Kade Grundy named Player of the Year

2019 Commonwealth Journal High School All-County Baseball Team

The school year of 2018-2019 was a great year in the local area for baseball with Somerset High School winning the 12th Region title and Southwestern High School posting one of the best records in the region.

And it was a sophomore leading the way for the 2019 baseball All-County Team, as Somerset High School standout Kade Grundy was named the 2019 High School Commonwealth Journal Baseball Player of the Year.

At the plate, Grundy lead the county in runs batted in with 51 and seven home runs. Grundy had a .456 batting average(second in the county), hit nine doubles and had an on-base percentage of .563 (second in the county).

On the mound, Grundy had an ERA of 1.84 in 53.1 innings pitched. Grundy threw 67 strikeouts and had a won-loss record of 4-1.

Grundy was named the Most Valuable Player of the 12th Region Tournament. In the three 12th Region Tournament Jumper wins, Grundy had a .600 batting average, an on-base percentage of .714, scored eight runs, drove in two runs and hit a homer in the championship game. Grundy also pitched 7.1 innings in the region tourney and gave up only one hit and one earned run.

Pitching against the state champions Tates Creek, Grundy allowed only allowed one earned run and struck out 10 Commodore batters.

Southwestern High School senior ace pitcher Jeffery Madden was a very close second in the Player of the Year balloting. Madden was equally proficient on the mound and at the plate.

Madden led the county in pitching with a 1.51 ERA in 56.2 innings pitched and struck out 97 batters. On the mound, Madden had a 4-1 record.

At the plate, Madden had a .514 on-base percentage and drove in 32 runs. Madden had a .383 batting average, scored 23 runs, hit two homers, and had eight doubles.

Another Warrior who was in the running for Player of the Year was Southwestern High School senior catcher Ethan Jones, who led the county with a .473 batting average. Jones drove in 38 runs (second in the county), had two homers, an on-base percentage of .551, hit 10 doubles and scored 24 runs.

But perhaps Jones' greatest attribute for the Warriors was his solid and fearless play behind the plate as their standout catcher. Jones made it difficult for opponents to score on a challenged play at the plate.

Southwestern High School senior Noah Helton also had a sensational year and led the county in several categories. Helton was tops in the county with 46 runs scored, 13 doubles, and a .575 on-base percentage. Helton had a .422 batting average, drove in 22 runs, and hit three homers (second in the county).

Pulaski County junior Konner Hargis was a hitting machine for the Maroons this past spring. Hargis led the Maroons with a .443 batting average, 28 runs batted in, 11 doubles, and a .526 on-base percentage. Hargis scored 18 runs and had two homers.

Somerset High School senior Gavin Stephens had a big year as well for the Briar Jumpers. Stephens led the county with 13 doubles, and led the Jumpers with 29 runs scored. Stephens had a .374 batting average, drove in 35 runs, and had an on-base percentage of .514.

Somerset High School senior Chance Stayton finished out his high school career by making his third straight CJ All-County Baseball Team. In his senior season, Stayton had a .336 batting average, drove in 27 runs, scored 12 runs, had six doubles, and had an on-base percentage of .405. Stayton hit the game-winning two-run triple in the region championship game.

Pulaski County High School sophomore Kaleb Adams had a strong year for the Maroons with a .353 batting average, 33 runs scored (second in the county), and a .461 on-base percentage. Adams drove in eight runs and hit four doubles.

Rounding out the CJ All-County Team is Somerset High School sophomore Dakota Acey, who was a solid defensive player of the Jumpers at both first base and as a relief pitcher. At the plate, Acey had a .326 batting average drove in 10 runs, scored 12 runs, and had a .410 on-base percentage.

As a relief pitcher, Acey had a 4-1 record, recorded 31 strikeouts in 28.2 innings pitched and had a ERA of 2.19. In the regional tourney, Acey was golden with a 2-0 record in 6.2 innings pitched, nine strikeouts and a perfect ERA of 0.00.

Steve Cornelius has worked as a journalist at the Commonwealth Journal since 2001, and has been the CJ Sports Editor since 2005.