Effingham Daily News
Patoka's Johnnie Clift earned the most valuable player nod from the Egyptian Illini Conference coaches, on the EIC All-Conference team.
Opposing coach Ryan Beccue, from Brownstown/St. Elmo, said Clift was deserving of the award for being a top of the rotation pitcher and a challenging hitter.
“Clift is one of those kids who gets the ball and expects to win,” Beccue said. “He's a smart pitcher and hitting wise he's a tough out.”
Three of Beccue's players earned a place on the all-conference team. Levi Maxey, Jacob Behrends and Dalton Parks all earned honors.
Behrends was B/SE's top pitcher this season with a 3-5 record overall. He started one game in EIC play, which was a 22-strikeout game against Patoka in the EIC championship game.
Behrends finished with a 2.40 ERA this season with 65 strikeouts and 16 walks in 46-2/3 innings pitched. Beccue said opposing coaches voted him to the all-conference team, recognizing the significant role he played in National Trail Conference play for B/SE.
“He got a lot of the top assignments in the NTC,” Beccue said. “Other coaches recognized that and rewarded him.”
Both Parks and Maxey made the all-conference team, even though Beccue said he said he had even higher expectations than how they performed this fall.
He said Parks was a product of hard work this fall, peaking late in the season and finishing the year with a .307 batting average and 18 RBIs.
“He hit the ball hard the last couple of weeks and got back to where he needed to be,” Beccue said.
Maxey hit .562 in EIC games this fall, which was better than all other EIC hitters, while his averaged leveled out at .315 overall this season.
Maxey scored 20 runs this season and pitched for the team. He finished with a 4-3 overall record on the mound, with a 4.33 ERA, but was better in conference play. Against EIC teams, Maxey was 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA.
Patoka, who lost in the championship game to B/SE, also had three players make the all-conference team, including Clift, Seth Allen and Ryan Miller.
Jacob Kenter and Austin Rexroad made it from Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick. Ramsey's Tristan Wesselman and Tylor Knisley rounded out the all-conference team.
Mulberry Grove's Derek Childress, Patoka's John Houston and Ramsey's Brady Reiss were the three players to earn honorable mention honors in the EIC.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.