Mountain Vista's Sam Ireland did his usual thing this season, while Nathan Mitchell of Cherry Creek did something that had not happened in 47 years.
Ireland has been named the 2019 Colorado Community Media South Metro Player of the Year and Mitchell was tabbed as the Pitcher of the Year.
Last season, Ireland was selected as both the CCM South Metro Player and Pitcher of the Year, and the University of Minnesota recruit could have been named the same this season with impressive numbers, but Mitchell pitched better than ever for the Bruins.
Ireland was dominant on the mound with a 9-0 record, a 0.91 earned run average with 60 strikeouts, 22 walks and no homers allowed in 54 innings pitched.
He hit .425 with 36 runs batted in and had 13 doubles, one triple and five homers.
“Sam is a dual threat and is probably the best two-way player in the state,” said Vista coach Ron Quintana.
Asked whether Ireland should be considered a pitching or playing prospect, Quintana played the answer forward.
“That's Minnesota's decision now,” offered Quintana.
Mitchell was Creek's designated hitter when he wasn't providing the Bruins with some much-needed pitching stability.
He hit .346 but was steady on the mound and gave the Bruins strength on the mound, which helped Creek advance to the 5A state championship game.
Mitchell was 11-0 with a 2.58 ERA and had 59 strikeouts in 70.2 innings pitched. He walked just 13 of the 292 batters face and five of those walks came in the first game of the season.
“He makes you beat him,” said Creek coach Marc Johnson, who completed his 47th season of coaching baseball. “He doesn't walk a lot of batters and that helps a lot. Mitchell is the reason we won as many games as we did. He won 11 games as a pitcher for us. I've never had a pitcher go 11-0.”
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