Mount Anthony Union High School third baseman Zach Bahan knew he wouldn’t get much to hit this season.
As one of the more prolific batters for the Patriots the past couple of seasons, his reputation for making things happen at the plate has been well-documented.
This year, with pitchers trying to avoid the 6-foot-3 senior, Bahan still put up some eye-popping numbers — even better than before — which is why he has been named as the 2013 All-Banner Player of the Year in baseball.
“He’s one of the best in the state, hands down,” said Mount Anthony coach Walt Parmenter. “He just crushed the ball this year.”
Bahan, a three-year varsity starter, batted .590 (23-for-39), with nine RBI, five doubles, a triple and two homers. Out of 54 total plate appearances, Bahan failed to reach base only 13 times the entire season, an on-base percentage of nearly .700. He was on the first -team for the Marble Valley League.
“He put up some hellacious numbers, that’s pretty awesome,” Parmenter said. “He rarely swung at bad pitches … he’d wait pitchers out to get his pitch and capitalize on it.”
Bahan’s prowess at the plate gave a boost to the rest of the lineup, giving hitters in front of him good pitches to hit, so they could theoretically face him with the bases empty.
“We faced Mount Anthony in a scrimmage and he hit the cover off the ball,” said Cambridge coach Jason Waite.
“He’s definitely going to be missed next year, it’s going to be tough to replace that offense,” Parmenter said.
Catcher: Cameron Bow, MAU, senior: Having the envious position of hitting ahead of Bahan, Bow, a first-team MVL all-star, made pitchers pay if they gave him something good to hit. Bow hit .468 (22-for-47), scored 13 runs, drove in 11 more and slugged .531. On defense, Bow had an accurate arm, throwing out his share of baserunners.
“Between he and Zach, they were the best 1-2 punch in the [Marble Valley] League,” Parmenter said.
First base: Noah Rizio, BBA, junior: Rizio manned the third spot in the Bulldogs’ lineup the entire year, helping BBA to the Division II title game. Rizio, a first-team MVL choice, hit .373, drove in 16 runs and led the team with nine doubles, including a game-winner against Missisquoi ace Matt St. Amour in the D2 semifinal.
Second base: Robert England, BBA, senior: England was the catalyst for the Bulldogs in 2013, leading the team in most offensive categories from the leadoff spot. He hit .500 (21-for-42), scored 30 runs, worked 16 walks and had an on-base percentage of .672.
He also was part of the most dynamic double-play combo in the area, using nearly flawless defense to help his pitchers.
Shortshop: Zack Stewart, BBA, senior: Stewart was the prototypical No. 2 hitter for the 17-3 Bulldogs. Stewart hit .444 (24-for-54), scored 26 runs, drove in 14 runs, walked 10 times and maybe the most impressive stat — he only struck out once. On the defensive side, Stewart used his remarkable range to prevent runs, most notably making a diving stop behind second base against Fair Haven in the quarterfinals to preserve a Bulldogs shutout.
Outfield: Caleb Rowland, Cambridge, sophomore: In his first year on varsity after switching from lacrosse to baseball, Rowland was steady for the Indians, hitting .280 with 12 RBI, 12 walks and seven runs scored. He also made a big difference on defense, keeping runners on their toes if the ball was hit his way, Waite said.
Outfield: Alex Alberti, BBA, senior: Hitting seventh all season behind teammates that got a lot more publicity, Alberti quietly had a terrific season at the plate. He hit .359 (14-for-39), driving in 12 runs, scoring 11 more and walking eight times. He was good at working deep counts, giving pitchers fits with long at-bats.
Outfield: Weston Lozier, MAU, senior: Leading off for the Patriots all year long, Lozier was the spark at the top of MAU’s lineup. Lozier hit .283 (17-for-60), scoring nine runs., setting the table for Bow and Bahan. He also played a nearly flawless left field, a tough place to negotiate with the hill near the warning track.
Utility: Cody Gaines, Hoosick Falls, senior: Gaines led the way offensively for the Panthers in a 15-7 season reaching the Class C quarterfinals. Gaines had a knack for getting on base, reaching more than 40 percent of the time. He hit .333 (27-for-81), leading the team in hits. He also scored 16 runs from the leadoff spot in Coach Mike Lilac’s lineup.
Alex Hawley, Arlington, senior: Hawley was called on to take the ball in the Eagles’ most important games, including their D-IV playdown against Chelsea and the quarterfinal against South Royalton. Hawley was at his best against Division IV rival West Rutland, striking out 15 and only allowing four hits in a gem as Arlington finished 5-12 in 2013.
Kealan Hitt, Hoosick Falls, sophomore: Hitt was a major surprise in his first year at the varsity level, going 7-2. He had a 2.33 ERA in 45 innings, striking out 46 — more than one an inning. In a tough stretch of consecutive games because of rainouts, Hitt answered the call each time, pitching a full game one day and three innings of relief the next to save the Panther arms.
Matt Upright, MAU, junior: With graduation hitting the Patriots hard on the mound, Upright became the de facto No.1 starter early in the year. He was the victim of circumstance regarding wins as MAU lost five games by one run in 2013. He threw 46 innings, going 2-4. He allowed 38 hits and only 13 earned runs, a 1.98 ERA, and struck out 32.
Jake Stalcup, BBA, senior: The Middlebury commit was the ace of the Bulldogs’ staff, throwing 53 ⅓ innings, allowing a mere eight earned runs for a miniscule 1.05 ERA. He struck out 58, more than one batter per inning and only walked 13. Stalcup, a first-team MVL all-star, had a penchant for coming up large when his team needed him — he came into the second inning in relief against Missisquoi, allowing two runs and giving his team a chance to come back.
Matt Parmenter, Cambridge, senior: Parmenter, a second-team Wasaren League all-star, and fellow senior Shaeden Mosso were a formidable 1-2 on the mound for the Indians. Parmenter was a power pitcher, striking out 58 hitters in only 32 innings, nearly two per frame, and had the lowest ERA in the area, at 0.34.
Shaeden Mosso, Cambridge, senior: Mosso, a first-team Wasaren all-star was nearly as dominant as his classmate on the hill, coming up with a 1.56 ERA in 25 innings pitched with 42 strikeouts in a treacherous Wasaren League schedule.
Weston Muench, BBA, senior
Brady Sausville, Cambridge, junior
Logan Brogue, Hoosick Falls, senior
Ellis Baker, MAU, junior
Dylan Beavin, BBA, junior
Olden Dwyer, Arlington, senior
Alex Trayah, Arlington, senior
Billy Pine, Hoosick Falls, senior