(Jefferson County) After a phenomenal baseball season in the area, the Jefferson County Athletic Association is handing out all-conference honors, including in the Small-School Division.
The JCAA Small School Player of the Year is St. Pius Lancers junior Andrew Merseal.
The shortstop lead the conference with 42 hits and a .506 batting average.
Merseal hit 4 doubles, 4 triples and 2 home runs, also finishing 2022 with 31 runs scored and 34 runs batted in.
On the mound, Merseal pitched almost 29 innings.
The right-hander had a 4-2 record and a 3.66 earned-run average for the conference champions.
St. Pius’ Dan Oliver was also named the league’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Lancers to 20 wins and a district championship.
Pius senior catcher Austin Almany joined Merseal as first-team all-conference after bashing 4 home runs and 33 RBI.
Senior right-hander Tate Ramey ended up as a first-team pitcher again for the Lancers, piling up 8 wins and 2.49 ERA.
Sophomore pitcher Zander Street and senior outfielder Nathan Schwer also represented the JCAA Small-School champs as first-team selections.
Joining Merseal as a first-team infielder was Crystal City Hornets senior second baseman Nate Pruneau, who hit .426 and turned 12 of his 20 hits into extra bases.
Herculaneum Blackcats third baseman Cody Gibson hit .429 with 4 doubles, 3 triples and 23 RBI in a first-team all-conference senior season.
Jefferson Blue Jays third baseman Sam Stokes rounded out the first-team infield after batting .339 as a junior.
Herky junior Dylan Black was named first-team as a utility player, hitting .297 and scoring 24 runs on offense while allowing just a 2.08 ERA and compiling 49 strikeouts on the bump.
In the outfielder, Schwer was joined on the first team was Grandview Eagles senior Eric O’Brien, who hit .370 and scored 13 runs; and Crystal City senior Calloway Dashner, who .380 and scored 11 times.
St. Vincent Indians junior Blake Monier rounds out the first team as a pitcher.
Second-team all-conference included Crystal City freshman catcher Nolan Eisenbeis.
Gibson and Hornets freshman Evan Wolfe were second-team pitchers, while Indians junior Trevor Moonier was the second team utility player.
Second-team infielders were St. Pius senior Michael Argana, Jefferson senior Jack Hueter, Crystal City junior Ian Kirn and St. Vincent’s Christian Schaaf.
Second-team outfielders were Lancers senior Nathan Stoll, Blackcats senior Aiden Reece and Indians junior Kaden Kassel.
Herculaneum sophomore catcher Devin Black was an honorable mention, as were fellow sophomores Cyle Schaumburg of Crystal City and Max Schnitzler of Jefferson as utility players.
Honorable mention pitchers were Merseal, Pruneau and Herky junior Jackson Dearing.
Honorable mention infielders were Street; Blue Jays senior Colton Richardson; Blackcats junior Rickey Johnson; Lancers senior Collin Brown; Eagles senior Chase Wilson; and seniors Jacob Kapp and Lucas Schilling of the Indians.
Honorable mention outfielders were 3 juniors – the Hornets’ Kaden Adams, the Blackcats’ Dylan Jarvis and the Indians’ Liam Krauss.