Just days after tearing through the Region VI Tournament in Wichita, the No. 12-ranked Cowley College baseball team saw seven players named all-conference and three more all-region.
The Tigers (45-12) captured their third straight Jayhawk East title and qualified for the Juco World Series for the third time in the past four seasons.
Leading the way for the Tigers was sophomore catcher Cody Milligan, who was named the Jayhawk East Most Valuable Player.
Milligan, who was also an all-conference and all-region first-team selection, is batting .449 with five home runs and 56 runs batted in. Milligan has also been successful on all 27 stolen-base attempts and has an on-base percentage of .567.
“He is the best player on the best team in the region and is very deserving of this award,” Cowley coach Dave Burroughs said. “He is so athletic; he could play anywhere on the field for us.”
Cowley sophomore Brannon Jordan was named the Jayhawk East Pitcher of the Year. Jordan is 9-2 with a 1.43 ERA, and has allowed only 29 hits in 56 2/3 innings, while striking out 76 and walking just 16. He joined Milligan on the all-conference and all-region first team.
“B.J. just kept getting better and better and dominated the last half of the season,” Burroughs said.
Guiding the Tigers to another stellar season, Burroughs was named the Jayhawk East Coach of the Year for the eighth time in the past 13 seasons.
“My award should be shared by our coaches (Darren Burroughs and Brock Buckingham), and our players,” Burroughs said.
Sophomore relief pitcher Jared Wilson was also named to the all-conference first team. Wilson is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA and has struck out 37 in 26 2/3 innings.
“He has come in and dominated games in the eighth inning for us,” Burroughs said.
Freshman third baseman George Specht (.311 average, 23 RBI) was named to the all-conference first team and all-region second team, while freshman shortstop Logan Steenstra (.300 average, 42 RBI) made the all-conference second team.
“Those two freshmen really had great years and have a good future in our program,” Burroughs said.
Sophomore outfielder Grady Davenport (.411 average, 41 RBI) also was selected to the all-conference second team, while sophomore pitcher Ryan Westerhoff (five saves, 3.03 ERA, 44 strikeouts) received honorable mention.
“For Grady to miss five weeks to injury and still be named second-team all-conference speaks volumes as to what he has done,” Burroughs said. “And Westy is the best closer in the conference.”
Johnson County’s Trey Ziegenbein was named the Jayhawk East Freshman of the Year.
Former Arkansas City High School standout Andrew Brautman received honorable mention.
Brautman, an infielder at Neosho County, batted .342 with a team-high 54 runs for the Panthers.
The Tigers open play at the Juco World Series at 9 a.m. Saturday against Walters State (Tenn.). The Senators (52-9) were ranked third in the final regular season poll.
KJCCC Division II East
Most Valuable Player — Cody Milligan, Cowley.
Pitcher of the Year — Brannon Jordan, Cowley.
Freshman of the Year — Trey Ziegenbein, Johnson County.
Coach of the Year — Dave Burroughs, Cowley.
(* - unanimous)
P — Brannon JordanSo.Cowley
P — Trey ZiegenbeinFr.Johnson County
P — Zach EbertSo.Johnson County
RP — Jared WilsonSo.Cowley
C — Cody Milligan*So.Cowley
1B — Malik WilliamsSo.Johnson County
2B — Zac FreemanSo.Coffeyville
3B — Austin BonnelSo.Coffeyville
3B — George SpechtFr.Cowley
SS — Chris EspositoSo.Johnson County
OF — Hampton HallSo.Fort Scott
OF — Nick SchiffnerFr.Highland
OF — Anthony Amicangelo*So.Johnson County
DH — Drew WhiteSo.Labette
Util — Lukas RichFr.Allen
P — Ben BeutelSo.Allen
P — Orlando OrtizSo.Kansas City
P — Osvaldo MendezFr.Kansas City
RP — Paul RectorFr.Johnson County
C — Brady GarrisonSo.Neosho County
1B — Jorge OrtizSo.Coffeyville
2B — Adam ThiesSo.Neosho County
3B — Blake ShannonSo.Johnson County
SS — Logan SteenstraFr.Cowley
OF — Lucas McCainSo.Allen
OF — Grady DavenportSo.Cowley
OF — Owen WilsonSo.Fort Scott
OF — Landon WoodFr.Johnson County
OF — Tyler HenryFr.Kansas City
DH — Jose SosaFr.Kansas City
Allen — Justus Burke, Nate Postlethwait.
Coffeyville — Aaron Bechtel, Jackson Blancarte, Chase Freeman, Luis Mendoza.
Cowley — Ryan Westerhoff.
Fort Scott — Grant Goldston, Andrew McKenzie, Aris Nakagawa, Adam Rellihan.
Highland — Connor Fiene, Jordan McClellan.
Johnson County — Mason Hartman, Anthony Slaughter, Sloan Thomsen.
Kansas City — Educardo Acosta, Keper Bednar, Eric Hinostroza, Kevin Santiago.
Labette — Landon Lord, Creighton Silvain.
Neosho County — Cruz Aranda, Cam Blazek, Andrew Brautman, Alex DeBey, Sam Kissane, Khalil Thrasher.