Marshal Witmer has been a strong player on all sides of the ball this year for Shippensburg.
In addition to his pitching prowess, Witmer led the Greyhounds with 24 RBIs and a .426 batting average.
He served as a utility player defensively, spending time in both the infield and outfield. His primary defensive spot was at shortstop, but he was also featured in leftfield.
"You always want to be a player that your team can count on," Witmer said. "When you can come through and help them, it makes your life a lot easier, because you know they'll always be there for you, too."
Because of Witmer's versatile efforts and his strong abilities in a number of areas, he is the Public Opinion Baseball Player of the Year.
"He had a tremendous offensive season," Greyhounds coach Dan Watkins said. "A lot of teams pitched around him. He didn't have as many extra-base hits this year, but he did pile up a lot of singles."
The pile totaled 23 singles and his extra-base hits including three doubles, two triples and a home run. Witmer led Shippensburg with 29 total hits, and he scored 13 runs.
Despite having only six extra-base hits, Witmer was still second on the Greyhounds with a slugging percentage of .574.
Watkins said he was especially impressed with Witmer's offensive improvement from previous seasons.
"He was a lot more patient at the plate, and he never tried to do too much," Watkins said.
Witmer stole six bases on seven attempts, showing his base running skills and contributing to his .
Pitching was another specialty of Witmer's. He threw 40.1 innings this season, giving up just 30 hits - the least among the Greyhounds' three starting pitchers.
Only 19 of his 22 runs against were earned, giving him a 3.29 ERA.
Although he took a two-week pitching break in the latter half of the season due to an injury, Watkins said Witmer was unaffected by the rest.
"We shut him down in May for two weeks, and the first time he pitched after that he looked strong," Watkins said.
Being that Witmer was backed up by two other fine pitchers in Travis Ott and Andrew Koser, he said it took some of the pressure off his shoulders, especially when he wasn't feeling at his best.
"Even if I wasn't on my A-game, I knew down the road that I had two good pitchers that would pick up my slack," Witmer said.
Because of his impressive pitching abilities, Witmer was recruited by Shippensburg University to throw at the collegiate level.
"I'm looking forward to having a good opportunity to face more difficult competition and see what I can do about possibly getting to the next level," Witmer said.
Witmer said he was glad to have such a successful senior season, and he thinks that will prepare him better for college ball.
This season, Shippensburg went 16-6, and Witmer had a 4-2 record on the mound.
"It was good beceause your last memories will be as a senior," Witmer said. "We were able to have success and have the season we wanted to."
Although Shippensburg lost to the Lampeter-Strasburg in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs, Witmer said some of his best memories were during this year's postseason.
Witmer highlighted the Greyhounds' offense in both the Mid Penn Conference semifinals against Cumberland Valley and the D-3 playoff game against Lampeter-Strasburg.
Against Cumberland Valley, Witmer drove in three runs to lead the Hounds to a 5-2 victory. He also had the lone RBI against Lampeter-Strasburg, which beat Shippensburg 2-1 and went on to be the PIAA Class AAA state runner-up.
"Losses never feel good, but when you know a quality team beat you, you can't be too disappointed, especially when you played well," Witmer said.
But Witmer said his ultimate favorite memory from playing baseball with Shippensburg was being crowned co-champions of the Mid Penn Colonial Division with Northern.
Witmer also said he was greatly honored by being named the MPC Colonial co-player of the year.
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or email@example.com, or on Twitter @liziarbogast.
Player of the Year
Name: Marshal Witmer
Weight: 185 pounds
Parents: Randa and Lynn Witmer
Interests: He also played football and basketball for Shippensburg.
Favorite team: Baltimore Orioles
Favorite player: Ryan Braun, of the Milwaukee Brewers
Legion team: Shippensburg Post 223
College: Shippensburg University
Honors: Mid Penn Division co-player of the year; 2-time P.O. First Team baseball all-star; selected as an honorable mention for the P.O. basketball and football all-star teams
Statistics: Pitching - 4-2, 40.1 innings, 3.29 ERA, 30 hits, 47 Ks, 20 walks; Batting - .425 (29-for-68), 24 RBIs, 13 runs, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, .534 OBP