Dobyns-Bennett’s Logan Gentry was chosen as the Johnson City Press Super 22 player of the year on Tuesday, ending a seven-year streak by Science Hill of having the area’s top baseball player.
Gentry was dominant on the mound and at the plate, helping the Indians reach the Class AAA state tournament for the second straight year. The senior right-hander finished with a record of 10-0 and an ERA of 0.98 while also driving in 28 runs at the plate.
Science Hill had dominated the award with Paul Hoilman (2007), Ben McKinney (2008), Daniel Norris (2009-11) and Will Craig (2012-13) earning the honor. Gentry was D-B’s first player of the year since Duran Ferguson back in 2005.
Joining Gentry on the 27th annual team were teammates Christian Bailey (third base) and Payton Marshall (left field). Also on the first team were Science Hill standouts Kyle Ouellette and Matthew Beaird, Unicoi County shortstop Ethan Rice, Greeneville shortstop Zack Finchum (chosen at second base), Daniel Boone center fielder Daniel Cox, and North Greene outfielder Zane Britton, who was chosen in right field.
Gentry heads a starting rotation that boasts North Greene’s Tyler Bailey, Dobyns-Bennett’s Caleb Cook, Sullivan South’s Russell Koesters and Unicoi County’s Brandon Garland. Sullivan East’s B.J. Murray was selected as the setup man while Austin Green was chosen as the team’s closer.
Leading the second team was Unicoi County second baseman Ryan Lingerfelt. He was joined by Greeneville catcher Drew Patterson, Daniel Boone third baseman Josh Bacon (selected at first base), David Crockett second baseman John Long (chosen at shortstop), Elizabethton third baseman Hunter Hodges, Science Hill left fielder Addison Adams, and Science Hill right fielder Landon Knack.
North Greene head coach Tim Lady, who guided the Huskies to the Class A state tournament, was the pick as coach of the year. Lady last won the award in 1991 at Chuckey-Doak.
Gentry finished with a record of 10-0, including a no-decision as the Indians suffered a tough 5-4 extra-innings loss to Germantown Houston in the opening round of the state tournament. He was a force on the mound with 81 strikeouts in 79 innings of work. He allowed just 46 hits while walking only 11 and finishing with an ERA of 0.98.
At the plate, Gentry was effective as well. He batted .314 with three homers and an on-base percentage of .447. He totaled 10 doubles and scored 23 runs.
Rice was a sparkplug for the Blue Devils, helping them win 28 games and reach the Class AA sectional round. The senior earned the team’s leadoff spot and finished with a .395 batting average to go along with six homers, 33 RBIs, 47 runs scored, nine doubles and 15 stolen bases.
Getting the No. 2 spot was Finchum, who was one of the area’s toughest outs as he compiled a batting average of .505 while helping Greeneville reach the Region 1-AA semifinals. The senior also drove in 34 runs, scored 36 runs and stole 21 bases.
Science Hill made it to the region semifinals and had one of the area’s loudest bats in Ouellette, who was in the No. 3 hole. The senior batted .514 while clubbing three home runs with 39 RBIs. Also, Ouellette set a Hilltoppers’ school record with 23 doubles.
Bailey is slotted in the clean-up spot, and he made D-B’s opponents pay with a red-hot .482 batting average. The senior totaled five homers, 34 RBIs, 37 runs and also stole eight bases.
Batting in the 5-hole on the Super 22, Marshall was a masher in the middle of the Indians’ order. The senior finished with eight homers and 36 RBIs while batting .401. He also had 15 doubles, scored 42 runs and added 21 stolen bases.
Gentry was in the No. 6 spot and followed by Britton, who was almost unstoppable for the Huskies. The junior finishing with a batting average of .519 to go along with two homers, 37 RBIs and eye-popping totals of 67 hits and 57 runs scored.
In the No. 8 spot was Cox, who helped Daniel Boone stay within striking distance of Science Hill and D-B all season. The senior finished the regular season with a batting average of .505 while driving in 21 runs. He was also 6-1 on the mound.
Rounding out the starting lineup, Beaird was arguably the area’s best defensive catcher and also carried an effective bat. The senior finished with an average of .329 while driving in 21 runs.
As for the rotation, Bailey slots in right behind Gentry. One reason the Huskies had such a shining season was the pitching of Bailey. The senior right-hander finished off his four years of dominance with a 8-1 mark this season to go along with an ERA of 1.05. He totaled 130 strikeouts in just 73 innings of work with only 22 bases on balls.
Cook was masterful for the Indians, finishing with a record of 8-0 and beating Brentwood for D-B’s first state tournament win since 1996. The junior right-hander also authored a perfect game against David Crockett, a one-hitter against Tennessee High, and a pair of one-hitters against Sevier County.
Sullivan South reached the Class AA sectional round and Koesters was a big part of the good season. The senior right-hander finished 7-2 with 72 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings and an ERA of 1.94. At the plate, he hit .391 with five homers and 42 runs batted in.
Just a freshman, Garland didn’t pitch like it. The left-hander finished 6-2 with his only losses coming against Dobyns-Bennett (a one-hitter) and eventual state champion Christian Academy of Knoxville. He amassed 91 strikeouts in just 55 innings of work. He also gave up just 29 hits while posting an ERA of 0.90.
Murray was a dominant force for the Patriots. In 64 innings, he racked up 84 strikeouts while walking only 10 batters. The junior right-hander finished with a record of 7-3 and an ERA of 0.86, and he added three saves.
Green was the door slammer for the Blue Devils, leading the area with six saves. The senior right-hander totaled 55 strikeouts in 53 innings while posting a record of 6-3 with an ERA of 1.61.
Unicoi County got some big hits from Lingerfelt, who finished with a .385 batting average. He also drove in 36 runs, scored 29, and stole seven bases.
Bacon racked up some big numbers while helping the Trailblazers get within one game of the regional tournament. During the regular season, the senior totaled three homers, 43 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and batted .437.
Long, a senior, led the Pioneers in almost every hitting category: batting (.406), RBIs (33), home runs (4), triples (3), doubles (13), hits (43), walks (20), runs (40) and on-base percentage (.538).
Hodges was a key part of Elizabethton’s lineup as the junior hit consistently throughout the year. He finished with a batting average of .429 to go along with two homers, 36 RBIs, 20 runs and six stolen bases.
Adams helped the Hilltoppers with a batting average of .349 to go along with 23 RBIs. The senior also likely led the area by being hit by a pitch 12 times.
Knack, a junior, was a force at the plate, finishing the year with a .436 batting average while also hitting two homers, totaling 37 RBIs, and adding 11 doubles.
Patterson was right the mix of things for the Greene Devils. The junior had a batting average of .383 while also totaling 27 RBIs, 22 runs and racking up 19 stolen bases.
Player of the year — Logan Gentry, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr.
Coach of the year — Tim Lady, North Greene
Pos — Player, team, class Avg HR RBI
SS — Ethan Rice, Unicoi County, Sr. .395 6 33
2B — Zack Finchum, Greeneville, Sr. .505 1 34
1B — Kyle Ouellette, Science Hill, Sr. .514 3 39
3B — Christian Bailey, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr. .482 5 34
LF — Payton Marshall, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr. .401 8 36
P — Logan Gentry, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr. .314 3 28
RF — Zane Britton, North Greene, Jr. .519 1 37
CF — Daniel Cox, Daniel Boone, Sr. .505 0 21
C — Matthew Beaird, Science Hill, Sr. .329 0 21
Player, school, class W-L ERA
Logan Gentry, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr. 10-0 0.98
Tyler Bailey, North Greene, Sr. 8-1 1.05
Caleb Cook, Dobyns-Bennett, Sr. 8-0 0.86
Russell Koesters, Sullivan South, Sr. 7-2 1.94
Brandon Garland, Unicoi County, Fr. 6-2 0.90
Setup — B.J. Murray, Sullivan East, Jr. 7-3 0.86
Closer — Austin Green, Unicoi County, Sr. 6-3 1.61
x-denotes player chosen outside of regular position
C — Drew Patterson, Greeneville, Jr.; x-1B — Josh Bacon, Daniel Boone, Sr.; 2B — Ryan Lingerfelt, Unicoi County, Sr.; x-SS — John Long, David Crockett, Sr.; 3B — Hunter Hodges, Elizabethton, Jr.; LF — Addison Adams, Science Hill, Sr.; x-RF — Landon Knack, Science Hill, Jr.