Surry sweeps Region X baseball honors
With 10 players earning All-Region X honors and six taking the leap to four-year schools, 2019 has been another outstanding season for the Surry Community College baseball team.
Finishing 24-18 overall and 10-3 in the conference, Surry won the Region X regular season title for the third season in a row. Also for the third consecutive campaign, SCC has been honored with the Region X Player of the Year - freshman shortstop John Marion (East Surry). Sophomore John Tuttle has also been recognized as Region X Pitcher of the Year and eight other Knights were chosen for All-Region X accolades.
Marion had an incredible rookie season for Surry, leading the team with 62 hits (nobody else had more than 41) and a whopping .440 batting average. He also led the Knights in RBI (28) and doubles (14) and was second on the squad in runs scored (28). Marion hit at such a high clip in 2019, his batting average was 41 points higher than anybody else in Region X (Rockingham’s Ausar Rankin was second at .399) and best nationally among Division III junior colleges.
“John is a wonderful player. He was one of the main kids I wanted to get because he is a local kid and he is very talented,” Surry head coach Tim Collins said. “He hits the ball to all fields. He hit over .500 in our region. He was almost impossible to get out. He has a nice, left-handed swing, hits to all fields, and we will build around him next year.”
Teammate Michael Roberts finished second in region player of the year voting after another successful year. The team’s leading power hitter each of the past two seasons, Roberts earned first-team All-Region X honors as a first baseman.
Finishing second in the conference in home runs with four, Roberts led Surry in dingers, on-base percentage (.500) and runs scored (30). An alum of Surry Central, Roberts also finished second for the Knights in RBI (24), hits (41), walks (26) and doubles (12). His .373 batting average was third-best for Surry in 2019.
The 2018 Region X Player of the Year, Roberts is one of at least six Knights who will continue their baseball careers at the next level. Roberts has committed to Limestone College. Joining him at Limestone will be current Surry and former Surry Central teammate Ethan Danley. Meanwhile, Surry catcher Greg Izzo has committed to play baseball at St. Andrews University, Matt Tullock and Drew
Martin are headed to Piedmont International, and pitcher Aaron Mitchell has signed to play at Coker College.
“Jacob Tuttle is still in the process of deciding and Daniel Thompson also has a couple of offers on the table. All in all, these sophomores have been offered more than $220,000 in baseball and academic scholarships, and have accepted over $150,000,” Collins said. “I look at it as we are trying to develop young men both academically and athletically, and we have been very successful with that. We have a lot of pride in what our kids do academically. We also have two players going to UNC for academics. Both of them turned down opportunities to pitch, but their dream was to go to Carolina and both got accepted - Carson James and Dylan Gansrow.”
A sophomore from A.L. Brown High School, Jacob Tuttle was selected as Region X Pitcher of the Year after going 4-1 on the mound with a 4.20 ERA. Striking out 41 batters in 40.2 innings of work, Tuttle allowed just 19 earned runs and 23 walks. Amazingly, Tuttle was Surry’s starting third baseman a year ago.
“When he came to Surry, we didn’t even look at him as a pitcher. He was our starter at third base and didn’t pitch at all,” Collins said. “Then we had some injuries and we talked to him at Christmas about pitching all the time. He ended up having a great year for us. He can throw four pitches for strikes at any time. He is not going to overpower you, but he knows how to pitch. He has three schools looking at him and will probably end up at Catawba, where his brother plays.”
Joining Tuttle on the all-region first team is Surry pitcher Reggie Thomas. A freshman from North Forsyth, Thomas went 2-2 in 2019 with a 3.38 ERA. He led the team in innings pitched (53.1 innings) and gave up 20 earned runs while striking out 35 and walking 25.
Sophomore pitcher Aaron Mitchell was named to the all-region second team after going 4-4 with 40 strikeouts and 19 walks in 42.1 innings on the mound.
“The only reason Aaron was second team was he didn’t throw the last three weeks. He had an injury and was already committed to Coker and we didn’t want to take a chance on hurting him, so we shut him down,” Collins said. “It was more important for him to be able to save himself and get his scholarship.”
A sophomore from Elkin, Matt Tullock was named first-team all-region as a designated hitter. Tullock drove in 11 runs, batted .283 with three doubles, eight runs and 17 hits for the Knights in 2019.
Other Surry players picked to the All-Region X Second Team were sophomores Ethan Danley (second base), Greg Izzo (catcher), Andrew Kitts and Brady Drennen (both outfielders). Danley finished third for Surry with 31 hits and six doubles. He also drew 15 walks, drove in 16 runs, belted a triple and hit for a .333 batting average.
One of the team’s best hitters, Izzo was second-best for SCC in batting average (.408) and on-base percentage (.494). He was fourth on the team in hits (29) and runs scored (22) and drove in 12 runs. Kitts led the Surry in walks (27) and stolen bases (11) and was third with six doubles. He also had 28 hits, drove in 15 runs, and had an on-base percentage of .407.
Drennen also had a high on-base percentage (.419) and belted six doubles, a triple and one home run. His 17 RBI were third-best for Surry. Drennen also had 29 hits and scored 21 runs. He joined Roberts, Danley and Tullock on the all-defensive team.
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