Four Creston players were among those honored on the Hawkeye 10 all-conference baseball team announced Wednesday, including outfielder Trevor Luther on the first team.
In addition, junior shortstop Conner Pals, senior outfielder/pitcher Cole Crawford and senior infielder/pitcher Brandon Phipps received honorable mention.
Unanimous selections on the first team were Lewis Central catcher Austin Simmons, Glenwood first baseman Corey Bertini, Denison-Schleswig infielder Sean Houston and Council Bluffs St. Albert outfielder Jon Meyering.
Representing Harlan’s state tournament team on the first team are sophomore pitcher Brett Croghan, outfielder Nate Gettys and Cale Stork at a utility spot.
Luther was an offensive and defensive standout for Creston. He had a team-high 39 hits while batting .429 with two home runs, seven doubles and 21 RBI. He had a .593 slugging percentage. Luther had a strong arm in right field with one outfield assist, and as a pitcher he finished 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA and 14 strikeouts with 22 walks in 14 1/3 innings. Opponents batted only .079 against him with six hits allowed.
“Trevor had a nice year,” Creston coach Steve Birchard said. “He had 13 multiple hit games out of 29. He only went hitless in nine games. He was pretty consistent throughout the year. He will find success at the next level because he has tools they will be looking for — above average bat, power and arm.”
Luther, who also batted .396 last year, will play outfield at Midland University in Fremont, Neb.
Birchard said Pals just missed out on a tiebreaker vote for a second-team infield spot. He batted .323 in the Panther leadoff position, with seven stolen bases in eight attempts. He scored a team-high 30 runs.
“Conner put the ball in play for us offensively and got himself in position to score runs,” Birchard said. “He got in a groove defensively playing a tough position. Opposing coaches were noticing that at the end of the year.”
While Crawford (.258) and Phipps (.253) didn’t have relatively high offensive numbers, their versatility was rewarded in gaining league honors.
“Both of those guys were put up as utility players because that’s what they were for us,” Birchard said. “As a pitcher, we always knew we could go to them to throw strikes and get us through some innings. Defensively they were very good, Crawford as a center fielder and Brandon at third base and outfield when we needed to plug him in there, depending on who was pitching. Brandon had only two errors all year, playing mostly third base.”
Phipps had a team-high 53 2/3 innings pitched for the Panthers, finishing 4-4 with a 3.13 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 10 walks. Crawford was 2-1 with one save in 33 innings, with a 5.52 ERA, 19 strikeouts and 14 walks.
* — Unanimous
Pitchers — Cob Baker, Glenwood, Sr.; Brett Croghan, Harlan, So.; Josh Jones, Lewis Central, Sr.
Catchers — *Austin Simmons, Lewis Central, Jr.; Brady Wheeler, Glenwood, Sr..
Infielders — *Corey Bertini, Glenwood, Sr.; *Sean Houston, Denison-Schleswig, Jr.; Shae Patterson, St. Albert, Sr.; Caleb Shudak, Lewis Central, So.
Outfielders — *Jon Meyering, St. Albert, Jr.; Nate Gettys, Harlan, Sr.; Trevor Luther, Creston, Sr.
Utility — Josh Hecker, St. Albert, Sr.; Logan Steffens, Atlantic, Sr.; Cale Stork, Harlan, Sr.; Luke Sutherland, Lewis Central, Jr.
Pitchers — Jake Petry, St. Albert, Jr.; Wyatt Schulz, Glenwood, Jr.; Brayden Schurke, Denison-Schleswig, Sr.
Catchers — Zac Reynolds, Denison-Schleswig, Jr.; Adam Schleisman, Kuemper Catholic, Jr.
Infielders — Jackson Baker, Shenandoah, Sr.; Adam Juhl, Harlan, Sr.; Derek Leinen, Harlan, Sr.; Joey Walker, Atlantic, Jr.
Outfielders — Eric Johnson, St. Albert, Sr.; Nolan Robinson, Glenwood, Sr.; Rease Snyder, Kuemper Catholic, Fr.
Utility — Carlos Guerra, Red Oak, So.; Jett Kettwick, Clarinda, Jr.; Jose Rendon, Shenandoah, Sr.; Nick Tarney, Harlan, Fr.
Pitchers — Jacob Cabbage, Clarinda, Jr.; Brandon Brotherton, Denison-Schleswig, So.
Catchers — Brendan Holmes, Atlantic, So.
Infielders — Conner Pals, Creston, Jr.; Blake Elam, Lewis Central, Fr.; Trevor Feilmeier, Kuemper Catholic, So.; Jesse Taylor, Red Oak, So.
Outfielders — Mitch Kramer, Harlan, Jr.; Kyler Nixon, Lewis Central, Jr.; Devon Perkins, Shenandoah, Fr.
Utility — Ryan Hawkins, Atlantic, So.; Cole Crawford, Creston, Sr.; Brandon Phipps, Creston, Sr.; Nathan Promes, Denison-Schleswig, Jr.; Payton Mehsling, Lewis Central, Jr.