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Redhawks’ McLean repeats as Iowa Star South’s Player of the Year

T-R FILE PHOTO - North Tama’s Ryan McLean, pictured playing first base in a Class 1A District 9 baseball game on July 13, 2019, has been named the Iowa Star Conference South Division’s Player of the Year for the second summer in a row.

North Tama senior Ryan McLean was both the most productive hitter and prolific pitcher in the Iowa Star Conference’s South Division this summer.

It stands to reason he was named the league’s Player of the Year, making it two-straight seasons McLean received the conference’s top honor.

McLean was one of four North Tama players selected to the South Division’s all-conference first team, justified by the Redhawks’ 8-0 league record in the pandemic-shortened summer season. Senior Luke Pennell was named the first-team catcher, sophomore Gabe Kopriva was picked as a first-team infielder and sophomore Adam Greiner was one of three first-team outfielders.

GMG junior Brock Teske was named a first-team infielder as well despite an 0-8 divisional mark for the Wolverines.

McLean led the Iowa Star’s South Division with 16 RBIs while also pitching his way to four wins and a league-leading 0.98 earned run average. He struck out a division-best 48 batters in just 21 1/3 innings, and opposing batters hit just .105 against him. McLean batted .387 overall with three doubles, a triple, eight runs scored and 15 walks.

In earning the South’s top honor last summer, McLean batted .357 with five doubles, three home runs and 16 RBIs in 14 conference games for the South Division champion Redhawks. On the mound, McLean went 4-1 in league play with a 1.89 earned run average and a whopping 60 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. Opposing batters hit just .132 against him.

Pennell batted .393 for the Redhawks, racking up 12 runs scored and nine RBIs. He was walked eight times and hit by pitches seven times. Kopriva led North Tama with a .412 batting average, 21 runs scored, three triples and 11 stolen bases. Greiner contributed a .267 batting average with six runs scored and five RBIs.

Kopriva was a second-team honoree last summer and an honorable mention pick as an eighth-grader. Pennell was honorable mention last year.

Teske, in his first all-conference honor, led GMG with a .469 batting average. He amassed three doubles, a triple, one home run and 10 RBIs.

Second-team honors went to GMG junior Zach Krull and sophomore Kooper Gill. Krull posted a 2.17 ERA in 19 1/3 innings pitched for the Wolverines while batting .447 with four doubles and 12 RBIs. Gill hit .294 with a triple and 13 runs scored to go with a team-high nine stolen bases.

North Tama senior Skyler Staker and GMG freshman Brayden Duden were their teams’ honorable mention selections.

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