Mariners Dugan, Mazurek swing in as KVAC Class B players of yearOther Midcoast diamond student-athletes also honored
Augusta — There has been plenty of success on the high school baseball and softball diamonds thus far for Midcoast student-athletes and that fact is reflected — in spades — among those honored by Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B coaches.
Thirteen area players, and a local coach, have had the spotlight shone on them for their standout work on the field this spring, none brighter than two Oceanside athletes.
Oceanside senior Brooke Dugan and sophomore Nick Mazurek have been selected the league's softball and baseball players of the year respectively for their excellent performances on the diamonds.
Additionally, Oceanside's Rusty Worcester, who guided his squad to the league, regional and state Class B championships last year, has been named the league's top softball coach this year.
Players from several schools in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties are represented on the all-conference teams, including Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Camden Hills of Rockport, Belfast and Mount View of Thorndike.
First-team all-conference — Mazurek and J.T. Tobin, Oceanside; Connor Graffam and Chandler Crans, Camden Hills; and Emery Dinsmore, Belfast.
Second-team all-conference — Micah Williamson, Medomak Valley; and David Clark, Mount View.
Player of the year — Mazurek, Oceanside. During the regular season, Mazurek batted .489, with 23 hits, five home runs, 24 RBIs, 18 runs, a .576 on-base percentage and an .851 slugging percentage. He struck out three times in 47 at bats (59 overall plate appearances) and walked a team-high 10 times. As a pitcher, Mazurek finished with a 6-1 record and a save. In 44 1/3 innings on the hill, he had a 1.26 earned run average, allowed 25 hits, 15 runs, 8 earned runs, struck out 55 and walked 14 (nearly a 4 to 1 ratio). Opponents batted .152 against him. The hard-throwing right-hander had five complete games, two shutouts and a no-hitter.
"Nick is the leader of our staff and really sets the tone for us," said Mariner coach Don Shields. "When he pitches, our team feels like they can't be beat. At the plate, he matches his great power with an outstanding plate awareness. That combination is rare and he is one of the smartest and most determined players that I have ever coached. I'm very happy that he wears the Oceanside Blue."
First-team all-conference — Dugan, Oceanside.
Second-team all-conference — Mariah Sturgis and Ashley Littlefield, Belfast; Lauren Guptill, Medomak Valley; Kayln Grover, Oceanside; and Natalie Hamalainen, Camden Hills.
Player of the year — Dugan, Oceanside. During the regular season, Dugan batted .596 with 34 hits, eight home runs, 30 RBIs, 25 runs, a .646 on-base percentage and a whopping 1.228 slugging percentage.
"She is just so quick to the ball with her hand speed and her eye-hand coordination is incredible," said Worcester of Dugan. "She was also 18 for 18 for stolen bases, [she has] great speed. I have timed her from the right side of the batters box to first base in 3.19 seconds. She is one of the captains this year and leads by example on and off the field."
Coach of year — Worcester, Oceanside.
Despite the annual success of Worcester-coached teams the past several years, this is only Worcester's second time winning such an award, the other coming in 2011 when he won the Mountain Valley Conference coach of the year when he led Georges Valley.
"I was honored to be selected by my fellow coaches this year with the KVAC Class B coach of the year," he said. "I would like to thank my assistant coach Rachel Campbell and my team, they are the ones that make my job easy. When your team listens to instruction and then goes out and performs at a high level, it sure makes other teams take notice. There are some great coaches in our conference and it make you feel very good when you get selected for this award."
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
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