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첥Ƶ Baseball Players of the Year for 2024: Liberty has three on the first team, but plenty of talent to go around

While no one reached the state finals at Penn State, the area had its share of quality teams and players in 2024

Liberty’s Braylen Gonzalez scores a run against Parkland Wednesday, May 29, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball championship at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. Gonzalez was one of three Hurricanes to make the first team of 첥Ƶ's 2024 All-Area Baseball Team.  (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)
Liberty’s Braylen Gonzalez scores a run against Parkland Wednesday, May 29, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball championship at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. Gonzalez was one of three Hurricanes to make the first team of 첥Ƶ’s 2024 All-Area Baseball Team. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)
UPDATED:

It’s Fourth of July time, which has always been a good time to assess how the Major League Baseball season and the pennant races are shaping up.

It’s also not a bad time to look back on the high school baseball season that ended just a few weeks ago.

It was a bit disappointing that the 2024 season didn’t extend to Penn State and the state finals, and the 1997 Catasauqua baseball team could again pop the champagne corks as the only area baseball program to win state gold.

But while there was no PIAA gold, the season did offer its share of memorable games and quality teams and individual performers.

When it comes to the area’s best, it was clearly LIberty, which repeated as Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 6A champs. The Hurricanes placed three on the first team of 첥Ƶ’s all-area squad.

But it was also an exciting year for Wilson Area, which won its first Colonial League title since 2008, and for Bethlehem Catholic, Saucon Valley and Whitehall, which broke through for District 11 championships.

And while they didn’t end up with championships, Emmaus, Freedom, Parkland, Northampton, Northwestern Lehigh, Salisbury and Southern Lehigh were among the programs that had its share of good moments.

Those teams are represented on the all-area team which features 80 players — 20 each on the first team, second team, third team and honorable mention lists. 첥Ƶ them the elite 80.

Here’s a look:

First team

Pitchers

 

Noah Gyauch-Quirk, Liberty, Senior

Liberty High School's Noah Gyauch-Quirk is 첥Ƶ's baseball ambassador of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
Liberty High School’s Noah Gyauch-Quirk is 첥Ƶ’s baseball ambassador of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference MVP and Morning 첥Ƶ Baseball Ambassador of the Year for 2024, Gyauch-Quirk was a catalyst for Liberry’s repeat EPC and District 11 6A titles. On the mound, he was 8-2 with a 1.10 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 57.1 inning. Offensively, he batted .400 with seven of his 32 hits going for extra bases. He drove in 23 runs. He finished his career with a record of 22-6, 1.27 ERA, 4 saves, 1.05 WHIP (walks, hits allowed per innings pitched) and 285 strikeouts and just 63 walks in 203.2 innings pitched. A repeat all-area selection and a second-team all-state selection in 6A by the Pennsylvania Baseball Coaches Association, Gyauch-Quick will continue his career at Lehigh.

Adam Horvath, Pocono Mountain East, Senior

Pocono Mountain East's Adam Horvath pitches against Whitehall on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in the District 11 5A baseball championship game at DeSales University. (Amy Shortell / 첥Ƶ)
Pocono Mountain East’s Adam Horvath pitches against Whitehall on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in the District 11 5A baseball championship game at DeSales University. (Amy Shortell / 첥Ƶ)

The James Madison University commit was a first-team all-league selection and repeats as an all-area choice. He was 7-1 with a 0.75 ERA and had 81 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 56.1 innings. He finished his career with a 22-5 record and 196 strikeouts in 156 innings pitched and 1.85 ERA. He was a second-team all-state selection in 5A by the Pennsylvania Baseball Coaches Association.

Cole Hubert, Saucon Valley, Junior

Saucon Valley High School's Cole Hubert is 첥Ƶ's pitcher of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
Saucon Valley High School’s Cole Hubert is 첥Ƶ’s pitcher of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

첥Ƶ’s pitcher of the year followed up a District 11 wrestling championship by pitching a no-hitter in the District 11 3A title game against Salisbury. He notched 14 strikeouts in championship game and also went 2-for-3 at the plate, with an RBI single in the first inning and a run-scoring triple in the third of a 6-0 win over Salisbury. He finished the season with a 9-2 record, a save, a 0.45 ERA and had 158 strikeouts in 77.2 innings while walking just 22 and allowing a mere 23 hits and five earned runs. He had two no-hitters. He also hit .403 with 22 runs, 15 RBIs and 11 extra-base hits. He was a first-team Class 3A all-state selection.

Andrew Sagrestano, Wilson Area, Senior

Andrew Sagrestano, Wilson pitcher. (WILSON BASEBALL/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)
Andrew Sagrestano, Wilson pitcher. (WILSON BASEBALL/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Went 6-4 with a 1.57 ERA and struck out 89 in 67 innings while allowing just 15 walks. He had a save and three double-digit strikeout performances in helping the Warriors win the Colonial League title for the first time since 2008. He also hit .377 with 29 hits, including eight for extra bases.

Catchers

Justin Augustus, Northwestern Lehigh, Senior

Northwestern Lehigh's Justin Augustus looks for a hit against Wilson on Thursday, May 16, 2024, during the Colonial League baseball championship at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
Northwestern Lehigh’s Justin Augustus looks for a hit against Wilson on Thursday, May 16, 2024, during the Colonial League baseball championship at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

He hit .394 with 10 doubles and a home run with 29 RBIs in compiling a .469 on-base percentage. The Kutztown University commit also had 10 assists and just two errors in 149 chances.

Luke Kane, Tamaqua, Junior

He hit .455 with 35 hits, including 10 for extra bases. He drove in 20 runs and stole 11 bases on 12 attempts. Defensively, he had 13 assists including five on steal attempts. He was selected to the second team in Class 4A of the all-state team.

Franklin Pichardo, Liberty, Junior

One of the best defensive catchers in the area and state with a strong and accurate arm, Pichardo hit .342 with 25 hits, including nine for extra bases and 27 RBIs. In his first season as a varsity starter, he had an 0.441 on-base percentage and was an EPC all-conference selection. He had 14 assists and just two errors in 193 total chances.

Liberty's Franklin Pichardo bats against Neshaminy on Monday, June 3, 2024, in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A baseball tournament at DeSales University. (Amy Shortell / 첥Ƶ)
Liberty’s Franklin Pichardo bats against Neshaminy on Monday, June 3, 2024, in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A baseball tournament at DeSales University. (Amy Shortell / 첥Ƶ)

First base

Caden Deegan, Bethlehem Catholic, Junior

Bethehem Catholic junior Caden Deegan.
Bethehem Catholic junior Caden Deegan.

 

Deegan helped the Golden Hawks reach the EPC title game and win the District 11 4A title by hitting .380 with a .473 on-base percentage. He had 30 hits, 29 RBIs, 10 doubles and three home runs. As a pitcher, he won two games and had 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.

Jacob Rivera, Liberty, Senior

Liberty High School's Jacob Rivera is one of 첥Ƶ's co-offensive players of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
Liberty High School’s Jacob Rivera is one of 첥Ƶ’s co-offensive players of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

One of 첥Ƶ’s co-offensive players of the year, Rivera was an offensive catalyst for the 20-6 EPC and District 11 6A champion Hurricanes. The three-year starter hit a team-high .494 and a .588 on-base percentage. He had two stolen bases and 14 stolen bases. He is a DeSales commit and an all-conference selection. He was a first-team all-state selection as an outfielder.

Second base

Rocco DelGuidice, Pocono Mountain East, Junior

Pocono Mountain East baseball players gather around coach Matt DelGuidice after the Cardinals routed Bango 10-0 in a District 11 5A semifinal at DeSales University's Weiland Park. (Keith Groller)
Pocono Mountain East baseball players gather around coach Matt DelGuidice after the Cardinals routed Bango 10-0 in a District 11 5A semifinal at DeSales University’s Weiland Park. (Keith Groller)

A second-team all-state selection and a first-team all-EPC choice, DelGuidice batted .429 with a .540 on-base percentage. He had 30 hits, including five for extra bases, scored 27 runs and knocked in 18. In an EPC tournament win over Northampton he had four hits and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. He had just six errors in 74 total chances.

Jacob Grammes, Palmerton, Senior

Palmerton's Jacob Grammes scores. Palmerton plays Salisbury High School baseball Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at Salisbury. (Amy Shortell/첥Ƶ)
Palmerton’s Jacob Grammes scores a run against Salisbury High on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at Salisbury. (Amy Shortell/첥Ƶ)

He hit .475 with a .529 on-base percentage. He collected 29 hits, including four for extra bases, and drove in 23 runs. He struck out just four times and made just four errors defensively. As a pitcher, he had a 3.46 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 28.1 innings. Also played on the basketball team and helped the Blue Bombers reach the Colonial League finals.

Mason Haupt, Northampton, Senior

Northampton batter Mason Haupt (6) attempts a bunt against Emmaus during a District 11 Class 6A baseball quarterfinal Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at Mike Lisetski Field at Northampton High School. (Rick Kintzel/첥Ƶ)
Northampton’s Mason Haupt attempts a bunt against Emmaus during a District 11 Class 6A quarterfinal Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at Mike Lisetski Field at Northampton High School. (Rick Kintzel/첥Ƶ)

An all-league second team selection and a first-team all-state selection, Haupt hit .443 and had a .505 on-base percentage. He collected 35 hits, including five doubles. He scored 22 runs, knocked in 24 and stole 10 bases. He had just one error in 77 chances and was a part of six double plays. He hit .388 over the last two seasons. He will continue his academic career at East Stroudsburg University.

Shortstop

Will Dobil, Parkland, Junior

Parkland's Will Dobil runs towards home base against Nazareth Sunday, May 26, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball semifinal at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)
Parkland’s Will Dobil runs toward  home against Nazareth Sunday, May 26, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball semifinal at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)

Batted .386 with 27 hits, including seven for extra bases. He had a .511 on-base percentage, scored 26 runs and knocked in 14. Had just six errors in 94 chances. Had two hits, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth in a 4-3 District 11 6A quarterfinal win over Freedom.

Dylan Keith, Bangor, Junior

Keith led the Slaters with a .468 on-base percentage. He batted .328 with eight of his 20 hits going for extra bases. He stole 21 bases and defensively he was involved in five double plays and made just six errors in 68 chances.

Third base

Chad Kauffman, Emmaus, Senior

Emmaus' Chad Kauffman throws the ball to first after getting the out at third against Parkland in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference baseball semifinals Monday, May 15, 2023, at Weiland Park at DeSales University.(Amy Shortell/첥Ƶ)
Emmaus’ Chad Kauffman throws the ball to first after getting the out at third against Parkland in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference baseball semifinals Monday, May 15, 2023, at Weiland Park at DeSales University.(Amy Shortell/첥Ƶ)

The Ursinus commit  hit .467 with an on-base percentage of .632 and a 1.21 OPS with 15 runs scored and 11 RBIs. He was .467 BA, .632 OBP, 1.121 OPS, 15 runs, 11 RBI. He was an all-conference selection.

Louis Inserra, Parkland, Senior

Parkland's Louis Inserra scores a run against Liberty Wednesday, May 29, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball championship at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)
Parkland’s Louis Inserra scores a run against Liberty on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball championship at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)

 

Inserra batted .431 batting average with seven of his 28 hits going for extra bases. He scored 18 runs and knocked in becoming an all-conference selection. He was also chosen second-team all-state. He also played ice hockey in his time at Parkland. He will continue his academic career at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Outfielders

Aidan Butz, Nazareth, Senior

Nazareth's Aidan Butz hits the ball during an EPC baseball game against Parkland on Monday, April 10, 2023, at Nazareth.(Amy Shortell/첥Ƶ)
Nazareth’s Aidan Butz hits the ball during an EPC baseball game against Parkland on Monday, April 10, 2023, at Nazareth.(Amy Shortell/첥Ƶ)

Butz was a first-team all-conference selection and a second-team all-state choice in 6A. He hit .373 with 25 RBIs, 27 runs and nine extra-base hits among his 29 hits. He also stole 14 bases and went 6-0 as a pitcher with a 3.03 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 37 innings. He’ll continue his career at East Stroudsburg University.

Braylen Gonzalez, Liberty, Senior

Liberty High School's Braylen Gonzalez is one of 첥Ƶ's co-offensive players of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
Liberty High School’s Braylen Gonzalez is one of 첥Ƶ’s co-offensive players of the year. Here he poses for a portrait Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Bethlehem. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

One of 첥Ƶ’s offensive players of the year, the Binghamton commit and wide-ranging center fielder made his mark at the plate with a .417 batting average. He totaled 30 hits with 10 going for extra bases, including three home runs. He scored 36 runs and drove in 19. He had a. 563 on-base percentage and finished his career with a .385 average, 97 hits, 101 runs and 60 RBIs.

Andrew Klotz, Parkland, Senior

Parkland's Andrew Klotz runs toward first base against Nazareth Sunday, May 26, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball semifinal at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)
Parkland’s Andrew Klotz runs toward first base against Nazareth Sunday, May 26, 2024, during a District 11 6A baseball semifinal at DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. (Emma Reed/첥Ƶ)

Klotz hit .413 with 31 hits, including six doubles, and drove in 17 runs while scoring 22 times. He walked 13 times and was an all-Lehigh County EPC all-star selection. He will continue his academic career at Lehigh-Carbon Community College.

Utility player

Alex Suarez, Freedom, Senior

Suarez was an all-conference selection after hitting .467 with 28 hits, including six doubles. He scored 18 runs and struck out just seven times in 78 plate appearances. He had nine multi-hits games including three hits in a 10-0 win over Parkland.

Second team selections

Pitchers: Cole Moreau, Emmaus, Soph.; Logan Higgins, Northampton, Sr.; Josh Farber, Northwestern Lehigh, Jr.; Christopher Fritts, Southern Lehigh, Jr.; Phil Taylor, Bethlehem Catholic, Jr.

Catchers: Eli Calaba, Southern Lehigh, Sr.; Michael Martinez, Jr., Allentown CCHS; Aaron Schneider, Allen, Sr.

Infielders: Cohen Schadler, Emmaus, Sr.; Liam Coyle, Wilson Area, Jr.; David Bertz, Nazareth, Sr.; Robert Croneberger, Northwestern Lehigh, Sr.; Brayden Rader, Bethlehem Catholic, Sr.; Austin Spisszak, Salisbury, Jr.; Tommy Lovelidge, Salisbury, Sr.

Outfielders: Jarred Peluso, Freedom, Sr.; Noah Hogan, Emmaus, Sr.;  Eli Zimmerman, Northwestern Lehigh, Jr.; Collin Peacock, Bethlehem Catholic, Jr.

Utility: Josiah Williams, Sr., Emmaus.

Third team selections

Pitchers:  Tyler Bonelli, Palisades, Sr.; Shaun Danielson, Wilson Area, Soph.; Matt Heineman, Freedom, Sr. Chase Walker, Freedom, Jr.; Brady Simock, Northampton, Soph; Jameson Stell, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Soph.;

Catchers: Luis Reyes, Allen, Jr.; Thomas Gonzalez, Stroudsburg, Soph.

Infielders: Bobby Ehrmann, Pocono Mountain East, Soph.; Shaun Danielson, Wilson Area, Soph.; Zak Kardos, Wilson Area, Sr.; Matt Rader, Alllentown Central Catholic, Jr.; Vincent Paar, Nazareth, Sr.; John Phillips, Freedom, Soph.

Outfielders: Cole Cook, Allentown Central Catholic, Sr.; Gunner Scheetz, Wilson Area, Sr.; Seth Hoderewski, Whitehall, Soph.;  Mason Kuehner, Nazareth, Sr.; Chase Kilareski, Nazareth, Jr.

Utility: Dayton Aguiar, Liberty, Sr.

Honorable mention

Pitchers: Janssen Brown, Southern Lehigh, Sr.; Luke Piripavel, Liberty, Sr.; JJ Cruz, Liberty, Sr.; Ryan Lindenmuth; Jr., Whitehall.

Catchers: Ethan Massardier, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Sr.

Infielders: Jacoby Jacobs, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Soph.; Trevor Golden, Allen, Sr.; Jack Lloyd, Whitehall, Soph.; Tyler Reichenbach, Whitehall, Jr.,; 2. Khamryn Singto, Easton, Soph.; Alex LaQuintano, Easton, Sr.; Jaxson Kreider, Bangor, Fr.

Outfielders: Jake Bucchin, Salisbury, Sr.; Christian Rivuso, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Jr.; Chase Shollenberger, Easton, Soph.; Anthony Suffness, Easton, Jr.; Mason Ligenza, Tamaqua, Jr.

Utility: Austin Casal, Notre Dame-Green Pond; Matt Daems, Nazareth, Jr.; John Pushkar, Catasauqua, Sr.

Originally Published:

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