A Southwestern League baseball championship and host duties in the district playoffs don’t usually come to teams without an assortment of quality players.
The SWL coaches recognized that skill by naming four Durango High School players to the All-SWL first team and another to the second team when postseason awards recently were handed down.
Shortstop Easton Garcia, pitcher/third baseman Joe Brennan, catcher/pitcher Danny Rowley and outfielder Mark Kobrin landed on the first team, giving DHS more selections on that list than any other school. First baseman Marcus Sansoni maneuvered his way to second-team honors.
“All the guys that were named to the first or second team were deserving, and it’s cool they were recognized by other coaches in the conference,” DHS head coach Rob Coddington said.
Grand Junction’s Sean Rubalcaba duplicated his feat from football by winning Player of the Year honors in baseball, too. He hit.577 and drove in 24 runs.
Montrose’s Landon Wareham was tabbed Coach of the Year for leading his team to a sizeable turnaround and the elite eight in Class 4A.
Garcia thrived once again in the leadoff spot for DHS, hitting .368 with a pair of homers and 25 runs scored. Brennan led the league with seven wins on the mound and had a 3.02 earned-run average and 52 strikeouts. He hit .327 at the plate. Rowley hit .303 and had 14 RBIs offensively, and he was second in the SWL in ERA at 2.85 while compiling a 4-2 record.
“Those three guys have been with the varsity since sophomore year, and they have a tremendous amount of respect from the other coaches in the league,” Coddington said.
Less expected, perhaps, was the play of Kobrin and Sansoni, two players who saw very limited action as juniors. Kobrin led the SWL with seven stolen bases while hitting .468, driving in 18 runs and scoring 23 times. Sansoni led the league in RBIs with 26 and hit .343 with two homers.
“Those two guys had really good senior years, going from their junior years with limited playing time to senior year absolutely a constant factor every time they came to the plate,” Coddington said.
Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file photos