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Expedition League releases 2020 season awards | KTIC Radio

Expedition League releases 2020 season awards

Expedition League releases 2020 season awards
(Expedition League)

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The Expedition League announced the 2020 season awards for League MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Al Wagner Memorial Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year, Organization of the Year, Broadcaster of the Year and Social Media of the Year.  The 2020 All Expedition League Team was announced as well.

“The Expedition League was blessed to play a 52-game season with six of our 10 teams in 2020.  We were able to provide an incredible playing and coaching experience for our players and coaches, while giving our great fans the amazing fun, fan-first experience that they’ve come to love and expect in the Expedition League, all while doing it in a safe environment”, said Steve Wagner, Expedition League President.  “It’s an honor to recognize the outstanding talent that we have at all levels of the League.  We have amazing, talented players and very hard working and dedicated team owners and front office staffs.  There were some incredible individual performances, outstanding team performances, and great achievements by our organizations and front offices in the 2020 season.  I have said it many times and it’s worth repeating… I’m humbled that there are so many gifted people that are a part of the Expedition League.  The fans across the League were once again amazing in their support of and dedication to our teams.  This year more than ever, we loved giving our great fans nonstop fun and entertainment and putting smiles on their faces as they attended Expedition League games in 2020.  We were definitely an integral part of the healing process in our great communities in the 2020 season and we look forward to serving our wonderful communities for decades and decades and decades to come.”

The 2020 League MVP award goes to Ronnie McBride, outfielder with the 2020 Expedition League Champion Fremont Moo.  Ronnie, who attends LSU-Alexandria, batted .330 (4th in the League), with 59 hits (3rd in the League), led the League with 55 runs scored, led the League with 16 doubles, had 3 triples (3rd in the League), hit 7 home runs (5th in the League) and finished the season with 42 RBI (2nd in the League, one behind the League leader).  Ronnie also led the League in stolen bases with 40, outpacing the second-place finisher by a whopping 12 stolen bases.  “Ronnie is a very dynamic player who does a lot of things well on the field as his stats confirm”, noted Chad Miller, Owner of the Fremont Moo.  “He can lay down a bunt for a hit, drive the gap, or leave the yard, and he takes away a lot of hits with his range in the outfield.  A single often becomes a triple as he swipes bags with the best of them.  He really did it all for us this summer and he is very deserving of this honor.  Great preparation, great effort, and a great teammate.  We are very thankful that he was in our dugout and I couldn’t be more proud of Ronnie.”

The 2020 Pitcher of the Year is Ethan Skuija, right-handed pitcher with the Pierre Trappers.  Ethan, from Cal State, Bakersfield, led the League in ERA (1.25) and strikeouts (75) in 43.1 innings pitched.  He gave up only 20 hits and walked only 14 batters, with an outstanding WHIP of 0.78.  “Ethan was lights out for the Trappers all season and his stuff was simply unhittable”, said Wagner, owner of the Pierre Trappers.  “His velocity and spin rate were at the top of the League and Ethan has a very bright future.  We were extremely blessed to have him in Pierre this summer.  The fans loved to watch him!”

The Expedition League’s Al Wagner Memorial Coach of the Year award is named in honor of Expedition League founder and president Steve Wagner’s dad, Al, who served the United States selflessly for nearly four years in World War II while stationed in Europe and North Africa and was awarded two Purple Hearts for being wounded twice and a Bronze Star for heroic service in a combat zone.  The Expedition League 2020 Coach of the Year winner is Shea Bennett, Head Coach of the Fremont Moo.  Shea guided the Moo to a 34-20 record while winning the Expedition League championship with a 2-0 League Championship Series victory over the Badlands Big Sticks, who were the Expedition League’s 2019 Champions.  Moo Owner Chad Miller commented, “Shea has been a steady leader for us from the beginning of the Moo franchise.  He is level-headed, poised, and consistent… all of the traits found in a good leader.  A playoff appearance in year 1 and an Expedition League Championship in year 2 is a testament to his ability to manage.  He led the best team and his decisions led to a Championship so he has certainly earned this honor.  We are thankful that he is our field general and thankful for the commitment that he has shown to putting a competitive product on the field every night.”

The Expedition League’s 2020 Executive of the Year is Jason Watson, General Manager of the Badlands Big Sticks.  The Big Sticks 2020 attendance of 745 fans/game was second in the Expedition League.  The entire Dickinson community has embraced the Big Sticks and this is largely due to Jason’s nonstop hard work over the past three years.  “It’s an understatement to say that the 2020 season posed a tremendous number of challenges for all of the teams in the Expedition League, and Jason worked extremely hard to have a great Big Sticks season”, noted Wagner.  “Jason’s dedication to excellence and a top-notch fan experience is second to none.  I know how hard that Jason works day in and day out and he again worked tirelessly in the 2020 season.  Jason is well deserving of this award.”

The 2020 Organization of the Year in the Expedition League is presented to the Badlands Big Sticks.  The Big Sticks game day experience and attention to detail is meticulous, which is an incredible testament to the hard work, focus and dedication of Big Sticks Owner Dave Ouellette and GM Jason Watson.  Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark has been upgraded in the two years since Dave bought the team and its amenities are as good or better than many minor league ballparks, thanks to Dave and his staff.  “The people of Dickinson love the Big Sticks and the fan friendly experience, which doesn’t happen by accident”, Wagner said.  “There’s a lot of hard work, dedication, vision and focus that goes into the game day experience.  I know that Dave is focused on continually providing a better and better game day experience for the fans.  Dave has continued to invest in the team and in the ballpark.  Whenever I’m at a Big Sticks game I love to see the smiles on fans’ faces.  They’re all having fun and they’re all treated like royalty.  And the Big Sticks give a tremendous amount of money to the community each year.  Because of Dave’s dedication to excellence, the Big Sticks will continue to draw more and more fans in the coming years.”

The Expedition League’s Broadcaster of the Year is Max Tanzer of the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs.  Max is from Mercer Island, Washington and he attends Ithaca College in New York studying Sports Media.  The Expedition League was fortunate to have a lot of really good broadcasters in 2020 and Max was at the top of the League.  “Max did a great job calling games as the voice of the Sabre Dogs this summer”, said Brett Schweitzer, Sabre Dogs Assistant General Manager.  “His knowledge of and passion for the game made for exciting broadcasts night in and night out.  Max was extremely well prepared and he took pride in his work and this award is well deserved.”  Max is pursuing a career as a sports broadcaster.

The Expedition League’s 2020 Best Social Media award goes to the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs.  “Josh Strong, who managed the team’s social media, did an outstanding job of fan engagement”, stated Wagner.  “The quality of the Sabre Dogs’ social media was second to none.  Congratulations to Josh and the Sabre Dogs organization.”

The Expedition League’s 2020 All League Team by position (alphabetically) is as follows:

Pitchers

Joel Colledge – Badlands Big Sticks

Brett Erwin – Fremont Moo

Austin Glaze – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Ryan Lobus – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Bradley Mullan – Western Nebraska Pioneers

Tanner Riley – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Shay Schanaman – Hastings Sodbusters

Ethan Skuija – Pierre Trappers

Marcello Terrazas – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Isaac Van Dyke – Fremont Moo

 

Catchers

Griffin Everitt – Hastings Sodbusters

Ryan McDonald – Hastings Sodbusters

Jaxson Simmerman – Fremont Moo

 

First Basemen

Bo McClintock – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Cooper McMurray – Pierre Trappers

Conner VanCleave – Badlands Big Sticks

 

Second Basemen

Justin Cooper – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Braeden Cordes – Badlands Big Sticks

Dillon Sears – Fremont Moo

 

Third Basemen

Mike Boeve – Hastings Sodbusters

Luke White – Fremont Moo

Gaylan Young – Badlands Big Sticks

 

Shortstops

Efry Cervantes – Hastings Sodbusters

Mason Dineson – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Wyatt Setian – Badlands Big Sticks

 

Outfielders

Casey Burnham – Hastings Sodbusters

Nick Grossman – Pierre Trappers

Carter Howell – Pierre Trappers

Jason Luke – Western Nebraska Pioneers

Carson Lundmark – Badlands Big Sticks

Ronnie McBride – Fremont Moo

Cooper Morrison – Fremont Moo

Josh Solomon – Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

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