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ND's Jeremy Wright earns Class A all-state honors

From Staff, Wire Reports

Even though his baseball career came to an end without a state tournament appearance, Notre Dame's Jeremy Wright was still one of the top players in Class A.

Wright, a senior pitcher/outfielder, was named to the Class A all-state first team announced by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association on Monday.

"He has been a great asset for four years in our program," Notre Dame coach Mark Starkey said. "He's done everything we've asked of him. He's played shortstop, catcher, the outfield and pitcher, and he's always given 100 percent."

Wright batted .473 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs. He was also Notre Dame's top pitcher with a 7-2 record and 77 strikeouts.

"He is very deserving of the honor," Starkey said. "He was our leading pitcher and hitter, and he thrived in the games against the better teams."

Wright is joined on the first team by two other local players -- Gilmer County pitcher Jeremiah Phares and outfielder Dusty Ellyson.

Phares, a senior, went 10-1 with a 1.20 ERA and also hit .406 with 25 stolen bases. Ellyson, a senior, hit .489 with five home runs, 28 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.

Buffalo's Travis Criner was named captain of the team.

Criner (9-2) allowed just four earned runs in 50.1 innings for a 0.56 earned run average. He struck out 48 batters.

He helped lead his team to the state championship game where Buffalo lost 6-5 to defending champion Wheeling Central. In that contest, Criner allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings.

Along with his four complete games and two shutouts, Criner finished with a .391 batting average, eight doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs. He also had 10 steals and 34 RBIs.

The only sophomore on the first team is Wheeling Central infielder Justin Edwards. He hit .434 with eight home runs.

In the championship game, Edwards had three RBIs, including the game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Pendleton, another Class A semifinalist, was represented by senior pitcher Corey Koliscak. He went 10-0 with a 0.66 ERA and hit .420.

There were three first-team repeat selections from a year ago: Fayetteville outfielder Seth Sedlock (.403, 11 HR, 30 stolen bases), Fayetteville infielder Joe Milam (.495, 12 HR, 38 RBIs) and East Hardy infielder Adam Simmons (.589, 35 RBIs, 18 stolen bases).

The catcher is Guyan Valley's Aaron Vance, who hit .477 and had 20 stolen bases.

Linsly's Dan Stephens rounded out the infield. He knocked in 45 runs and hit .537.

The trio of utility players included Big Creek's Jeff Johnson, Matewan's Aaron Donahoe and Paden City's Mike King. Johnson hit .480 with 26 RBIs, Donahoe batted .454 with 23 steals and King hit .468 with 28 stolen bases.

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