A trio of standouts were rewarded for their key roles in leading the Hannibal baseball team to a turnaround season.
Scot Roberts, Chandler Moffitt and Gabe Worthington were rewarded for their key roles in leading the Hannibal baseball team to a turnaround season.
Following the Pirates first winning campaign since 2012, the trio earned nods to the North Central Missouri All-Conference team.
Roberts, a senior, was selected as a pitcher. The Missouri Western State commit earned conference wins against Fulton and Boonville, teams that placed in the top four in Class 4 a year ago.
During NCMC play, the righty registered 26 strikeouts and maintained an earned run average of 1.80.
"Scot is one of my senior team captains," Hannibal coach Daryl Zessin said. "He's our No. 1 on the bump. With Scot, he's a competitor, he'll challenge you. His conference numbers were excellent. He's a big kid, a big presence on the mound, and he did a heck of a job this year."
Moffitt returned after being named co-MVP of the squad last season to bat a respectable .324 during the NCMC slate. The leadoff man scored 17 runs overall, including 13 in conference.
"Chandler is our table-setter," Zessin said. "He's batted leadoff for us a couple years in a row and was a senior captain. He'd get on base and oftentimes he'd score. He's one of those kids that finds a way to get on, and we had enough this year in the 2, 3 and 4 holes to be able to bring him around most times he was on base."
Worthington, a sophomore shortstop, emerged to provide the Hannibal lineup with a spark. The offensive weapon delivered walk-off hits against Boonville and Mexico.
The standout batted .467 against NCMC competition and finished the season with a .500 (18-for-36) overall batting average and an on-base percentage of .543.
"Gabe was primarily the No. 2 slot hitter in our lineup," Zessin said. "He's a spray hitter, and he hits the ball line drives all over the place. He did a great job this year just in total. He's a great kid, he's a player. He's just a sophomore but he has so much potential."
Hannibal (9-7, 7-3 NCMC) finished second in the conference standings, its best finish of Zessin's five-year tenure.
The Pirates trailed first-place Boonville (11-1 NCMC) but edged third-place Kirksville (8-4 NCMC).
There was debate between coaches as to whether Hannibal or Kirksville would earn second place. Due to rainouts, Hannibal played just 10 of its 12 scheduled conference contests.
"Initially they were going to put us down as a tie because they were looking at game differential," Zessin said.
As it turns out, the coaches agreed to go by winning percentage, which tipped the scales in Hannibal's favor over a Kirksville squad it beat twice during the season.
Zessin views finishing second as no small accomplishment.
"If the kids care, why shouldn't the coach care too?" he said. "They want to be second — not third, fourth or last. We've had our share of last and next-to-last, and these kids really put a great season together."