Two local baseball players have been named Player of the Year in their respective conferences following standout seasons on the diamond.
Viewed by evaluators as one of the top baseball talents in the state of Missouri, Neosho’s Trey Turner earned Player of the Year honors for the Central Ozark Conference Large Division after batting .458 with nine home runs, five doubles, four triples and 18 RBIs while scoring 32 runs for the Wildcats this season. Turner was selected first-team all-conference at pitcher after going 4-2 overall with a 1.37 ERA, striking out 75 and walking 39 in 46 innings.
The Wildcats also had three others make the all-conference second-team. Junior Jayce Parmley was selected as a pitcher after going 5-3 with a 2.85 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 13 walks in 46 2/3 innings. Senior catcher Brendan Craig made the second-team after hitting .245 with one home run and five doubles in 23 games.
Freshman Colton Marion picked up second-team honors after hitting .368 with seven doubles, three triples and 10 RBIs in 24 games.
The Big 8 Conference, as well as District 11, also honored a host of other local players — highlighted by Big 8 Player of the Year, Payton Rawlins. A senior from Seneca, Rawlins led the Indians at the plate with a .554 batting average, including six home runs, 15 doubles, a triple, 31 RBIs and 32 runs scored. On the mound, the right-hander earned second-team honors after going 2-4 with a 2.17 ERA, 66 strikeouts and 15 walks in 42 innings. Those numbers also helped Rawlins pick up a unanimous selection to the Class 4, District 11 all-district first-team.
Joining Rawlins on the all-conference first-team was fellow senior Dalan Merriman, who was selected as a pitcher after going 3-6 with a 2.71 ERA with 98 strikeouts and 16 walks in 59 1/3 innings. Merriman also made the second-team on the infield where he not only played solid defense, but also batted .342 with six homers, three doubles, a triple and 31 RBIs.
Seneca’s Zach Horine and Brayden Larson also made the second-team. Horine, a junior, was selected as a utility player after he hit .259 with a double and 10 RBIs. Perhaps his best work was on the mound, however, as he compiled a 5-3 record with a 3.82 ERA, 34 strikeouts and nine walks in 44 innings. Larson, a senior selection in the outfield, batted .302 with two doubles, a triple and eight RBIs in 26 games.
East Newton junior Sam Swartz made the first team as an infielder and the second team at pitcher. Swartz batted .463 at the plate with three home runs, six doubles, seven triples, 21 stolen bases and 19 RBIs in 22 games. He went 4-3 overall on the mound with a 1.37 ERA, 49 strikeouts and 23 walks in 51 innings.
Fellow Patriot Rocky Liveoak made the second-team at catcher, while Ryan Linton made the second-team at designated hitter. A senior, Liveoak batted .426 with two homers, five doubles, three triples, 21 stolen bases and 16 RBIs. Linton, a junior, batted .288 with three doubles and 17 RBIs.
Four of the aforementioned players were also unanimous selections to the all-district team: Rawlins, Merriman, Liveoak and Swartz. McDonald County senior Mark Hull joined them on the first-team. The Mustangs also landed four additional seniors on the all-district second-team: Cooper Underwood, Trevor Young, Cooper Dill and Trenton Frazier.