4 Midd-West players named PHAC all stars

MIDDLEBURG – District 4 Class AAA finalist Midd-West had four players and its coach, Ron Flood, honored by the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference as league all stars.

Midd-West was known all season for its combination of pitching, defense and timely hitting, with two particular players usually responsible for that.

Outfielder Shane Connahan and catcher Luke Zimmerman were both first-team selections for the manner in which they carried the Mustangs’ offense.

Pitcher Aaron Sharp and outfielder Eli Stem were second-team picks.

Flood shared the Coach of the Year award with Bobby Felmy of Shikellamy.

Connahan was a consistent driving force for the Mustangs all season, hitting .383 and driving in a team-high 15 runs.

Connahan also got on base at .500 clip and hit five doubles on the season while playing both shortstop and center field.

“He played a big part and got a lot of key base hits for us,” Flood said. “He’s just a good ballplayer.”

Zimmerman was another offensive threat for Midd-West, bashing two home runs and driving in 14 runs on the season while hitting a team-best .409 and holding a .509 OBP.

The senior also handled the pitching staff well, which had much to do with Midd-West’s success.

“He only committed two errors (all year),” Flood said. “He’s a great defensive catcher and has a real strong arm.”

A sophomore, Sharp also had a lot to do with the success in the pitching department, tossing 39 2/3 innings, striking out 32 batters and posting a 1.05 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.

“At the beginning of the year, I didn’t know what to expect from either of our pitchers,” Flood said. “Aaron stepped up really, really big. We wouldn’t have been where we were without Aaron Sharp.”

Sharp wasn’t exactly a power pitcher, but he got the job done for Midd-West with a variety of flyouts and groundouts.

The youngster’s record was 6-0.

Stem was another third of the strong Mustangs outfield.

He hit .349 on the season and held a .509 OBP, which was tied for the team lead with Zimmerman.

Flood shared the Coach of the Year award thanks to his team’s solid all-around play and 14-7 record on the season.

“Anytime you win something like that it’s great,” Flood said. “A coach is only as good as the kids playing for you. You don’t win the award without the kids.

“I didn’t do anything different this year (or last year, when he also won the award) than I did in my 18 years of coaching.” Flood added. “(The kids) win the award and you get it.”