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Liberty, Grafton land players on 1st team

by Danny Carpenter


(June 19) Liberty's Jeff Pethtel and Nate Gladwell and Grafton's Bryan Gillespie earned Class AA first team all-state honors on Thursday from the West Virginia Sports Writer Association.

Pethtel and Gladwell, both seniors, helped lead the Mountaineers to their first state title in any sport this spring. Gladwell made the team as the catcher and Pethtel as an infielder.

"They are both deserving of this honor," said Liberty coach Pete Iquinto. "They were the catalysts for our state championship drive.

"In any game it takes a team effort and they were both team players."

Gladwell, who hit the game-winning home run in the title game against Chapmanville, batted .438 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs.

Pethtel batted .397 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs. He also was 5-1 on the mound with 52 strikeouts in 47 innings. They helped Liberty to a 29-7 record

"You hate to lose players like them," Iquinto said. "But they had a lot of talent and a great work ethic, which was handed down to the younger players."

Gillespie, a senior second baseman, hit .507 with one home run, 22 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He also had eight doubles and eight triples.

Also named to the first team were Chapmanville pitcher Doug Dingess and catcher Pete Fala.

Dingess, who pitched a no-hitter in the state semifinal against Pineville, captained the first team and will attend Marshall in the fall.

He finished the year with a 10-1 record with 124 strikeouts in 67 innings.

He had a 1.49 ERA.