Reed City baseball players pick up league honors

REED CITY — Reed City's baseball team shared the Central State Activities Association Gold Division title this season with Big Rapids, and several Coyotes have been named to the all-league team.

Hunter Morrison, Jeff Phenix, Derek Rasor and Logan Straub were selected to the first team and Cameron Austin to the honorable mention list.

Phenix, a catcher in 34 of 38 games in his second full season on the varsity team, had a .973 fielding percentage. He was cleanup hitter and batted .449 while having 42 RBIs and scoring 34 times.

“He only struck out seven times all season while clubbing two home runs and had an on-base percentage of .530,” Reed City coach Marty Shaffer said. “He's the most valuable hitter for the Coyotes in 2017. He's a great leader on the field.”

Morrison, a junior, was undefeated on the mound this season with a record of 9-0 with two saves. He pitched a complete game in the district championship against Mason County Central with 11 strikeouts.

In 79 2/3 innings pitched, he had 114 strikeouts, only 20 walks, and an ERA of 1.406. Morrison pitched in the regional finals against GR West Catholic until his pitch limit was reached and the score was tied 2-2.

At the plate he had two home runs, a triple and seven doubles, with a batting average of .351. He only struck out four times and scored 40 times from the leadoff spot.

“He was the most valuable pitcher for the Coyotes in 2017,” Shaffer said.

Straub was a senior pitcher and infielder.

“As a four-year starter, Logan has been a major reason for the recent success of the program,” Shaffer said. “His senior leadership, athletic ability and overall talent allowed him to play any position on the field. He batted in the third spot in the lineup and after a monstrous junior year was hardly given pitches to hit in conference play.” Straub walked 26 times, had a batting average of .344, on base percentage of .535, and had 12 doubles. On the mound, the hard throwing right-hander threw 53 and 2/3 innings and had 76 strikeouts, and an ERA of only 1.044.

“He had big-game wins on the mound in conference play against Big Rapids, Chippewa Hills and Central Montcalm,” Shaffer said. “He also got a win in both districts and regionals.”

Rasor and Austin also had key hits and critical defensive performances for Reed City throughout the season.