The Bluejay baseball team tied for second place in the Valley this year, so it’s not surprising that several members of the team earned All-Conference honors.
Senior shortstop Ty Grunenwald was the only unanimous selection in the infield, and senior center-fielder David Pophal received First Team outfield and Honorable Mention pitcher. Junior third-baseman Mason Reinhardt also was named to the First Team infield, and senior Alex Klug was the Second Team catcher. Senior left-fielder Alex Zettler also picked up HM.
Just-completed All-Region voting features several of these same players. Grunenwald (unanimous) and Reinhardt were both picked to the First Team and Pophal made the Second Team as an outfielder. Klug picked up HM.
Reinhardt also earned Academic All-State, while Grunenwald and Klug received Academic All-District.
Grunenwald batted .425 in the Valley, with a .511 on-base %. For the season, he had an .882 fielding %.
Reinhardt hit .447 in and posted a .563 OBP in the WVC, tops on the team for regulars. He posted an .816 fielding %.
Pophal batted .429 in the Valley, and had an .556 OBP and a .927 field %. He also posted a 3-1 pitching record with a 2.92 ERA, striking out 23 and walking 21.
“Ty works hard all year,” MHS coach Brian Artac said. “Hard work is what gets results. He is like a coach on the field, always reminding guys what to do in different situations. At shortstop, he’s got some things to work on because he wants to play at the next level.
“He and Reinhardt both had 31 hits. Thirty-one hits is a lot of hits. Mason is just a good athlete who plays baseball. He’s got great hand/eye coordination. He only had two strikeouts on the season going into the Point game. He was better than adequate at third. Sometimes third base can be a problem for a lot of teams. Mason’s got a strong arm.
“David really came on in the second half of the season. He started playing with confidence. I challenged him to say it if he wants to hit .300 and he did. He’s got a cannon for an arm.”
Klug batted .250 in the WVC and had a .302 OBP with a .954 fielding %. Zettler hit .296 with a .441 OBP and had a .963 fielding % after committing just one error.
“Catcher is a position that’s under-appreciated, and Alex is a warrior,” Artac said. “He’s a rock; a hard-nosed, raw-boned, strong kid. He uses his chest as well as his glove. He got a little lucky because the Second Team catcher got bumped to First Team utility.
“Alex Zettler is a good outfielder and he’s appreciated a little bit. It never looks like he’s going 100 miles-per-hour, but he’s got good judgement. He’s a quick learner.