West High's Strunk and Morgan Headline Area IPSWA All-State Picks

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Jason Strunk was one of the top players in the state this season when it came to scoring runs while teammate Marcus Morgan was among the best at preventing them.

On Tuesday both Strunk and Morgan were recognized for what they did so well this season for West High.

Strunk and Morgan were both first team all-state selections in Class 4A when the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association announced its all-state teams.

The West High duo was among seven area players named to the IPSWA all-state teams a group that was headlined by four Class 4A all-state picks.

Liberty High junior Nolan Frey was named to the Class 4A second team while City High senior catcher Liam McComas was a third-team pick in 4A.

Solon junior Cam Miller was a second-team selection in 3A while West Branch junior was a second-team pick in 2A and Regina sophomore Chase Becker was named to the 2A third team.

Strunk and Morgan led the area all-state picks after helping West High to the 4A semifinals.

Morgan earned all-state honors for the first time after posting a 10-0 record that included a 3-0 mark in three postseason starts.

The sophomore right-hander ranked third in 4A with a .71 ERA that ranked first among 4A pitchers with at least 34 innings pitched.

Morgan allowed just 31 hits and struck out a 4A-best 105 in 59 1/3 innings while opponents hit just .148 off the West High ace.

A four-year starter, Strunk was a first-team all-state pick for the first time following a senior season in which he hit .404 and scored a 4A-leading 56 runs.

Strunk led 4A with a .629 on-base percentage and ranked second in 4A with 42 walks while hitting eight home runs and driving in 35 runs.

Frey was a second-team selection as an outfielder after ranking 13th in 4A with a .431 batting average.

The junior ranked second in 4A with eight triples and drove in a team-leading 42 runs to go with 37 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.

McComas was a third-team utility pick following a senior season in which he hit .371 and led City High with 12 doubles, four home runs and 18 extra-base hits.

The senior catcher drove in 33 runs and walked 23 times.

Miller was a second-team all-state pick as a pitcher for the second consecutive season in 3A.

The junior right-hander posted a third consecutive season with an ERA under 1.20 going 6-4 with a .91 ERA in a career-high 69 innings.

Miller ranked second in 3A with 110 strikeouts and issued a career-low 14 walks.

Paulsen and Becker were each first-time all-state picks in Class 2A.

Paulsen was a second-team selection as an infielder after leading West Branch with a .439 batting average and 43 hits.

Paulsen had nine doubles and drove in 15 runs and also went 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA in a team-high 46 2/3 innings.

Becker was a third-team pick as an infielder in his first season at Regina after leading the Regals with a .417 batting average, 12 doubles and 28 RBI.

The sophomore shortstop also drew a team-high 27 walks, scored 26 runs and stolen 29 bases.

Iowa Prep Sports Writers Association All-State Baseball Teams

Class 4A

First team – P: Marcus Morgan, Soph., West High; Jacob Tobey, Sr., Johnston; Ty Langenberg, Jr., Urbandale. C: Calvin Harris, Jr., Western Dubuque. 1B: Peyton Williams, Sr., Johnston. INF: Alex Pentergast, Jr., Des Moines Roosevelt; Sam Link, Sr., Dubuque Senior; Adam Schneider, Sr., Southeast Polk. OF: Andrew Nord, Sr., Johnston; Jason Strunk, Sr., West High;  Evan Martin, Jr., Southeast Polk. UTIL: Jack Young, Jr., Pleasant Valley; Carter Baumler, Jr., West Des Moines Dowling.

Second team – P: Wade Canady, Sr., Marshalltown; Sam Goodman, Sr., Western Dubuque; Jackson Wentworth, Soph., Waukee. C: Ryan Vermeer, Jr., Ankeny Centennial. 1B: Drew Logel, Sr., Muscatine. INF: Max Holy, Jr., Clinton; Trenton Frerichs, Sr., Sioux City North; Ben Wilmes, Soph., Johnston. OF: Brock Heinen, Soph., Urbandale; Logan Gluba, Sr., Davenport West; Nolan Frey, Jr., Liberty High. UTIL: Alec Patino, Jr., Sioux City East; Harrison Cook, Sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie

Third team – P: Nick Crandell, Jr., Johnston; Graysen Drezek, Jr., North Scott; Alec Nieman, Sr., Sioux City West. C: Cade Moss, Sr., Johnston. 1B: Ben Sheridan, Sr., West Des Moines Dowling. INF: Andrue Henry, Jr., Dubuque Hempstead; Carson Schau, Sr., Waukee; Bryce Crabb, Sr., Des Moines East. OF: Greg Hall, Sr., Linn-Mar; Jonah Pomrenke, Soph., Council Bluffs Lewis Central; Lincoln Riley, Sr., Cedar Rapids Washington. UTIL: Brody Brecht, Soph., Ankeny; Liam McComas, Sr., City High

Captain – Peyton Williams, Sr., Johnston

Class 3A

First team – P: Rick Atkins, Sr., Marion; Bryson Bastian, Sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier; Lucas Bixby, Sr., Central DeWitt. C: Garrett Finley, Sr., Central DeWitt. 1B: Austin Simpson, Sr., Fairfield. INF: Kyle Moeder, Sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier; Brett Sears, Sr., Harlan; Mike Pithan, Sr., Sioux City Heelan. OF: Casey Young, Jr., Winterset; Brady Kauzlarich, Soph., Centerville; Eric Salazar, Jr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley. UTIL: Nick Gotilla, Sr., Davenport Assumption; Spencer Kleene, Jr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton.

Second team – P: Tyler Olson, Soph., Webster City; Cam Miller, Jr., Solon; Alex McAleer, Jr., Central DeWitt. C: Garrett Ries, Sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier. 1B: Isaiah Henrich, Sr., Carlisle. INF: Trevor Paulsen, Sr., Marion; Chase McLaren, Sr., Atlantic; Jared Sitzmann, Jr., Sioux City Heelan. OF: Brett Price, Sr., Boone; Tyler Miller, Jr., Oskaloosa; Nate Schlichting, Jr., Davenport Assumption. UTIL: Dylan Steen, Sr., Webster City; Daniel Wright, Jr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Third team – P: Logan Smith, Jr., Dallas Center-Grimes; Clark Hood, Sr., North Polk; Connor Bruck, Jr., Harlan. C: Kosta Papazogolou, Sr., Fairfield. 1B: Owen Newton, Sr., Humboldt. INF: Jeff Lamp, Sr., North Polk; Marcus Klemme, Sr., Spencer; McCain Oden, Jr., Centerville. OF: Gage Franck, Soph., Marion; Nile Foss, Jr., Carlisle; Easton Darling, Jr., Winterset. UTIL: Colton Butler, Jr., Oskaloosa; Brant Hogue, Jr., Sioux City Heelan.

Captain – Garrett Finley, Sr., Central DeWitt

Class 2A

First team – P: Jake Hilmer, Sr., North Linn; Briar Rowley, Sr., Estherville-Lincoln Central; Hunter Dekkers, Jr., West Sioux. C: Connor Lange, Sr., Missouri Valley. 1B: Brock Farley, Sr., Denver. INF: Christian Davidson, Soph., Pocahontas Area; Jalyn Gramstad, Jr., West Lyon; Aiden Brock, Jr., Hinton. OF: Owen Grover, Sr., Dyersville Beckman; David Seber, Sr., North Linn; Tyler Hopp, Sr., Central Lee. UTIL: Jace Davidson, Sr., Pocahontas Area; Colin McCrabb, Sr., Wilton.

Second team – P: Brett Shelton, Sr., Des Moines Christian; Jared Townsend, Sr., Wilton; A.J. Schreck, Sr., Carroll Kuemper. C: Jaxon Schumacher, 8th, Treynor. 1B: Brett Berg, Jr., Van Meter. INF: Nick Ravlin, Jr., Underwood; Matt Paulsen, Jr., West Branch; Will Dembski, Sr., Pella Christian. OF: Kayden Kruse, Sr., Ogden; Ryan Anderson, Jr., Pocahontas Area; Jon Mootz, Sr., Monticello. UTIL: Anthony Potthoff, Jr., Van Meter; Gavin Lorenzen, Jr., West Lyon

Third team – P: Brad Tornow, Sr., Mid-Prairie; Zak Scott, Sr., MVAOCOU; Aaron Michael, Sr., MVAOCOU. C: Michael Ryherd, Jr., Alta-Aurelia. 1B: Nate McComns, Jr., Treynor. INF: Josh Van Beek, Jr., West Lyon; Grant Christy, Sr., Des Moines Christian; Chase Becker, Soph., Regina. OF: Drake Adair, Sr., Underwood; Jacob Blomgren, Soph., Van Meter; Hunter Pesek, Jr., New Hampton. UTIL: Austin Hilmer, Fr., North Linn; Keelan Klommhaus, Jr., Mount Ayr

Captain – Jake Hilmer, Sr., North Linn

Class 1A

First team – P: Blaine Harpennau, Soph., Remsen St. Mary’s; Keaton Parker, Sr., Alburnett; Caleb Banowetz, Jr., Calamus-Wheatland. C: Colby Page, Sr., Southeast Warren. 1B: Reed Stallman, Soph., Alburnett. INF: Evan Paulson, Sr., Mason City Newman; Cael Frost, Soph., Don Bosco; Tyler Tscherter, Jr., Gladbrook-Reinbeck. OF: Josh Fitzgerald, Sr., Mason City Newman; Hunter Rickles, Sr., Calamus-Wheatland; Dylan Fry, Sr., Belle Plaine. UTIL: Colin Kramer, Sr., Saint Ansgar; Drew Schurke, Sr., Ar-We-Va

Second team – P: Christian Cook, Sr., Coon Rapids-Bayard; Brody Wolf, Jr., HLV; Nathan Keck, Sr., Kingsley-Pierson. C: Tyler Vandewater, Jr., Nodaway Valley. 1B: Aaron Fleming, Sr., GMG; INF: Bryce Coppock, Jr., Newell-Fonda; Layne Pryor, Soph., Woodbine; Cy Patterson, Soph., Council Bluffs St. Albert. OF: Dean Schaull, Sr., HLV; Luke Oleson, Jr., Lawton-Bronson; Kendall Becker, Sr., Don Bosco. UTIL: Bryce Schares, Sr., Don Bosco; Skylar Waldschmitt, Jr., Remsen St. Mary’s

Third team – P: Carter Nelson, Jr., Baxter, Isaac Gavin, Jr., Martensdale-St. Marys; Doug Taylor, 8th, Mason City Newman. C: Kody Timm, Jr., HLV. 1B: Trey Baker, Soph., Martensdale St. Marys. INF: Hunter Caves, Sr., Alburnett; Landon Gilliland, Soph., Lamoni; Tanner Bainbridge, Sr., Pekin. OF: Damon Schmid, Fre. Kingsley-Pierson; Austin Huber, Jr., Alburnett; Carson Butz, Jr., Moravia. UTIL: Kade Schlepp, Jr., Coon Rapids-Bayard; Noah Tieskoetter, Jr., South Winneshiek

Captain – Josh Fitzgerald, Sr., Mason City Newman

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