BECKLEY – Shepherd had four baseball players placed on the WVIAC’s all-conference first team as voted on by the league’s 15 coaches.
Pitchers Paul Hvozdovic and Ryan Pansch were selected by the coaches as were outfielders Ryan Messina and Michael Lott.
Hvozdovic went 9-5 with a 3.90 ERA and Pansch was picked as a relief pitcher after achieving a 4-3 record with two saves and a 3.19 ERA.
Messina was the league’s second-leading hitter with a regular-season average of .455. He had 12 home runs. Lott batted .413 during the regular season and broke the Shepherd record for stolen bases.
In addition to the Shepherd players, the 16-player first team had pitchers Jordan Butcher (West Virginia State), Jeff Conley (Alderson-Broaddus) and Alex Haines (Seton Hill) as well as infielders Treavor Dubiel (Davis & Elkins), Jake Warner (Pitt-Johnstown), Nick Sell (Seton Hill) and Brandon Constantino (Seton Hill). The other outfielders were Brett Blevins (Concord), Andrew Seigle (Concord) and Zach Vignero (Pitt-Johnstown).
The first-team catcher was Kyle Morrow (Pitt-Johnstown) and the designated hitter was Jack Hudson (West Virginia State).
Shepherd seven-game winner Davis Hall was a starting pitcher placed on the 19-player second team.
A bit of a mystery concerned Shepherd senior Chad Murphy who played first base, catcher and second base this season and batted .389 with 43 RBIs and five home runs. Murphy’s batting average was 13th-best in the conference, yet he didn’t even receive “honorable mention” recognition after appearing in every Shepherd game, batting third in the order in every game and playing three different positions.