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High school baseball: Belch, LaRose among area players chosen to All-New York First Team

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Five players, led by Watertown High School’s Josh Belch and Breton LaRose of Ogdensburg Free Academy, have been chosen for the all-state baseball team in their respective classes.

Chosen by the New York State Sportswriters’ Association, Belch (Class A) and LaRose (Class B) are joined on the first team by Jason Martin of South Lewis and Samuel Widrick of Beaver River (Class C) and Heuvelton’s Aaron Cobb (Class D).

Belch, a senior catcher headed to New Mexico State, batted .484 this season with 28 runs batted in and 21 walks. LaRose, a senior infielder with the Blue Devils, hit .320 and went 7-3 on the mound with 90 strikeouts in helping OFA make the state semifinals.

Martin, the Times All-North Frontier League MVP, is a junior pitcher/shortstop who went 9-1 with a 1.33 earned-run average on the mound, and hit .550 with 38 RBIs. Widrick, a senior pitcher/infielder, helped the Beavers capture the Section 3 Class C crown by going 7-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 77 strikeouts, and hit .347 with 25 RBIs.

Heuvelton’s Cobb, a senior catcher and utility player, batted a healthy .508 with 22 RBIs for the Section 10 Class D champion Bulldogs.

Watertown sophomore pitcher/second baseman Jarrod Bellinger made the second team in Class A, while senior infielder Brandon Welch of Massena made the sixth team.

In Class B, South Jefferson senior infielder Marcus Shelmidine and Potsdam junior pitcher Will Coleman were third-team selections. Potsdam junior outfielder Ben Miller made the fourth team in Class B, while OFA junior infielder/outfielder Konnor Murdoch is on the sixth team.

All-North Section 10 MVP Cody Smith, a senior pitcher/infielder from Norwood-Norfolk, earned a second-team spot in Class C. Junior utility man Lucas Kelly of South Lewis is on the Class C fifth team, while Norwood-Norfolk senior infielder/outfielder and Brushton-Moira junior pitcher Jacob St. Mary made the seventh team.

Joining Cobb on the Class D all-state team are Heuvelton senior infielder/outfielder Cody Holland (second team), Parishville-Hopkinton junior utility player Mike Burns (fourth team) and senior utility players Mark Guardino of Heuvelton and Justin Hartle of Harrisville (fifth team).

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