Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League announced the 2014 Postseason All-Star Team and award winners on Sunday, August 10. In addition to the 31 players that were selected to the honorary team, Madison first baseman Pete Alonso was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Rochester’s Matt Kent and Kalamazoo’s Ryan Smoyer were named Co-Pitchers of the Year as voted by the League’s coaches and members of the media. Mankato led all teams with four players selected. The Lakeshore Chinooks, the top team in this year’s regular season, swept the coaching awards.
Madison Mallards first baseman Pete Alonso (Florida) caps off an impressive season in the Northwoods League with the MVP award. Alonso, a freshman, started off the season going 11 for 24 (.458) with a home run and 10 RBI in his first five games and hasn’t looked back. He was named the Star of Stars (MVP) of the 2014 All-Star Game by going 1 for 3 with a home run and 3 RBI. Alonso is currently second in the league in home runs (18), fourth in RBI (53), and fourth in batting average (.354). Alonso is a native of Tampa, Florida.
Rochester Honkers left-handed pitcher Matt Kent (Texas A & M) was named the Northwoods League’s Co-Pitcher of the Year. Kent, a sophomore, has pitched well the entire season and only allowed three runs or more three times during the season. His most dominant stretch of the season occurred during three starts in mid-July. Kent started three games during that time and went 2-0 while allowing only one earned run over 23 innings. He also struck out 18 batters and only walked one. Kent carries a 3-3 record in 11 starts and has struck out 69 batters while walking 10 in 77.2 innings pitched this season. He was also selected for the midseason All-Star game as well as the Big League Dreams Showcase. Appearing for the North in game one of the showcase he pitched one inning and struck out two batters. Kent hails from Waco, Texas.
Kalamazoo Growlers right-handed pitcher Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) joins Kent as the Northwoods League’s Co-Pitcher of the Year. Smoyer, a sophomore, was also a mid-season All-Star and has shined since he arrived in Kalamazoo. Starting on June 15, Smoyer began an amazing run of five straight starts with a win. During those games he didn’t allow more than three runs in a game and walked only eight batters. He is the league leader in wins with eight and his only loss of the year was to Kenosha on July 26 where he allowed four unearned runs in 7.2 innings pitched. Smoyer is from Bowling Green, Ohio.
Both Kent and Smoyer along with Alonso are among the 31 players selected to the NWL’s Postseason All-Star team. The league leading four All-Stars from Mankato are led by outfielder Tyler Sullivan (Pacific) who is currently the league leader in stolen bases with 36 while hitting .357 and MoonDogs shortstop Peter Maris (UC Santa Barbara) a mid-season All-Star and Big League Dreams Showcase selection. They are joined by MoonDogs first baseman Levi Scott (UT Arlington) and All-Star closer and Big League Dreams selection Tyler Mark (Cal State Dominguez Hills).
Selected from the Waterloo Bucks is infielder Pat MacKenzie (Central Michigan). MacKenzie is currently tied with Wisconsin Rapids mid-season and postseason All-Star shortstop Zack Domingues (Long Beach State) for the league lead with a .376 batting average heading into the final game of the regular season. Pat Porter (Ohio State) of the Kenosha Kingfish has also been selected. Porter currently leads the league with 62 RBI.
Lakeshore’s third-year manager Eddy Morgan is the 2014 Manager of the Year after leading the Chinooks to the best record in the league, currently at 49-21. Morgan’s assistant coach Mark Moriarty earned the award for 2014 Coach of the Year in the Northwoods League.
In other awards, Lakeshore’s Kapco Park was voted as the field with the Best Playing Surface.
Mike Coleman of the Kalamazoo Growlers, Micah Schroeder of the La Crosse Loggers and Josh Horton of the Mankato MoonDogs, were recognized by their peers as Co-Play-by-Play Announcers of the Year.
The full postseason All-Star Roster can be found here: 2014 Northwoods League Postseason All-Star Roster
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.