When Kentucky’s all-region baseball teams were announced last Wednesday morning in the Courier-Journal, two Henry County High School players were named among those in the 8th Region. Ben Roberts, a senior, and Tommy Wilson, a junior, were both named to the squad, which included the top 22 players in the 16-team region.
Roberts played left field for the Wildcats and provided a solid bat as No. 3 in the lineup. He was named to the All-North Central Kentucky Conference Team, the 31st District All-Tournament Team and led Henry offensively as the only player that had a batting average above .400.
Meanwhile, Wilson spent his time behind the plate as the catcher, while also providing the team’s offensive power as the No. 4 batter, finishing the season with a batting average a little over .300. He was named to the 31st District All-Tournament Team.
Players were selected by voting from all the coaches in the 8th Region, based on statistics throughout the season, Henry coach Austin Hunsaker said.
“Roberts was, by far, our most consistent hitter, and he was big with leadership on our team. He was mature and could take control,” Hunsaker said. “And Wilson was so valuable to us behind the plate. With him there, he pretty much stopped the opposing teams’ running game, which is huge in high school baseball. It makes your defense and pitching that much better.”
The Wildcats had a few critical plays during their post-season run when Wilson threw out players trying to steal base, and even picked off a few of them, which he was known to do during the regular season.
“As far as a defensive catcher, he’s very valuable behind the plate,” Hunsaker added. “And he was certainly very valuable to us.”
Roberts and Wilson helped lead the Wildcats to the mid-season NCKC title, the 31st District title and to the finals of the 8th Region tournament. They became the first HCHS baseball team to win the NCKC championship since 2001, the district championship since 1998 and reach the regional finals since 1963.
Also named to the All-Region Team were Ryan Pike and Jeremy Turpin of Anderson County; Scott Brown of Gallatin County; John Cain, Josh Cummins, Scott Kelley and Dylan Pelphrey of Grant County; Dylan Grandon and Jason Sterrett of North Oldham; Ian Andrews and Josh Kovach of Oldham County; Michael Ogden of Owen County; Jordan Burk, Tyler Layton and Eric Standifer of Shelby County; Josh Brown and Jacob Robinson of Simon Kenton; Daniel Pulliam of South Oldham; Craig Edwards of Spencer County; and Michael Walters of Williamstown. The 8th Region Player of the Year was Kovach, who played shortstop and pitched for the Oldham Colonels.
While Roberts, who was also a standout on the basketball team as a four-year starter, ended his high school athletic career in the 8th Region finals May 29, Wilson will be back for another go-around next season.
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