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BHS baseball player named co-player of the year

June 5, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

It was a very special season for Boardman baseball player Alex Cardona.

The Spartan senior infielder was one of his team's leaders both on and off the field. His hitting helped carry the Spartans to a three-way share of the All-American Conference's Red Tier (with Canfield and Fitch). His defense in the infield was spectacular at times saving the Spartans many runs allowed. Perhaps Cardona's largest contributions this season came when he toed the rubber. The senior slinger was dominant at times on the hill holding opposing offenses to a batting average under .250. Thanks to his fantastic all-around senior campaign, Cardona was named co-AAC Player of the Year. Cardona split the award with Canfield's junior Dom Pilolli, but he was alone when garnering adulation from Boardman's head coach.

"Alex worked very hard to get co Player of Year," said Joe Gabriel. "He dominated the conference and won a lot of big games for us. He was a big reason why we shared the conference."

Cardona was also selected to the AAC's first team. Fellow seniors Evan Knaus and Luke Cardillo joined him on that elite outfit. Knaus knocked the ball at a .471 clip. The catcher also clubbed the ball with a .700 slugging percentage and totaled 24 bases. Cardillo collected a .394 average with a .667 slugging mark. He also hit a couple of home runs.

Three more Spartans were selected to the AAC's second team. Senior outfielder Dom Stilliana had a .300 batting average with a .365 on base percentage. Sophomore Connor Miller also made the team, as did junior pitcher Travis Harvey.

All of Boardman's selectees left a lasting impression on Coach Gabriel.

"These kids were important reasons why we had a good season," said the coach. "They all showed leadership and hard work and they continued to get better as the season went on."

Although Boardman will say goodbye to Cardona, Cardillo, Knaus and Stilliana, it will welcome Harvey and Miller back with open arms in 2019. Gabriel can't wait for that duo to lead the charge in offseason workouts. He also is excited to continue the momentum his championship sharing club started this spring.

"We look forward to bringing some of these guys back and building on what we have going," he said.



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