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See finalists for 2022 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference baseball player of year

Fan voting opens at 6 a.m. Friday, June 17.

It was a whirlwind, but the 2022 West Michigan Conference baseball season is in the books.

Montague captured the conference championship with a 14-0 record and was the team from the league that advanced furthest, making it to the Division 3 regional finals.

A CatchMark panel consisting of Scott DeCamp, Brent Raeth and Conner Raeth pored over a list of outstanding players from the conference. After some deliberation, the panel came to a consensus on three finalists for 2022 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference baseball Player of the Year: Montague’s Colton Blankstrom, Mason County Central’s Will Chye and North Muskegon’s Troy McManus.

Several factors helped determine the finalists, including season statistics, all-around contributions, team success and other intangibles.

Friday morning (June 17), a poll will open and readers will vote to determine which of the aforementioned players wins the award. Readers will be allowed to vote once per hour until the poll closes at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 21.

The West Michigan Conference Player of the Year banquet for 2022 spring sports will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Viking Athletic Center in Whitehall.

Here are capsules on each of the Player of the Year finalists for baseball:

Montague senior baseball player Colton Blankstrom poses for a Profile of the Week portrait on March 28, 2022, at the CatchMark studio in Whitehall, Mich. (Billy Mann | CatchMark)

COLTON BLANKSTROM

Montague, senior third baseman/pitcher

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and in the running for all-region at the time this story posted.
  • .330 batting average with eight doubles, one triple and two home runs, plus 23 RBIs and 32 runs scored.
  • The right-hander had a 6-7 pitching record with a 2.58 ERA and four saves. He had 69 strikeouts in 65 innings. Many of his outings came against Division 1 and Division 2 opponents, some of them ranked.
  • The Wildcats were 14-0 in the WMC and advanced to the regional finals. They had a 23-15 record against a very tough schedule.
  • Signed with Muskegon Community College to play baseball.
Mason County Central’s Will Chye leaps onto home plate as teammates await to celebrate after Chye’s go-ahead home run late in a 3-1 victory over Whitehall on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Whitehall, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

WILL CHYE

Mason County Central, junior pitcher/shortstop

  • Helped elevate his team to a more competitive level.
  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region.
  • .560 batting average with 14 doubles, six triples and three home runs, plus 54 stolen bases.
  • On the mound, the right-hander was 8-5 with a 1.08 ERA with 69 strikeouts and nine walks.
  • Also had a .953 fielding percentage, which is an impressive number for a shortstop.
North Muskegon’s Troy McManus (12) makes contact during a game against Montague Monday, May 16, 2022, in Montague, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

TROY MCMANUS

North Muskegon, pitcher/center fielder

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region.
  • Put up impressive numbers offensively and was the Norsemen’s ace pitcher.
  • The left-handed hitter batted .472 with 15 doubles and two triples to go with 49 RBIs, 48 runs scored, 28 stolen bases, 16 walks and only three strikeouts.
  • On the mound, the left-hander was 6-3 with a 1.64 ERA, finishing with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks in 55 2/3 innings pitch.
  • Defensively, he sported a .971 fielding percentage defensively with 66 putouts and five assists.

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Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. DIANNE

    June 17, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    How do I vote???

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