Paonia has player, coach of the year on All-State team
After an undefeated season and a Class 2A state championship, the Paonia High School baseball team also won several awards. The Colorado High School Activities Association released All-State teams for all classifications Thursday.
Junior ace and leading hitter Kayden Seriani won 2A player of the year honors and coach Nate Miller was the 2A coach of the year.
On the mound, Seriani had a 0.75 ERA and had a 10-0 record in 11 appearances. He struck out 125 batters — second in the state, regardless of classification — in 56 innings.
At the plate, he launched a 2A-best nine home runs and was among the top five in RBI, runs and slugging percentage.
Miller is 65-8 in three seasons coaching the Eagles and several of his players received All-State honors.
Seriani, Trevor Smith and Jaden Miller were first-team picks, and Alex Lozano, Slater Podgorny, and Anders Schopp made the honorable-mention team.
Hotchkiss’ Jonathan Gonzalez was a second-team selection. Teammates Eli Kirk and Presley Pene were honorable mentions. Meeker’s Ty Gibson was an honorable mention.
In 1A, state champion Nucla won two awards. Trenton Armintrout was the player of the year and Randy Gabriel was the coach of the year.
Central’s Ryan Kirby and Hunter Kelchner were honorable-mention selections.
Kirby, a sophomore infielder, hit .451 with 24 RBI and a team-high 13 doubles. Kelchner split time between the mound and first base during his senior year, hitting a team-best .525 — ninth in 5A — with 25 RBI. He also finished with a 6-0 record, 2.33 ERA and struck out 45 batters in 45 innings.
Fruita’s Trey Morrill, who threw a perfect game for the Wildcats this season, was also an honorable mention. He led Fruita to its third straight Southwestern League title, striking out 68 batters — tied for sixth in 5A — with a 2.13 ERA.
At the plate, the junior hit .368 with team highs in RBI (20), runs (21) and home runs (three).
Palisade’s Max Noland and John Taber were honorable mentions. Noland logged 33 1/3 innings with 42 strikeouts and a 2.10 ERA. Taber threw a perfect game for the Bulldogs this season and struck out 40 batters in 37 2/3 innings.
Rifle’s Takoda Chaney was also an honorable mention. He made 12 pitching appearances for the Bears, logged 56 2/3 innings, and struck out a team-high 81 batters with an ERA of 2.59. He also contributed at the plate with a team-best six doubles and 28 runs.
Justin Violett was a second-team selection for Delta and Blake Reiher was an honorable mention.
Violett had team bests in home runs (five), triples (four), hits (34), and batting average (.523). All of those marks are among the top 15 in the classification.
Reiher had a .400 average with team-high eight doubles.