BY CHRIS HOBBS
Bandys High leads this season’s All-Catawba Valley 2 Athletic baseball team after winning a regular-season title and the conference tournament.
The Trojans (21-8) — eliminated Thursday in the second round of the state 2A playoffs by Mount Pleasant, 4-3 – had a league-best five all-conference picks and swept the league’s top awards.
In a vote of conference head coaches, the Trojans’ Parker Styborski was named Offensive Player of the Year, right-handed pitcher Cade Spencer was named Defensive Player of the Year and Frank Porter was selected as the Coach of the Year.
Bandys went 12-2 in league play – the losses were 1-0 at home to East Burke and 6-4 at home to Lincolnton – and the Trojans had a nine-game win streak during the season. The Trojans also had Easter holiday wins over traditional baseball powers South Point and South Caldwell.
Bandys had its highest win total in records dating back to 1986, surpassing by one 20-win seasons by the 1994 and 2018 teams that each went 20-5.
Porter completed his 13th year as head coach and his teams are 144-137.
Styborski, a senior and multi-sport star for the Trojans, hit .516 with eight doubles, six triples, six home runs and drove in 44 runs and scored 42 for a team that hit .361, scored 260 runs and had 87 extra base hits (58 doubles, 12 triples, 17 home runs).
Styborski has signed to play football at Lenor-Rhyne University.
Spencer, a senior, went 9-2, making 11 starts and 12 appearances, and had five complete games and four shutouts. He pitched 59 innings, walking 10 and striking out 81.
Joining Styborski and Spencer as all-league from Bandys are Zach Barnett, Terick Bumgarner and Nolan Jones.
The 23-player team has 11 seniors, 11 juniors and one sophomore (Evan Hartsoe, West Lincoln).
West Lincoln has two other all-league players who are juniors, Taylor Cook and Noah Gantt.
ALL-CATAWBA VALLEY 2A ATHLETIC BASEBALL
(as voted on by league head coaches)
Bandys: Zach Barnett, Terick Bumgarner, Nolan Jones, Cade Spencer, Parker Styborski
Bunker Hill: Carson Elder, Tanner Kanipe, Drew Moore, Preston Workman
East Burke: Colin Eckard, Cooper George
Lincolnton: Will Blackburn, Sam Carpenter, Easton Dellinger, Gavin Jiminez
Maiden: Brenden Harrison, Tyler Hedgepeth
Newton-Conover: Jorge Rodriquez
West Caldwell: Ashton Minton
West Lincoln: Taylor Cook, Noah Gantt, Evan Hartsoe, Brett Mason.
Offensive Player of the Year: Styborski, Bandys
Defensive Player of the Year: Spencer, Bandys
Coach of the Year: Frank Porter, Bandys