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He swings a big stick for Storm

June 10, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

It may not be intentional, but Mercersburg Academy senior outfielder Cord Heine has a lot in common with the United States' 26th president, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.

He speaks softly, and carries a big stick.

"The best thing about the kid is he has no ego," Blue Storm coach Karl Reisner said. "This is not about him, it's about winning as a team, and win or lose, his demeanor doesn't change very much, and that is wonderful."

Mercersburg Academy did a lot of winning in 2007 - the Blue Storm won the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state title and finished 18-11 against a tough schedule.

And while he may not like the story to be about him, the truth is, Heine was a large part of Mercersburg's story.

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With hitting numbers that are off the charts - a .575 average, 14 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 51 RBI - Heine anchored the Blue Storm's lineup.

For his efforts, Heine is the 2007 Herald-Mail Baseball Player of the Year.

"The kind of focus he had this year was unbelievable. He put us on his back and carried us," Reisner said. "It was an unbelievable year, he was just pounding the ball, and he kept it up."

Heine was an All-Area First Team selection in 2006 after batting .452 with eight doubles and six homers and driving in 30 runs. Unsatisfied, he kept pushing himself to bigger things - and as a result, he'll be playing for the University of Massachusetts next spring.

"He came in in 10th grade as a good player, but he's made himself a great player through the weight room and focus," Reisner said. "Nobody talks about his defense, but he has a cannon in the outfield.

"He's going to be very difficult to replace. The schedule we played, to hit those numbers, the people around here don't understand how difficult our schedule is. We played a very tough schedule, and for him to hit those kind of numbers was just astronomical. He's very deserving."

Heine is joined on the All-Area First Team by:

Jonathan Hash, Jefferson, Sr., P - The Cougars' ace and West Virginia University recruit went 6-2 with a 1.80 ERA. In 58 1/3 innings, he allowed 43 hits and 25 walks while striking out 63.

Brandon Campbell, Jefferson, Jr., P - Campbell, a left-hander, gave the Cougars a rock-solid No. 2 starter, posting an 8-1 record and 1.64 ERA. In 55 1/3 innings, he allowed just 26 hits and 26 walks while striking out 78.

Brandon King, Martinsburg, So., P - The Bulldogs' young but talented star - he's already a two-time All-Area First Team selection - King went 4-2 in the regular season with a 1.46 ERA, allowing 29 hits and 10 walks while striking out 63 in 48 innings. At the plate, he hit .471 with eight doubles and eight homers and drove in 42 runs.

A.J. Jamison, Williamsport, Jr., C - The Wildcats' leader hit .541 with eight doubles and five homers, driving in 14 runs, scoring 23 and stealing nine bases.

Nathan Minnich, Waynesboro, Jr., 1B - Minnich and Heine battled for the Tri-State home run lead all season, with Minnich finishing with 11 to set a school single-season record. He hit .542, drove in 27 runs, scored 36 and walked 25 times, boosting his on-base percentage to an eye-popping .966. It's Minnich's second straight All-Area First Team selection.

Dusty French, Mercersburg Academy, Sr., 2B - French's steady bat helped give the Blue Storm hitting depth around Heine. French hit .469 with nine doubles and 18 RBI, scored 29 runs and swiped seven bases.

Brian Massimilla, Chambersburg, Sr., 3B - The Trojans' offensive anchor hit .407 with five doubles, four triples and three homers. He drove in 29 runs, scored 26 and stole eight bases.

Zach Helman, Waynesboro, Sr., SS - Another masher in an Indians lineup full of them, Helman hit .492 with seven doubles. He drove in 22 runs, scored 20, walked 15 times and stole six bases.

Marcellus Sumlin, North Hagerstown, Sr., OF - Sumlin did it all for the Hubs this season. At the plate he hit .500 with eight doubles and two homers, driving in 19 runs, scoring 16 and stealing seven bases. He compiled a 2.63 ERA in 32 innings on the mound, and he covers a lot of ground in center field.

Jake Freels, Berkeley Springs, Jr., OF - Freels sparked the Indians' offense with his .493 average, eight doubles and four homers. He drove in 22 runs, scored 31, stole 13 bases and walked 24 times.

Matt Tiano, Jefferson, Sr., OF - His mix of power and speed proved potent at the top of the Cougars' lineup. He hit .402 with 13 doubles and two homers, drove in 30 runs, scored 48, stole 18 bases and walked 26 times, bringing his on-base percentage to .615.

Kyle Kane, Boonsboro, Sr., Util. - Asked to play at various fielding spots as well as his natural catcher's spot this season, Kane handed it all and still hit .574 with four doubles, four homers and 27 RBI. He scored 17 runs, stole nine bases and wrapped up his second straight All-Area First Team selection.

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