Baseball players honored at annual banquet |

Baseball players honored at annual banquet

Elwood Shelton

Four Bulldogs were honored with All-Conference awards Wednesday night during the baseball team’s end-of-the-year banquet.

Moffat County High School juniors Jerod Estey and Tad Beherns and senior Chris Field were named All-Conference first team while junior Eric Bastow was named honorable mention.

Along with earning All-Conference, Estey was also named the Western Slope Conference’s No. 1 player of the year, the Bulldogs’ MVP and earned the Big Stick award for his proficiency on the mound and at the plate.

“All of these guys deserve the honors they’ve been given,” coach Kip Hafey said. “They worked hard all season and did what they had to do.”

Estey was chosen for the three honors because through much of the season he led the state in hitting and pitching. Before post-season play Estey led the state in home runs with eight and was among the top in Colorado in hitting, with an average of .522, and pitching, with an ERA of 2.41.

“Estey did an all-around fantastic job this year,” Hafey said. “He led the state in a number of categories and that’s impressive as a junior.”

Joining Estey in first-team honors was senior Chris Field, who also earned the team award for Outstanding Pitcher. Field accumulated the most innings pitched in the season with 58.2.

In his time on the mound, he struck out 58 batters and kept his ERA at 3.34. The senior was as equally as proficient at the plate, maintaining an average of .354 and driving in 12 RBIs.

“Chris was our work horse,” Hafey said. “He had more innings than any other pitcher and always did a good job when he was in there.”

If Hafey would have been asked whether or not Beherns would have been an All-Conference player at the start of the year, he said he most likely would have said no. Hafey saw the catcher as being an unknown for the Bulldogs in 2002 because of the departure of the power-hitting Rob Satterwhite.

Beherns made it clear throughout the season that he was the man for the job, with an average of .348 and knocking out three home runs and 20 RBIs.

“Beherns came in and really took over the position,” Hafey said. “He became a force at the plate both catching and batting.”

Bastow was the Bulldogs’ steal specialist for the year, nabbing a total of 18 on the year. He also had great consistency at the plate, maintaining an average of .430 throughout the year. The team also honored him as the top base runner.

“Bastow could easily compete for a state record in stolen bases next year,” Hafey said. “He was a force while on base.”

The team also honored junior J.J. Zapalac as most improved player and nine players as Academic


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