Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift Adams County Heritage Days are Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Lady Devils prevail 1-0 over Peebles on Kickin’ Cancer Night Senior Profile: Patrick Baldwin Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets

Green Devils finish 2016 with 12 wins and 11 losses

The North Adams baseball program said farewell to these eight graduating seniors.  From left, Austin Copas, Mikey Sheeley, Kenny Branch, Cole Roades, Trey Meade, Justin Hilderbrand, Cole Meade, and Avery Lucas.
The North Adams baseball program said farewell to these eight graduating seniors. From left, Austin Copas, Mikey Sheeley, Kenny Branch, Cole Roades, Trey Meade, Justin Hilderbrand, Cole Meade, and Avery Lucas.  Photo by Mark Carpenter.

By Mark Carpenter

It could only be described as a disappointing season for Coach Rob Meade and his North Adams Green Devils baseball squad, as they finished with 12 wins and 11 losses, coming off a 2015 where they won a sectional title. There is certainly no one to blame for the rough year for the devils, as it was one of those “lots of things went wrong” kind of year that culminated with injuries taking down two senior starters right at tournament time.

“I was pleased with the way we pitched all season,” said Coach Meade. “We just struggled all season to find a groove at the plate, hitting just over .260 as a team. We took a big hit with the season-ending injuries to Kenny Branch and Mikey Sheeley, however the guys we played in their place played well despite their inexperience.”

“We graduated eight seniors and it will be difficult to replace them.”

The injuries Coach Meade referred to were both unfortunate with Sheeley finally yielding to Tommy John surgery after numerous problems with his elbow and Branch’s injury was even more freakish, as the all-conference catcher suffered a fractured cheekbone when hit by a teammate’s swing during pre-game warm ups.

From the beginning, it was an up and down year for Meade’s troops, as they won their first three contests before dropping Southern Hills Athletic Conference games to Eastern and Fayetteville. North Adams rebounded to defeat West Union twice and Whiteoak, before losing back to back games to the Fairfield Lions.

The Green Devils then lost three of their next five, including an 8-1 loss to Peebles, then won two in a row, then lost to Lynchburg, before falling to Rock Hill and Huntington in a Wooden Bat Tournament in Portsmouth.

Tournament play came next and without Sheeley and Branch and with the game being moved from Seaman because of the weather, Coach Meade was naturally apprehensive going in.

“Due to circumstances out of our control, I was a bit worried going into the game with Piketon,” said Meade. “Knowing that we had to replace our three and four hitters in the lineup was going to be tough. On top of that, having to load the bus and travel to Piketon as opposed to playing at home was not the best of circumstances.”

Meade’s fears were put to rest though as his son Trey pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs, and some youngsters such as Bryant Lung, Elijah Young, Colt Shumaker, and Austin Parks stepped up their game as the Devils took a 5-2 win in their tourney opener.

Colt Shumaker is one of the returnees who could have an impact on the 2017 North Adams baseball squad.  Photo by Mark Carpenter.
Colt Shumaker is one of the returnees who could have an impact on the 2017 North Adams baseball squad. Photo by Mark Carpenter.

“Colt has come up big for us defensively in the outfield and Elijah has been very solid at shortstop and made a couple of exceptional plays today,” said the North Adams head coach. Bryant did a nice job behind the plate as well as getting three hits and driving home a pair.”
The win took the Devils to a sectional final contest, but against a very solid Adena team. North Adams mustered just four hits in the game and went down to defeat 12-1 in five innings to end their tournament run. The Devils then had to finish up their regular season after the tournament loss and they were blanked by Fayetteville 5-0 on May 16 to close out a 12-11 campaign.

As Coach Meade mentioned earlier, the Devils bid farewell to eight seniors-Mikey Sheeley, Kenny Branch, Justin Hilderbrand, Avery Lucas, Austin Copas, Cole Meade, Trey Meade, and Cole Roades, but will have a young nucleus of talent returning as the program had the luxury of fielding a JV squad this spring.

Sheeley and Branch were the team’s top hitters for the year, with Sheeley hitting .345 and Branch raking at a .327 clip. Sheeley led the team in runs batted in with 17, while Ben Figgins, Branch, Sheeley, and Trey Meade all tied for the team lead in extra base hits.

As far as pitching goes, Trey Meade led the team with five wins and a 2.25 earned run average, striking out 65 batters in 46.2 innings of work. Right hander Austin Copas was 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA as the Devils used 11 different pitchers during the 2016 season. The pitching staff combined to post a 2.90 team ERA.

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2016 People's Defender