BASEBALL

Mason Mekeel is 2013 Evergreen League baseball MVP

Steve Gerace
Mason Mekeel was recognized as the 2013 Evergreen League baseball most valuable player during a spring sports awards ceremony at Dunsmuir High School May 22, 2013.

In his Evergreen League MVP nominating statement, Dunsmuir baseball coach Ray Kellar noted that Mason Mekeel "is very astute about the game."

"He's an exceptional athlete and player," Kellar said of Mekeel when he announced that his team captain and No. 1 pitcher had received the 2013 EL most valuable player award.

Also earning postseason all-league honors for the Tigers was senior Cody Hagedon, while senior Justin DeClusin and junior Dayton Pepperdine were honorable mention.

Mekeel threw no-hitters in four of the nine games he pitched for the Tigers this spring and won 6, which was third in league. He finished with a 6-2 record and had a league and division high 108 strikeouts in 53.1 innings, an average of more than 2 strikeouts per inning. His earned run average of 0.79 was second in league and third in the division.

"He also played exceptional first base when not pitching," Kellar wrote.

At the plate, Mekeel's .471 batting average was second best in league and third in the division. He had a league and division high .902 slugging percentage, led the league with 3 home runs, was third in league with a .500 on-base percentage, and third in league with 24 runs batted in.

Kellar noted during Wednesday's spring sports event that Mekeel's MVP award was the fourth won by DHS athletes during the 2012-13 school year.

DeClusin was the football league MVP last fall; senior Jessica Hatten, who was all-league honorable mention in softball, was the volleyball league MVP last fall; and junior Chris Headley won the Northern Section tennis championship this spring.

The Tigers tied for second in the 2013 Evergreen League baseball standings with a 10-2 record, losing only to league champion American Christian. They won a first round playoff game then lost to eventual section champion Maxwell. Kellar noted that the Tigers' 7-0 loss to Maxwell was the closest game the champions played in the postseason, and he pointed out that Maxwell has won every league and section championship since 2000.

Kellar called Hagedon "a tremendous young man" who pitched, played "a great second base," and was on base often as the Tigers' lead off batter. His .446 on-base percentage was second best on the team. He had a .348 batting average and scored 21 runs, tied with Mekeel for the league lead.

Kellar said DeClusin is "a heck of an athlete" who played shortstop for the Tigers. He scored 15 runs and drove in 8 with 12 hits.

Pepperdine, playing baseball for the first time with the Tigers, played well at first base and hit the ball well, according to Kellar. He drove in 11 runs with 13 hits and scored 10. His 4 doubles were second only to Mekeel's 5.

Kellar said Mekeel "has baseball in his blood. There's not a team we play that doesn't compliment him. He knows what to do and when to do it in every situation."

Mekeel received the 2013 Northern Section boys Adamson Scholarship, an award presented to just one boy and one girl among all the section's small schools. His brother Jake won the same award as a Tiger senior last year. Mason qualified for the award after winning the Evergreen League's Dolf Scholarship. Mason said he plans to attend Shasta College in Redding and hopes to play baseball there with Jake.