Beckers captain All-Area team
FAIRMONT – Fairmont senior Levi Becker and junior Luke Becker share many things, being both teammates and brothers.
After having stellar seasons, Levi Becker and Luke Becker will add the 2013 Sentinel All-Area Player of the Year honors to their list of shared accomplishments.
Levi Becker, a two-time All-Area Player of the Year, used his wide range of skills to help lead the Cardinals to the Section 3AA championship game for the third year in a row.
The two-time all-South Central Conference honoree recorded 32 hits, including six doubles and two triples.
With the help of two home runs, Levi Becker cranked out 31 RBIs and earned a .421 batting average with just one strikeout.
“Levi has always been a hard worker. No one works harder every day in practice than him,” said Fairmont head coach Todd Sukalski. “He is such a versatile player that it was great as a coach to be able to have him play anywhere.”
Reaching first wasn’t a problem with a .489 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .632 as the two-time all-Section 3AA selection walked 14 times, scored a total of 29 runs and stole nine bases.
“Last year, Levi was a good player as well, but this year I think his batting was so good,” said Sukalski. “He only struck out once and so you knew when he was at the plate he was going to put the ball in play.”
From a pitching standpoint, Levi Becker was 3-0 in 17 innings of action.
Levi Becker allowed just five runs – four earned – on eight hits, striking out four and walking 12 for a 1.65 ERA on the season.
Now, Levi Becker will continue his baseball career at North Iowa Area Community College this fall.
“It was definitely great as a coach to have a pair of players like the Beckers, who worked hard, loved to play the game and were versatile,” said Sukalski. “We put them together in the batting order, second and third this year. And they were our double-play combination when Spencer (Chirpich) pitched. They are just guys you like having on your team.”
A two-time All-Area selection, Luke Becker led the team in batting average at a .470 clip this season.
The two-time all-South Central Conference choice generated 18 RBIs on the strength of 39 hits, including six doubles, four triples and one home run.
With an on-base percentage of .489, Luke Becker used his speed to generate 12 stolen bases on the season en route to scoring 40 runs. A first-time all-Section 3AA choice, Becker also recorded a .632 slugging average.
When not patrolling the Cardinals’ infield, Luke Becker pitched 31.1 innings for a 3-0 record.
“Luke is such a smooth fielder, he played infield really well for us, probably could play any position if we needed him to. But he was great on the mound and in the field for us,” said Sukalski.
While pitching to an undefeated record, Luke Becker allowed 11 runs – 10 earned – and 24 hits. He struck out 31 and walked just 11 batters on the season, compiling a 2.23 ERA.
With one more season left, Luke Becker will look to help the Cardinals back to the state tournament.
Here’s a look at the rest of the 2013 All-Area baseball team.
Spencer Chirpich (Fairmont) – After a strong freshman season for the Cardinals on the diamond, the sophomore came back for an encore with another stellar season.
One of last year’s All-Area Players of the Year, Chirpich smacked 32 hits for 24 runs and 11 RBIs.
The two-time all-South Central Conference honoree hit a team-leading eight doubles and one triple, striking out just three times on the season.
After becoming the first Fairmont freshman to earn Class AA all-state tournament honors last year, Chirpich once again garnered an all-Section 3AA distinction.
With an on-base percentage of .439 and a slugging average of .488, Chirpich was a force at the top of the Cardinal batting order.
Without the element of surprise against opponents, Chirpich still managed to accumulate a 5-1 record in 31.1 innings, giving up just seven runs – five earned – and 26 hits.
The slinging sophomore struck out 34 batters and walked just 10 as he earned a 1.12 ERA for the red-and-white.
Sawyer Doocy (North Union) – The perennial All-Area selection earned the honor for a third straight season.
With a team-leading .351 batting average and a .606 slugging percentage, Doocy pounded three home runs, two triples and 11 doubles to provide the cornerstone for the Warrior offense.
In 94 at-bats, the senior standout generated 26 RBIs and scored 32 runs to earn all-Corn Belt Conference first-team honors for the second time.
The efficient Doocy drew 23 walks while leading the Warriors to the Class 2A, District 2 championship game this season.
The Northern Iowa Area Community College-bound right-hander threw 57.2 innings for a 6-3 record. Doocy struck out 99 and gave up 21 runs – 13 earned – on just 17 hits for a 1.58 ERA.
Jake Faber (Martin County West) – The Maverick junior was just shy of the .500 mark from the plate, batting .489 to lead his team this season.
Faber collected 22 hits and scored seven times for an on-base percentage of .511.
With three doubles, one triple and one home run, the two-time all-Valley Conference selection’s slugging average was .667, helping him drive in 11 RBIs.
Faber’s glove also was critical to the Mavericks’ success, fielding at an .884 percent.
In the 25.1 innings that Faber manned the mound, he allowed 16 runs – seven earned – and struck out 25 en route to a 2.49 ERA.
David Franta (Blue Earth Area) – The two-year varsity starter pitched 18 innings and amassed a 0.77 ERA from the mound to earn All-Area honors.
The all-South Central Conference selection allowed 11 runs – two earned – on 16 hits, struck out 16 and walked six on the season.
At the plate, Franta had 24 hits, including four doubles and one triple for a .358 batting average.
The shortstop and pitcher combination also drove in 13 RBIs, walking eight times and scoring nine runs for the year.
Carter Hanson (Blue Earth Area) – For the last five years, Hanson has been the signal-caller behind the plate for the Bucs, taking home a pair of All-Area and all-South Central Conference selections.
This season, the injury-plagued senior recorded 14 hits, including two doubles for a .250 batting average.
Along with crossing the plate seven times, Hanson collected 10 RBIs and walked eight times.
The Buc graduate will take his football skills to Collegeville this fall to play football for St. John’s University.
Bryce Holm (Fairmont) – The senior right-hander was the ‘go-to’ starter for the Cardinals this season, pitching his way to a 6-1 record for the campaign.
In 42.2 innings, the all-South Central Conference selection struck out 31 batters, allowed just 29 hits and 15 runs.
A two-time All-Area selection, Holm amassed a 1.80 ERA for the season.
From the plate, Holm recorded 16 hits and scored eight runs as he accumulated a .258 batting average in 62 at-bats.
The all-Section 3AA choice produced 12 RBIs on the strength of three doubles, walking six times for an on-base percentage of .310.
Once on base, the speedy centerfielder swiped five bases for the Cardinals in his final prep season.
Garrett Johnson (North Union) – The Warriors’ centerfielder made himself indispensable this season by patrolling the outfield, but his bat also helped him garner All-Area honors for the first time.
Johnson generated 24 RBIs with a .281 batting average, pounding a pair of homers and three doubles for the Warriors.
The all-Corn Belt Conference selection walked 15 times, recording 27 hits and scoring 27 runs for North Union.
His slugging percentage of .375 and on-base percentage of .420 helped generate offense, and once on base, Johnson wheeled for 11 stolen bases.
On the mound, Johnson pitched 34.1 innings, going 5-1 during the campaign. He struck out 36 batters, allowing 28 runs – 10 earned – on 44 hits for a 2.04 ERA for the Warriors.
Austin Krumwiede (Martin County West) – In his final season for the Mavericks, Krumwiede smacked four doubles to provide some much-needed offensive numbers.
The two-time All-Area and all-Valley Conference selection collected seven RBIs and scored nine runs on 14 hits.
With a .326 batting average and a .420 on-base percentage, Krumwiede also managed to steal a handful of bases for the Mavericks.
In the 16 innings that Krumwiede pitched, he gave up 13 runs on 17 hits, striking out 18 for the season.
With his high school playing days over, Krumwiede will move on to Central Lakes College in Brainerd to play football.
Ryan Noll (Fairmont) – The three-year varsity veteran delivered 23 hits and 23 RBIs this season with the help of four doubles and one triple for the Cardinals.
In 66 at-bats, the all-South Central Conference honorable mention selection scored nine runs and struck out just five times.
The senior, who was a mainstay behind the plate and in the outfield for Fairmont, batted .348 on the season, and with the help of a .488 on-base percentage, managed three stolen bases.
Brandyn Olsen (Blue Earth Area) – Olsen led the Bucs’ offense with 23 hits and a .410 batting average, including a team-leading six doubles.
Olsen also tied for the team’s best mark with one triple to go with one homer.
The all-South Central Conference choice walked a team-high 14 times and scored a team-leading 15 runs on the season, while generating 10 RBIs.
From the mound, Olsen pitched 37 innings, striking out 34 and allowing 25 runs – eight earned – on 30 hits.
The Bucs’ hurler walked 16 batters in his outings, earning a 1.51 ERA on the campaign.
Next year, the Blue Earth Area graduate will continue his baseball career by playing for the Southwest Minnesota State Universtity Mustangs in Marshall.
Tony Payne (Martin County West) – With a different team on a different field, the Mavericks’ freshman still produced stellar seasonal results.
The 2012 all-Valley Conference selection scored five runs and pounded 13 hits in 41 at-bats for the Mavericks.
Batting .317 on the season, Payne tallied seven RBIs, while reaching base a third of the time.
On the mound, this year’s all-Valley Conference honorable mention selection pitched 11 innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits.
With a 3.27 ERA, Payne struck out eight and walked just one batter.
Dylan Petrowiak (ML/ GHEC/Truman) – The three-time all-Valley Conference selection made his second All-Area team for his final season.
With eight doubles and one triple, Petrowiak netted 14 RBIs with a .367 batting average.
In 60 at-bats, Petrowiak walked 11 times, scored 23 runs and stole nine bases.
Going 4-0 on the season, the senior right-hander pitched 22.1 innings, giving up seven runs and 18 hits, while striking out 14 and walking just seven hitters for a 1.54 ERA and four saves.
Mitch Pfingsten (Fairmont) – After a stellar sophomore season, Pfingsten followed with a solid junior season on the diamond.
The two-time All-Area selection scored 11 runs with 25 hits, including five doubles, a triple and a home run.
An all-Section 3AA choice last year, Pfingsten drove in 30 RBIs, while walking nine times in 75 at-bats.
The all-South Central Conference selection generated a .333 batting average, along with a .414 on-base and a .467 slugging percentage.
Cody Runksmeier (North Union) – Along with his teammate Doocy, the junior hurler threw heat from the mound this season to finish with a 4-3 record.
Runksmeier pitched 49.2 innings and allowed just 33 runs – 13 earned – and struck out 40 on his way to a 1.83 ERA.
In addition to his pitching prowess, Runksmeier added some offensive firepower to the Warrior lineup. He finished with 42 hits, including 16 doubles and two triples in 124 at-bats.
With a slugging percentage of .500, along with a batting average of .339, Runksmeier notched 21 RBIs.
The all-Corn Belt Conference first-team selection also added speed to the basepaths by stealing eight bases on the season.
Jeremy Smith (ML/ GHEC/Truman) – With just over 46 innings pitched, the Knights’ senior left-hander consistently hurled strikes during the season.
The two-time all-Valley Conference selection struck out 47 batters this season, giving up 32 hits and 37 runs – 13 earned – for a 3-4 record.
For his strike-throwing efforts, the 2013 all-Section 2A choice earned a 1.97 ERA.
In addition to his defensive efforts, the two-time All-Area choice earned a .303 batting average and drove in 12 RBIs.
With seven doubles, Smith scored 15 runs with 56 at-bats, striking out just six times in his final season for the Knights.
Josh Wolter (ML/ GHEC/Truman) – In his first varsity baseball season, Wolter made the most of it by earning his first all-Valley and All-Area nods.
The Knights’ freshman smacked one home run, six doubles and drove in 11 RBIs with a .431 batting average.
In 58 at-bats, Wolter scored 23 runs, walked nine times and was struck out 10 times in the campaign.