Rio baseball lands 2 on All-RSC team

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande had five players who were recognized during the 2022 All-River States Conference Baseball Team & Awards ceremony, which took place last Thursday as part of the RSC Baseball Championship at VA Memorial Stadium.

Recognized at the ceremony were the All-RSC First & Second Teams, the RSC Gold Glove Team and the RSC Champions of Character Team, in addition to individual awards for RSC Player, Pitcher, Freshman & Coach of the Year.

As selected through voting by the nine head coaches in the RSC, the All-RSC First Team had 17 players named with four starting pitchers, a relief pitcher, two catchers, four infielders, four outfielders, a designated hitter and a utility player.

The All-RSC Second Team featured 19 players with five pitchers and five outfielders because of ties in the voting.

The RSC Gold Glove Team recognized the top defender at each of the nine positions, while the RSC Champions of Character Team honored one player from each team nominated by their head coach who best displays the NAIA’s five character values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

Rio Grande was represented on the first team by junior second baseman/pitcher Clayton Surrell (Carroll, OH), who made the list as a utility pick, and sophomore catcher Jakob Johnson (Pickerington, OH).

Sophomore relief pitcher Lane Mettler (Bainbridge, OH) made the second team, while sophomore starting pitcher Trey Carter (Wheelersburg, OH) earned a spot on the Gold Glove Team.

Rio Grande finished its regular season schedule with a 10-12 record in league play and entered the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed.

IU Southeast headlined the awards claiming RSC Player of the Year with senior third baseman Trevor Campbell, RSC Pitcher of the Year with senior starting pitcher Hunter Kloke and RSC Coach of the Year with head coach Ben Reel.

The Grenadiers were also honored as RSC regular season champions.

Campbell led the position players on the All-RSC First Team and was named at third base. He entered the postseason hitting .421 on the year with 25 doubles, nine home runs and 45 RBIs in 48 games. He also went 23 for 26 in stolen bases and scored 60 runs.

Kloke, a left-hander, was 9-3 in the regular season including a perfect 8-0 in the eight weeks of RSC play. He posted a 2.40 ERA in 75.0 innings pitched with 92 strikeouts.

Reel has had the Grenadiers ranked all season long in the NAIA Top 25 with their fourth RSC Regular Season title in a row. IU Southeast led the league with a 20-4 RSC record to claim the No. 1 playoff seed at 35-13 overall.

Josh Halterman from Midway (Ky.) University claimed RSC Freshman of the Year as the final individual award winner. He hit .413 during the regular season with three home runs and 49 RBIs. Halterman racked up 64 hits in 42 games with 12 doubles. He also started 10 games as a pitcher.

In addition to the major award winners and the two Rio Grande standouts, the reminader of the first team included starting pitchers Easton Klein of Point Park, Owen Callaghan from IU Kokomo and Midway’s Blake Kincaid; Point Park reliever Leo Diaz; catcher Brody Tanksley of IU Southeast; IU Southeast second baseman Clay Woestel shortstop Chandler Dunn from Oakland City; outfielders Gianmarco Marcelletti of Point Park, Patrick Mills from IU Kokomo, IU Southeast’s Marco Romero, and Ed Pfluger of Point Park; and WVU-Tech designated hitter Francesco Calderon.

In addition to Mettler, the second team was comprised of pitchers Joathan Rivera of Point Park, Lane Osterling from IU Southeast, IU Kokomo’s JT Holton; Tyler Milby of Brescia and Logan McClure from WVU-Tech; catchers Jacob Upshaw from Brescia and Casey Brown of Midway; IU Kokomo first baseman Noah Hurlock; Midway second baseman Cameron Smith; shortstop Riley Garczynski of IU Kokomo; Point Park third baseman Isaac Santana; outfielders Jack Leverenz of IU Kokomo, Derek Wagner from IU Southeast, Midway’s Cameron Nichols, Noah Baugher of Oakland City and Cameron Dean from Brescia; IU Kokomo designated hitter Jared Heard; and utility selection Brandon Boxer of IU Southeast.

Rio Grande’s representative on the Champion of Character Team was sophomore Seth Mills (South Shore, KY).

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.