The Wellsville-Middletown varsity baseball team had plenty to celebrate this season.
That included defeating Madison, 7-5 overall, on May 14 to earn the Class 1, District 11, championship at New Franklin after downing area rival Community R-6, 7-9 overall, 3-0 one day earlier. The Tigers even charted a win over Concordia, 17-5 overall, 4-1 at Sectionals on May 20 before things finally came to a close and that led to numerous personal postseason accolades.
Then, last week, when the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association released its All-State lists, this team was able to take one last walk down that red carpet to where the awards are handed out. That's because when it came to the 1A All-State Team, making the First Team were Pitcher Ben Burton and Infielder Ethan Burton, Infielder Isaac Ussery earned a spot on the Second Team and grabbing an Honorable Mention placement was Clayton Ebers.
"I am very proud of these players. They worked hard and deserve the recognition that they have earned. Being on the All-State team is an honor and being selected by the coaches throughout the state is impressive," said Head Coach Earl Burton. "Wellsville-Middletown has had three players receive this honor for three years, Ben, Ethan and Isaac. These three have lead the Tigers in most offensive and defensive categories for their entire career."
In the Class 1 Quarterfinals on May 22 the Tigers played a hard-fought game, but still found themselves on the wrong side of a 5-4 decision at St. Elizabeth. The one thing that allowed Wellsville-Middletown to mitigate the sting of that loss was that the Hornets went on to win the state title.
"The last two outs of the game were diving plays that they were able to make with the Tigers having two on base. At the time it was disappointing for the team, but as St. Elizabeth continued to win the Semi finals and the championship the season came into focus. We were beat by a very good ball club," said Earl Burton. "Ben, Ethan and Isaac graduated with three other players, Cameron Huff, Rodger Yelton and Kollin McCoy. This group has set the expectation for Tiger Baseball."