The 2019 Your Prep Sports Area Baseball Team

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

The annual Your Prep Sports baseball team recognizes some of the top area players for their performance on the diamond this summer.

This year’s 13-member team features state tournament qualifiers, all-state and all-conference honorees and school record holders.

The third edition of the Your Prep Sports squad features one repeat selection in Solon junior Cam Miller.

West High sophomore Marcus Morgan is the captain of the 2019 team after earn first-team all-state honors following a season that saw the right-hander go 10-0 with a .71 ERA and a 4A-best 105 strikeouts.

Morgan also hit .404 with 32 RBI.

2019 Your Prep Sports Baseball Team

P – *Marcus Morgan, Soph., West High: Morgan followed up a strong debut season with a dominant sophomore campaign that saw the right-hander emerge as one of the top pitchers in the state. The hard-throwing Morgan led Class 4A in wins (10) and strikeouts (105) and had the top ERA among 4A players with at least 35 innings. Morgan went 10-0 with a .71 ERA allowing just 31 hits and 22 walks in a team-high 59 1/3 innings. The best work from Morgan came in the postseason where he won three consecutive starts, fanning 39 in 19 1/3 postseason innings. Morgan also hit .404 with 31 runs scored and 32 RBI.

P – Cam Miller, Jr., Solon: One of the most consistent and durable pitchers in Class 3A Miller posted his third consecutive season with a sub 1.20 ERA while throwing more than 62 innings. The junior right-hander went 6-4 with a .91 ERA in a career-high 69 innings and ranked second in Class 3A with 110 strikes. Miller also led Solon with a .347 batting average and drove in 21 runs.

C – Liam McComas, Sr., City High: A Northern Iowa football recruit, McComas capped his baseball career by hitting .371 with a team-high 18 extra-base hits while earning third-team all-state honors. McComas led City High with 12 doubles, 4 home runs and 23 walks while driving in 33 runs.

INF – Camden Smyka, Sr., Clear Creek Amana: The leader around the field for the Clippers Smyka was the top hitter and pitcher in the Clear Creek Amana lineup. Smyka, hit a team-high .377 with 13 extra-base hits and led the Clippers in RBI (24), triples (3) and stolen bases (27). As a pitcher Smyka went 3-5 with a 2.86 ERA and struck out 54 in a team-high 51 1/3 innings.

INF – Matt Paulsen, Jr., West Branch: The ace of the West Branch pitching staff Paulsen proved to be a valuable hitter as well this season leading the Bears with a .439 batting average and scoring 30 runs on his way to second-team all-state honors. On the mound Paulsen posted a 4-2 record and 3.45 ERA in a team-high 46 2/3 innings, striking out 47.

INF – Chase Becker, Soph., Regina: In his first season at Regina Becker made an immediate impact leading the Regals with a .417 batting average, 35 hits, four triples and 28 RBI. Becker scored 26 runs and stole 29 bases and also went 2-6 with a 3.65 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings and was a third-team all-state pick.

INF – Keian Secrist, Soph., Liberty High: Secrist hit .343 with 22 extra-base hits and 29 RBI and 25 runs scored. The sophomore third baseman had a team-high 16 doubles and two home runs and also scored 25 runs. Secrist also went 3-4 with a 4.42 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings.

OF – Jason Strunk, Sr., West High: Among the most feared hitters in Class 4A over the past several seasons Strunk put together a strong final season despite being pitched for much of the year. Strunk drew 42 walks, 2nd most in Class 4A, on his way to a leading all 4A players with 56 runs and a .629 on-base percentage. When he did get a chance to hit Strunk was productive. He had eight home runs and drove in 35 runs while posting the sixth-highest slugging percentage in 4A (.766) on his way to a monster OPS of 1.395. Strunk also led West High with 16 stolen bases and earned first-team all-state honors for the first time.  

OF – Nolan Frey, Jr., Liberty High: Versatile junior had a breakthrough seasons at the plate and on the mound while earning second-team all-state honors. Frey ranked 12th in 4A with a .431 batting average and ranked second in 4A with eight triples while leading Liberty High in extra-base hits (23), RBI (42) and ranked second on the team with 15 doubles and 15 stolen bases. Frey also went 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 55 strikeouts in a team-high 49 innings/

OF – Zach Kuepker, Sr., City High: Kuepker had the best season of his career as a senior leading City High with a .377 batting average and 42 RBI. The senior right fielder had two home runs, stole 16 bases and was second on the team with two home runs.

OF – Nick Biancuzzo, Sr., West High: The catalyst for a potent West High offense that ranked second in Class 4A with 8.4 runs per game, Biancuzzo hit .409 from his leadoff spot and ranked fourth in 4A with 49 runs. The senior left fielder had 11 doubles among 16 extra-base hits and drove in 34 runs while posting a 1.091 OPS.

UTIL – Ryan Cooper, Sr., West High: Cooper closed his career with a stellar senior season in the field, at the plate and on the mound. The senior catcher ranked fifth in Class 4A with a .450 batting average and led West High in hits (54), doubles (12) and RBI (52). Cooper also went 3-0 with a team-high four saves, posting a 3.73 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 30 innings across 12 appearances.

UTIL – Trey Eagle, Jr., West Branch: A breakthrough season for Eagle was among the biggest reasons West Branch put up its highest win total in seven seasons and reached the state tournament for the first time since 2012. Eagle hit .405 with a team-high four home runs and drove in 33 runs and went 5-0 with a 2.67 ERA with a team-leading 53 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings.

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