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Vogt named North player of the year; four Pioneers make all-district team

The Powell Pioneers are heading into the state tournament in Gillette as the North District’s No. 1 seed and it’s no wonder.

The Pioneers boast the most first-team All-District players (three) of any North team, and are tied for the second-most total players (four) to be named to the squad of stars. Frankie Vogt, Hayden Cragoe and Cory Heny were each named to the All-District first team, and Brendon Phister made the second team.

Vogt, who has been Powell’s most dominant starter and powerful hitter, was named the North’s overall player of the year.

“I think he was heads and tails the best player in the whole conference,” said Pioneers head coach Jason Borders. “It was a no-brainer in my mind.”

Vogt was one of only two players to make the first-team All-District league by a unanimous vote.

Vogt has hit for both power and average this year. He leads the team with nine home runs, 66 RBIs, a .538 average and an impressive 1.496 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 46 games. Vogt’s .592 on-base percentage is second on the team, just behind Heny’s .593 mark.

Throughout the season Vogt proved himself to be Powell’s most versatile and intimidating pitcher.

His 74 strikeouts are second only to Cragoe’s 75, who has thrown eight more innings. Vogt’s 2.37 earned-run average was far and away the best on Powell’s staff, as is his .166 batting average against. He heads into the tournament with a 4-2 record and three saves.

Like Vogt, Cragoe and Heny excelled both at the plate and on the mound.

Heny, who has batted in the leadoff spot for the majority of the season, leads the Pioneers with 70 runs, 36 walks and 34 stolen bases, and is second on the team with five home runs, a .482 average and a 1.317 OPS.

Heny wasn’t a flamethrower on the mound, but he didn’t need to be. He pitched to contact and relied on his defense, sometimes to mixed results. But his 3.75 ERA was second only to Vogt’s. Heny threw 56 innings, the most of any Pioneer, and threw less than five innings in only one start.

Cragoe did a little of everything at the plate. He hit .316 with four home runs, 36 RBIs and 59 runs. He was also a perfect 15-for-15 in steal attempts.

Cragoe led all Powell pitchers with six wins. His 4.17 ERA was third on the staff as was his 1.81 WHIP (walks and hits divided by innings pitched).

Phister has gone under the radar this year, but has consistently been one of Powell’s top players.

He doesn’t possess the power of Vogt, Cragoe or Heny, but when he gets on base, which is often, Phister has as much potential as any Pioneer to find his way home.

Phister scored 31 runs in only 33 games played. Phister sits on Sundays for religious reasons and missed 15 games this season. Still, his 30 stolen bases is second on the team and only four behind Heny who played 10 more games than Phister.

“He just wreaks havoc (on the basepaths) all the time,” Borders said.

Phister’s average has been climbing all year and now sits at .373, good for third on the team. He also sports a .924 OPS, also third among Pioneers.

Borders said he was surprised Powell’s clean-up hitter Gage Henderson didn’t make at least the second team.

“He worked really hard the last four years and I’d have liked to see him make it,” Borders said.

Henderson hit .340 in 162 at-bats, the most at-bats taken by any Pioneer. His 42 RBIs are second on the team and his 43 runs ranked fourth. He also ranked second in doubles, with 14.

Douglas’s Marvin Malone, whom the Pioneers beat on Friday, also was a unanimous All-District choice and was named the North District pitcher of the year. Douglas head coach Zack Andrews was named coach of the year.

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