PINEHURST, N.C. — The 2014 season was one of the best for the Stillwater area. The hometown Pioneers won their first state championship since the 1957 season. The Ripley Warriors were Class A state quarterfinalists and the Cushing Tigers were state quarterfinalists in Class 4A. There were several key players that helped their teams to success. The News Press is honoring those athletes on the All-Area first and second baseball teams.
Garret Gosney, Ripley
Gosney was the Warriors leadoff batter for the last four years. He hit .428 with a .548 on-base percentage. The senior scored 43 runs and stole 35 bases on 36 attempts. His offense helped Ripley reach the state tournament. Gosney made the All-Region Small School Region 2 team.
Michael Higgins, Stillwater
Higgins hit his stride late in the season, propelling the Pioneers in the postseason. The senior catcher had six straight games with a home run – including two grand slams in one day of the regional tournament at Couch Park – to finish with a team-high seven homers. Higgins finished with a .378 batting average and led the squad in RBIs with 41.
Josh Hite, Morrison
Hite was a tough out at the plate, as he hit .516 with 10 doubles, eight triples and two home runs. The senior drove in 51 and scored 41. Hite was a key part of Morrison’s run to the Class A regional tournament.
Sam Kraybill, Stillwater
Viewed as No. 1B pitcher by Stillwater coach Jimmy Harris, Kraybill was just as effective as Pioneer ace Carson Teel. Kraybill had a 9-0 record in 10 starts and ate up 54 2/3 innings – second only to Teel. He finished with a 1.79 ERA with 52 strikeouts and just 15 walks.
Jon Littell, Stillwater
Littell was near the top of every offensive statistical category for the Pioneers. The Oklahoma State signee – and 39th-round draft pick by the Washington Nationals – tied for second in home runs with five, tied for third in RBIs with 39 and led the team in runs scored at 42. Littell had a .445 batting average, despite pitchers working around the big hitter – he was walked a team-leading 23 times.