By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY June 30, 2006 The 2006 scholastic baseball season featured a little bit of everything.
There were outstanding pitching performances and great batting displays. Local teams played in slugfests where no lead seemed safe and in close contests where a key hit or error led to the winning run.
At the end of the season, the Tri-Valley Bears qualified for the Section IX Class C tournament, and the Eldred Yellowjackets earned a spot in the Section IX Class D championship game. However, things did not turn out the way the Bears and Yellowjackets wanted. S.S. Seward topped T-V, 12-3, in a Class C quarterfinal and Chapel Field defeated Eldred, 10-1, in the Class D title game.
The Liberty Indians and Sullivan West Bulldogs narrowly missed making the Section IX Class B tournament.
Democrat staff members recently contacted the coaches of the countys high school baseball teams and asked them to nominate players from their own squad as well as other Sullivan County teams for an all-star team. They were requested to chose an MVP, first team and second team.
And the 2006 Sullivan County Democrat Scholastic Baseball All-Stars are
Scott Hamlin Liberty
Hamlin, a junior, posted a .462 batting average, had 17 RBIs and scored 14 runs. Nine of his 24 hits were extra-base hits as he blasted four home runs and smashed four doubles.
Scott played every game for me at third base and filled in pitching, Liberty Coach John Wilhelm said. He was my clean-up hitter and led the team in almost every offensive category.
Mike Hughes Monticello
The junior was a key player for the Panthers at bat and on the pitchers mound. In an April game versus Sullivan West, Hughes allowed only five hits and struck out 10 Bulldogs. He helped his own cause by ripping three hits.
Troy Kirchner Livingston Manor/Roscoe
The senior led the Devil Cats with a .428 batting average. Kirchner also recorded 14 RBIs and eight doubles this spring.
Jim Moloney Sullivan West
A sophomore pitcher/outfielder, Moloney recorded a .370 batting average, .414 on-base average and .537 slugging percentage. He had 15 RBIs, five doubles and two triples. On the mound, Moloney went 3-2 with one save. He struck out 49 batters in 41 innings and had a 2.56 ERA.
Fred Moore Tri-Valley
The junior was the Bears catcher in every inning of every game this season. He threw out 14 of 41 base runners who were attempting to steal (34 percent). Moore was a key batter in the T-V lineup and sported a .382 average.
Garrett Owen Sullivan West
The junior catcher led the Bulldogs with a .453 batting average. He also had 15 RBIs, 11 doubles, a .698 slugging percentage and a .492 on-base percentage.
Casey Pazzalia Liberty
The senior was a starter at first base for the Indians all season. In his three years on the varsity squad, he batted over .300.
Mike Prunka Eldred
A senior, Prunka was the number one pitcher for the Yellowjackets. He posted a 3-6 record and recorded 80 strikeouts.
Ryan Taggart LM/Roscoe
Taggart, a senior, had a .380 batting average, six doubles and a team-high 18 RBIs. He also pitched a complete game victory against Fallsburg, which was the only win for the Devil Cats this season.
Dan Walter Tri-Valley
The senior infielder posted a .417 batting average and .556 slugging percentage this past season. In addition, Walter had a .432 on base percentage and 30 hits. While playing both first base in some games and second base in others, he had an overall fielding percentage of .980.
Hes one of the best first basemen around, T-V Coach John Rusin said. He saves a lot of the infielders bad throws.
Joe Bonnaci Monticello
A senior, Bonnaci played first base and was one of the Panthers pitchers this past season. He posted a 1-1 record on the mound. Offensively, he had a .404 batting average and a .569 slugging percentage.
Andy Cassidy Tri-Valley
Although he was a senior, this was his first year on the varsity squad. Cassidy hit .290 and had 13 RBIs. He was the Bears number two pitcher, taking the mound for 36 innings and posting an ERA of 3.85.
Steve Daley Sullivan West
The senior first baseman/designated hitter was one of the Bulldogs top batters this season. Daley had a .327 average, a .592 slugging percentage, a .400 on-base percentage and 14 RBIs. He also smacked two home runs, three doubles and two triples.
George Fountain Eldred
A senior third baseman, Fountain batted .310 this past season. He also recorded eight RBIs.
Justin Garritt Liberty
In a May 9 game against John S. Burke Catholic High School, the junior had a base hit and two RBIs.
Chris Gates Fallsburg
A senior, Gates was one of the pitchers for the Comets and played center field. He posted a .333 batting average and a .419 on base percentage. He had 12 RBIs, scored 13 runs, hit four home runs and stole three bases.
Patrick Kean Eldred
Kean, a senior first baseman, had a .370 batting average, which was the highest on the team. He also led the Yellowjackets in stolen bases (10) and in drawing walks from opposing pitchers (eight).
Tyler King Eldred
The senior posted a .312 batting average this past year. He was also the Yellowjackets starting catcher all season.
Joe Layman Sullivan West
The senior outfielder posted a .353 batting average and a .450 on-base percentage.