Our selection process
Coaches from all five area baseball teams (Little Falls, Pierz, Royalton, Upsala-Swanville Area and Holdingford) were asked to nominate players from their team that they believed deserved to be named to the nine-player all-area team (at least one pitcher, one catcher, four infielders and three outfielders), including their accomplishments from during the season. Coaches were also asked to list players they believed deserved to be considered for honorable mention recognition.
Criteria used to select the best possible candidates for the nine-member 2016 Record All-Area baseball team were: postseason and regular season performance, strength of competition, strength of team played on, consistency, contributions toward team success, position and coaches’ input.
Players that were considered but not named to the nine-player team were given honorable mention distinction.
Lane Girtz, junior, Pierz
Girtz, the Record’s Player of the Year, showed his skills in the field, on the mound and especially at the plate. As the Pioneers leadoff hitter, Girtz set school records for batting average (.450) and RBIs (28). He also scored 36 times, stole 17 bases and clobbered easily a team and area-best five home runs. On the mound he had a 1.40 ERA in 35 innings.
Justin Jenks, senior, Little Falls
Jenks played a large part in the Flyers’ run to third place in Class AAA. The senior hit a team-high .406 from the plate with seven doubles, 13 stolen bases and only three strikesouts in 103 plate appearances. On the mound, Jenks was a perfect 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 37 strikeouts in just over 44 innings.
Matt Tautges, junior, Pierz
Tautges was the ace of the Pierz staff that sent them to a third place finish at state. He went 7-1 with a .84 ERA in 55 innings for the Pioneers. He struck out an impressive 72 batters, and walked only 14. He was no slouch on offense either, batting .372 and thanks to drawing 23 walks had a .515 on-base percentage. He also scored 32 runs, second-most for Pierz.
Thomas Miller, senior, Little Falls
Miller was at the top of the Flyers rotation and did not disappoint, going 8-1 with a 1.58 ERA on the mound with 40 strikeouts in 55-plus innings. He also batted leadoff, hitting .259 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run. In the field, Miller’s range in center was indispensable.
Aaron Weber, senior, Pierz
Weber was a bit of a Swiss army knife for the Pioneers this season as he played multiple infield positions and spent some time on the mound as well. Offensively is where he made his bread and butter, though. He hit .382 with three triples 21 runs scored and 27 RBIs. On the mound he tossed 22 2/3 innings and had a 1.42 ERA with 24 strikeouts.
Justin Cichon, senior, USA
Cichon was All-Prairie Conference, and was one of the best catchers in the area. He hit .356 and had an on-base percentage of .486 for the Patriots. He also scored a team-high 18 runs. Defensively, he rarely made errors and was feared for his arm behind the plate.
Nathan Psyck, junior, Royalton
Psyck was the team MVP for the Royals this season. On the mound, he led Royalton in innings pitcher (47) strikeouts (45), all with a 2.08 ERA. On offense he batted .308 with three runs scored and 13 RBIs (a team best) in 19 games. Despite being a first baseman, he didn’t play first base due to team necessity, and played elsewhere instead.
Daniel Marod, senior, Little Falls
Marod was a source of strong offense in the third spot of the Flyers batting order this year with a respectable .289 batting average to go along with 10 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs. In his right field position, he possessed a cannon arm, which threw out several opponents throughout the year.
Noah Boser, senior, Pierz
Pierz’ No. 3 hitter had a strong season both at the plate and in the field for the Pioneers. Boser hit .354 with 24 runs and 24 RBIs to go along with eight extra-base hits. He was also solid in the field, making only one error and earning four outfield assists.
AJ Jenks, sophomore, Little Falls
Hunter Swanson, junior, Little Falls
Austin Weisz, junior, Little Falls
Kolton Eischens, senior, Pierz
Ted Dehler, senior, Pierz
Matt Kummet, junior, Pierz
Myron Ripplinger, junior, USA
Levi Beseman, junior, USA
Isaiah Folsom, sophomore, Holdingford
Parker Brezinka, senior, Royalton
Austin Zapzalka, junior, Royalton
Michael Petron, junior, Royalton
Caleb Smieja, junior, Royalton