’s Coach of the Year honor.
Experience is the theme of the WDN’s all-area first team.
The team is led by Washington’s golden boy, stellar senior shortstop Austin Thompson. As the leader of a Pam Pack team that had its most successful year of this century in the Class 3A/4A Coastal Conference, Thompson hit .365 with a home run, 13 RBI, a .431 on-base percentage and .540 slugging percentage.
Jamesville’s own senior leader, Coleman Perry, did about everything he could in Tideland Conference play for the Bullets. As the conference’s Player of the Year, Perry went 5-0 as a starting pitcher in league play, giving up one run all season and averaging 10 strikeouts a game. He also hit for a respectable .285 average.
Perry’s senior teammate, Justin Barr, made a name for himself as a rangy center fielder with three put-outs on the year. At the plate, Barr bashed out three home runs with 20 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He also led the Bullets in extra-base hits and made all-conference.
Pungo’s senior third baseman, Drew Elliott, more than earned a spot on the first-team with his eye-popping stats on the season. Elliott, tabbed as the team’s designated player, also showed some real toughness in the field, playing the last four games of the year with a broken hand. Elliott served as a one-man wrecking crew for the Raiders, hitting a staggering .625 on the season while leading the team in hits, double, triples, runs scored and stolen bases. At one point in the long season, Elliott went 15-for-15 at the plate. He was an easy all-conference first-team selection and all-state honorable mention.
After anchoring down Southside’s outfield for four seasons, seniors Alarie Elks and Sam Jarman have rightfully been selected to the all-area first team. Elks, the Seahawks’ skilled center fielder, hit just below the .400 mark at .397 on the year. Hitting out of the clean up spot for most of the season, he had a .446 on-base percentage with five doubles, a triple and 21 RBI. Jarman, Southside’s left fielder, helped Elks provide the Seahawks with quite a meat-of-the-order punch,
hitting .403 on the season, with a .532 slugging percentage and .471 on-base percentage. He had five doubles, a home run and 18 RBI.
Williamston senior Will Davis earned a spot on the team by batting at a .400 clip. The Tigers’ offensive leader had 25 RBI on the season, with a home run and seven doubles.
The first-team is rounded out by some promising under-classmen.
Rising senior Kyle Peaks promises to provide Williamston with an able ace next season after going 5-0 with a 3.16 ERA on the year. He had 29 strikeouts compared to 14 walks in 37-plus innings of work. Peaks also hit .302 on the year, with 21 RBI, a triple, home run and three doubles.
Washington’s Michael Robinson will most likely fill the same role for the Pam Pack after posting an impressive 2.97 ERA with 15 strikeouts and just one walk. He went 5-1 on the year and won the Pam Pack’s first playoff game in over a decade.
Roanoke is represented on the first-team by sophomore catcher Ryan Grimes. Grimes will have two years to improve on an already gaudy .368 average and .450 on-base percentage.
Superb sophomore Ronell Blount made the first-team by putting up 32 RBI on the season to go along with a .390 average. Plymouth’s first baseman also proved patient at the plate with 11 walks.
Washington’s Jake Duke rounds out the first-teamers after a breakout sophomore campaign. The speedy, slick-fielding third baseman hit .383 on the season with a home run, 11 RBI, a .506 on-base percentage and .533 slugging percentage.
Pitcher – Michael Robinson, Washington
Pitcher – Coleman Perry, Jamesville
Pitcher – Kyle Peaks, Williamston
Catcher – Ryan Grimes, Roanoke
First Base – Ronell Blount, Plymouth
Second Base – Will Davis, Williamston
Shortstop – Austin Thompson, Washington
Third Base – Jake Duke, Washington
Outfield – Alarie Elks, Southside
Outfield – Justin Barr, Jamesville
Outfield – Sam Jarman, Southside
Designated Player – Drew Elliott, Pungo
Pitcher – Caleb McNair, Terra Ceia
Pitcher – Brad Boyd, Southside
Pitcher – Caleb Hines, Bear Grass
Catcher – Hunter Davenport, Terra Ceia
Infield – Chris Rogerson, Plymouth
Infield – John Warren, Williamston
Infield – Tyreke Cooper, Roanoke
Infield – Jamie Blackard, Southside
Outfield – Bradley Slade, Northside
Outfield – Cody Speller, Williamston
Outfield – Josh Greenhall, Bear Grass
Designated Player – David Cook, Plymouth
Top Awards
Pitcher of the Year: Eric Boyd, Southside
Player of the Year: Eli Spruill, Plymouth
Coach of the Year: Darin Vaughan, Washington
Christopher Everette
Gator Moore
Kevin Sparks
Willie Ruffin
Walt Ange
Heath Rogerson
Justin Britt
Derrick Chesson
Tyler Mann