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DIVISION I-A BASEBALL HONORS: Faith Lutheran’s Trageton steps up on mound, earns Player of Year award

Faith Lutheran’s Zack Trageton knew he’d have an increased role going into this season as two of his former teammates from a year ago moved on to play Division I college baseball.

The 6-foot-2-inch right-hander appears to be next in line following a breakout junior season.

Trageton went 6-3 with a 2.35 earned run average and also led the team in batting average to help the Crusaders to their third consecutive state final appearance. For his efforts, he was named the Division I-A Southern Region Player of the Year by league coaches.

“I had some pretty big shoes to fill,” Trageton said. “You’ve got two of the top three pitchers in the state (last season). They both just taught me how to compete, throw strikes and get batters out.

“I didn’t really focus on, ‘Oh, I’m the guy now. Watch out.’ I just played for the guy next to me and the team, and did what I could do to win ball games.”

Trageton, who pitched sparingly last season behind Brandon Johnson (Kansas) and Erich Uelmen (Cal Poly), credits his transformation to playing with the LVBA Cardinals scout team over the fall and the development of a third pitch.

By adding a change-up to his arsenal, which already included an upper 80s fastball and a power slider, Trageton turned himself into one of top pitchers in Southern Nevada and finished the season with 88 strikeouts and 20 walks in 62 2/3 innings.

“I improved most on my pitching,” Trageton said. “I played on the scout team over the fall. A couple pitchers went down and they jus

t threw me in. They kept putting me out there and it developed me into the pitcher I am today. …

“I overpowered a lot of hitters with my fastball. But I came into the year without throwing a change-up. And our pitching coach, Terry Unruh, taught me and really worked with me.”

Trageton, who is receiving interest from Arizona State, Kansas, UNLV and Washington, also batted .467 with 15 stolen bases and 25 RBIs.

“This is a huge honor,” he said. “I didn’t really expect the MVP. I wouldn’t be as successful without my defense. Josh Harmonay at shortstop and Chad Jones at second base is probably one of the best middle infields in Las Vegas. And the whole coaching staff really helped me and never gave up on me.”

Trageton also was named the Sunset Player of the Year, while Boulder City’s Peyton Koopman took home the Sunrise’s top honor.

Koopman, a junior, led the Eagles back to the state tournament after missing out last season.

“He’s one of, if not, the hardest worker on our team,” Boulder City coach Bobby Reese said. “He’s a two-sport athlete and even during basketball season, he still finds the time to keep his grades up and make it to the baseball field.

“He’s the guy we count on to get the big hit. We just expect him to do it all the time, and more times than not, he comes through for us. He’s also a very good left fielder for us. He made some huge plays out there all year long and that kind of goes unnoticed because of his pitching and hitting.”

Koopman, a pitcher and outfielder, led the All-Southern Region first team with Boulder City teammates Nolan Desantis, Preston Van Diest and Steve Wagner.

Cheyenne’s James Cummings also made the team, along with Faith Lutheran’s Greg Sylvester and Harmonay; Moapa Valley’s Chaz Cornwall; Pahrump Valley’s Dylan Ault; Sierra Vista’s Cade Burdett and Kaven Alferez; and Spring Valley’s Nick Rupp and Carter Lambeth.

Tech’s Bill Stuber was named the Southern Region Coach of the Year. The Roadrunners went 19-11-1 and were the Sunrise League’s No. 2 seed.

Stuber also won Sunrise Coach of the Year, and Faith Lutheran’s Blair Neagle was named the Sunset Coach of the Year.

— —

Division I-A Honors

All-South

Greg Sylvester, Faith Lutheran; Preston Van Diest, Boulder City; Dylan Ault, Pahrump Valley; Kaven Alferez, Sierra Vista; Josh Harmonay, Faith Lutheran; Nick Rupp, Spring Valley; Steve Wagner, Boulder City; Cade Burdett, Sierra Vista; Peyton Koopman, Boulder City; Carter Lambeth, Spring Valley; James Cummings, Cheyenne; Chaz Cornwall, Moapa Valley; Nolan Desantis, Boulder City

Player of the Year–Zack Trageton, Faith Lutheran

Coach of the Year–Bill Stuber, Tech

All-Sunrise League

First Team

Austin Shepard, Boulder City; Van Diest, Boulder City; Chandler Gehring, Tech; Austin Wishard, Boulder City; Sebastian Fitzgerald, Tech; Mark O’Connor, Chaparral; J.R. Redd, Moapa Valley; Set Kermode, Boulder City; Tyler Crone, Chaparral; Alexis Acosta, Tech; Desantis, Boulder City; C. Cornwall, Moapa Valley; Wagner, Boulder City

Second Team

Jayce Otis, Tech; Connor Jarvis, Chaparral; Mike Morelli, Boulder City; Trevor Kephart, Tech; Anthony Cornwall, Moapa Valley; Zach Murphy, Boulder City; Jalen Birch, TEch; Skye Espinoza, Chaparral; Erick Villarreal, Chaparral; Angel Chavez, Sunrise Mountain; Riley Longman, Moapa Valley; Zach Trujillo, Del Sol; Cardell Bowie, Del Sol

Player of the Year–Peyton Koopman, Boulder City

Coach of the Year–Bill Stuber, Tech

All-Sunset League

First Team

Rupp, Spring Valley; Burdett, Sierra Vista; Bryce Bullock, Spring Valley; Greg Syvester, Faith Lutheran; David Perez, Sierra Vista; Cruz Daddario, Faith Lutheran; Jake Sellinger, Spring Valley; Liam Harris, Mojave; Ault, Pahrump Valley; Alferez, Sierra Vista; Justin Rasavage, Sierra Vista; Harmonay, Faith Lutheran; Lambeth, Spring Valley; Cummings, Cheyenne; Chase Anderson, Mojave; Josh Mortensen, Pahrump Valley

Second Team

Matthias Blodgett, Clark; Angelo Hallenback, Cheyenne; Braxton Anderson, Sierra Vista; Jhared Gonzalez, Sierra Vista; Carlos Rivera, Pahrump Valley; Macun Sotelo, Clark; Stefan McLin, Clark; Dylan White, Sierra Vista; Chris Clawson, Mojave; Andrew Foley, Mojave; Chandler Smith, Sierra Vista; Drew Walker, Pahrump Valley; Chad Jones, Faith Lutheran; Tyler Greene, Pahrump Valley; Jaxson Otis, Spring Valley; Otto Hernandez, Mojave; George Carmona, Cheyenne; Ryan Ebel, Clark

Player of the Year–Zack Trageton, Faith Lutheran

Coach of the Year–Blair Neagle, Faith Lutheran

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