By Matt Cohen
Sherwood pitcher, and Montgomery County pitcher of the year Ben Vok walks to the mound with first baseman, and Montgomery County player of the year Michael Bouma behind him. Photo by Rick Alfonso.
The 2018 regular season for the Montgomery County public schools has ended. Sherwood finished with the top overall record in Montgomery County at 17-1, closely followed by Damascus at 15-2 and Rockville at 14-2. As the All-Division teams for Montgomery County’s four divisions came out today, I am releasing my All-County first team.
Player of the Year: Michael Bouma, 1B, Sherwood
Bouma, a University of Maryland commit, had an outstanding junior season, leading him to earn my Montgomery County player of the year award. Bouma finished the regular season hitting .500 with an insane .638 OBP, 23 RBIs and four home runs, three of which coming in one game against B-CC. He was the best hitter on the County’s best team.
Pitcher of the Year: Ben Vok, Sherwood
Vok, a junior, has clearly emerged as Montgomery County’s best pitcher. In his first four appearances, Vok didn’t allow a single run. In 32 regular season innings pitched, Vok allowed just six earned runs, while striking out a whopping 52 batters, which is just under two strikeouts per inning. Vok had 12 strikeouts in five innings against a very strong Whitman lineup. He finished the regular season with a 1.31 ERA.
1st Team All-County
Catcher – Tyler Woodward, Gaithersburg
1st Base – Michael Bouma, Sherwood
2nd Base – Shinnosuke Ishiyama, 2B, Whitman
Shortstop – Tyler DeMartino, Whitman
3rd Base – Ryan Haddaway, Poolesville
Utility – Brady Pearre, Poolesville
Outfield – Sebastian Mieses, B-CC
Outfield – Matt McTighe, Rockville
Outfield – Ethan Wentzlaff, Damascus
Outfield – Justin Carboni, Whitman
Pitcher – Ben Vok, Sherwood
Pitcher – Connor Manion, Damascus
Pitcher – Chris Ribaudo, Rocvkille
Pitcher – Kyle Petersen, Walter Johnson
Coach of the Year – Farron Riggs, Rockville
Riggs led the Rockville Rams to a breakout year. Riggs told me himself that he was surprised to an extent with how well his team was playing after they beat Sherwood. With wins over Sherwood, Damascus and Poolesville, and a record of 14-2, Rockville was one of the best teams in Montgomery County. The Rams peaked at the number two overall spot in my County rankings.
Rookie of the Year – Jake Becker, 2B, Sherwood
Becker, a freshman, joined the Sherwood starting lineup midway through the 2018 season, and he immediately made an impact. Becker hit .500 on the varsity team this season. Becker also came up big in many clutch spots for Sherwood, including hitting the game winning home run against B-CC, and getting a walk off hit against Paint Branch in the second round of the playoffs. Becker was named to the All-4A North Division first team.
Breakout Star – Brendan Hughes, P, B-CC
Hughes stepped into a full time starting role this season as a junior, and emerged as one of the best pitchers in Montgomery County. Hughes pitched to a 2.79 ERA, striking out 27 batters in 42.2 innings, all best on his team. Hughes had a 63 pitch complete game against QO in the final game of the season, as well as a 10 strikeout complete game against Einstein.
Ethan Rinder, OF, Churchill
Matthew Convers, C, Poolesville
Garrett Beloff, P, Quince Orchard
Brian Gurcan, C, Quince Orchard
Thomas Baer, P, B-CC
Jamie Mills, OF, B-CC
Ryan Mariani, SS, Wootton
Henry Wiebe, OF, Blair
Joey Curtin, SS, Einstein