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Huntington earns slew of Crossroads League awards

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Crossroads League announced a number of conference awards over the past week, with members of various Forester teams earning honors.

A total of 19 Crossroads League honors were handed out to Foresters, with 11 of those going to members of the Huntington University baseball team.

Junior pitcher Alex McCutcheon headlined the group with a trio of honors. McCutcheon was named as the Crossroads League Pitcher of the Year and earned spots on the All-Crossroads League Team and Crossroads League Gold Glove Team.

“Alex had a great year,” said head coach Mike Frame. “He was the No. 1 pitcher on all ballots.”

McCutcheon appeared in 13 games this season for Huntington, starting 12 of them. The Huntington native pitched six complete games and finished his campaign with a 9–3 record. McCutcheon ended the year with a 2.51 earned runs average, good for 14th in the nation, and struck out 99 batters. Just 28 runs were scored against McCutcheon this season, while just 56 times batters recorded a hit.

Senior center fielder Donovan Clark and sophomore third baseman Daniel Lichty joined McCutcheon on the All-Crossroads League Team.

Clark appeared in 41 games this season and finished with a .341 batting average. Clark scored 36 runs and drove in 11 more. Arguably Clark’s biggest strength was his running, as he swiped 32 bases throughout the campaign, the 11th-most in the country. His .800 bases stolen per game ranked third in the nation.

Lichty appeared in 42 games for the Foresters, racking up a .340 batting average, 34 runs and 30 RBIs in a breakout campaign.

Lichty also earned a spot alongside McCutcheon on the Gold Glove Team by piling up a .900 fielding percentage and 80 assists throughout the year.

Sophomore catcher Gustavo Bonilla rounded out the Huntington Gold Glove contingent, tallying an impressive .993 fielding percentage while committing just two errors throughout the season.

Three Foresters landed on the Honorable Mention All-Crossroads League Team, with freshman second baseman Ian McCutcheon, junior pitcher Mason Shinabery and freshman shortstop Satchell Wilson all earning spots.

“Some years, coaches get together and they pick an all-league team and you leave there going, ‘Boy, I don’t know about this one; I feel like we missed some kids maybe,’” Frame said. “This year, I didn’t feel like that at all. I feel like there was a great spirit in the room to say, ‘Let’s get this right. Let’s get kids on this team that deserve to be on that team.’ I thought we did a good job of that.”

Frame praised the way the Foresters played this year, noting the total was greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Frame completed the award haul for Huntington by being named as the Crossroads League Coach of the Year. This year marks the seventh time Frame has received the honor after guiding the Foresters to a 26–16 record and the Crossroads League regular season championship this season.

A trio of Huntington softball players received conference honors, with sophomore right fielder Paige Eichelberger and freshman catcher Kiera Stacy earning spots on the All-Crossroads League Team and sophomore first baseman Jada Crofoot landing on the Honorable Mention All-Crossroads League Team.

Eichelberger appeared in all 49 of the Foresters’ games this year and recorded a batting average of .412 to lead Huntington. Eichelberger scored 29 times and drove in 19 runs throughout the campaign.

Stacy’s .391 batting average placed second on the team, while her 20 RBIs were just two short of the team lead.

Crofoot finished the season with a .326 batting average, 21 RBIs and 17 runs scored.

The Huntington outdoor men’s and women’s track and field teams both scored a pair of conference honors.

On the men’s side, freshman Cameron Worsham earned All-Crossroads League honors in the 110 meter hurdles, while junior Avniel Barrow, sophomore Heath Atkins, freshman Andrew Zachary and sophomore Peyton Depriest earned the recognition in the 4x100 meter relay.

Senior Aspen Dirr took home All-Crossroads League honors in the 800 meters, while Dirr, sophomores Jessica Chojnacki and Mara McFarland and junior Molly Mitchell earned the recognition in the 4x800 meter relay for the women’s squad.

Junior Betsy Schroeder completed Huntington’s Crossroads League honorees by earning a spot on the Honorable Mention All-Crossroads League Team in women’s golf.

“This is a testament to Betsy’s work ethic and maturity on the course in competition over the last two years,” said head coach Rick Sholund in a press release. “We are happy for her to receive this honor and look forward to her continued growth as a player and leader for our program.”

Schroeder is just the second player in program history to receive a Crossroads League honor after finishing within the top 20 of each tournament she competed in. Schroeder finished 14th at the Crossroads League Championships on April 22 and 23.