Coldwater Baseball Celebrates Spring 2022 Season With Awards Banquet
COLDWATER — The Coldwater Cardinal baseball team celebrated the most “awkward” spring season ever with their annual awards banquet Wednesday at Bill’s Grill House in Coldwater.
The Cardinals had a lot to celebrate after a successful 2022 season, a season that saw Coldwater wrap up an Interstate 8 conference championship in addition to numerous individual honors across the board.
“2022, the year after the Covid. What a bad season to go through,” Coldwater head coach Randy Spangler said in his opening remarks to his team and guests. “The game is changing on short notice, lack of referees, weather issues and the ever dreaded ‘C’ word (Covid). It could have turned the wheels around again, but the players and parents did a great job handling the stress and uncertainty of another crazy season.
Coldwater finished their 2022 season with a 22-12 record overall and 12-2 in the Interstate 8 conference, their season ending hard with a loss to Sturgis in the District Tournament.
With an absolute conference championship comes the inevitable individual awards from all conferences and Coldwater was well represented at all levels.
The Cardinals had two student-athletes earn Interstate 8 honorable mention honors as Carter Bordner (first base) and Garrett Johns (Infield/Catcher) were both honored for their work on the diamond.
Coldwater had six athletes who earned first-team Interstate 8 All Conference honors, including Nate Tappenden, Joseph Closson, Logan Farmer, Cole Barker, Brock Thornton and Brynden Massey.
Senior Nate Tappenden was doubly honored while future pitcher Ivy Tech was honored for both his pitching and his work in the outfield. Tappenden finished the 2022 Interstate 8 schedule playing 14 games, batting a solid .409 at plate with 18 hits on 44 at-bats. Tappenden recorded nine singles, six doubles and three home runs with 18 RBI and 20 runs scored. On the pitcher’s mound, Tappenden was off, appearing in six games while going 5-1 in the conference. The big southpaw pitched 35 total innings, allowing 21 hits and five earned runs for a 1.00 ERA. Tappenden struck out 45 total batters while walking only 11. On the field, Tappenden recorded 20 strikeouts and 10 assists in 31 chances with one error on the season for a .968 field percentage.
Senior Joseph Closson was also doubly honored for the Cardinals, earning recognition for his work on the mound and in the infield. Closson played in all 14 championship games for the year, batting .239 with 11 hits on 46 at bats while recording nine singles, a double and a triple with six Rbis and 13 runs scored from the lead position. . Closson also stole nine bases during the conference schedule while only getting caught once. Closson was also a monster on the field, recording 18 total strikeouts and 12 assists on 34 chances with just four errors for an .882 fielding percentage in the conference. Closson also had a huge impact on the pitching mound for Coldwater, breaking the single-season record for most saves, recording six in the conference. Closson played in eight total conference games, pitching a total of 18 innings while making six saves on six occasions. Closson allowed just 10 hits with no earned runs for a 0.00 ERA, while striking out 27 batters for just three walks.
Senior Logan Farmer earned all-conference honors for his work in the outfield and at home plate in the 2022 season. Farmer finished the 2022 conference schedule with .349 at-bats on 15 hits on 43 at-bats. Farmer recorded seven singles, five doubles, one triple and two homers with 11 Rbis and 15 runs scored. Farmer also walked seven times while retiring just three on strikes. The Albion-bound senior was also a threat on base paths, stealing seven bases in total without being caught once.
Senior Cole Barker was honored for his work in the outfield where he was one of the most consistent and dependable defensemen in the conference. Barker hasn’t made a single mistake all season for Coldwater, posting a 1,000 field percentage. At the plate, Barker was just as solid, finishing the conference schedule with a .400 batting average, recording 12 hits in 30 at bats, scoring nine singles, two doubles and a triple with eight Rbis and nine runs scored. Barker also managed to steal five bases in total while only being caught once.
Senior Brock Thornton was honored for two roles this season as he was recognized for his work as a catcher and on the pitching mound. Starting with his plate work, Thornton finished with a .452 conference batting average, recording 14 hits in 37 at-bats, including eight singles, three doubles, a triple and two homers with 11 Rbis and eight runs scored. . Thornton has been one of the most consistent defensemen on the team all season, recording 80 strikeouts and 11 assists in 92 chances with just one error for a .989 save percentage. On the mound, Thornton appeared in two championship games, pitching a total of 11 innings and going 2-0. Thornton allowed just five hits and four earned runs in those two starts for a 2.545 ERA.
Senior Brynden Massey earned first-team all-conference honors as the designated hitter for the Cardinals after an arm injury derailed his early pitching aspirations. Massey took advantage of every batting opportunity, finishing the season with a solid .400 after recording 16 hits on 40 at bats. Massey threw 10 singles and six doubles to go with 11 Rbis and five runs scored throughout a solid senior campaign.
Five team members also earned Interstate 8 All Conference honors for their classroom work, as Cole Barker, Joseph Closson, Logan Farmer, Aiden Marsden and Nate Tappenden earned Interstate 8 Academic honors All Conference as well as MHSBCA Academic All District honors.
About the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA), three players earned Division One All District honors as Nate Tappenden (outfield), Joseph Closson (pitcher) and Brock Thornton (catcher) were all honored .
After announcing the school prizes, coach Randy Spangler announced the team prizes, material voted on by the team itself.
Nate Tappenden was highly honored on the night, winning the Leading Hitter Award for highest batting average of the year (.396), Most Valuable Player award, and co-Most Valuable Pitcher award.
Joseph Closson joined Tappenden in winning the co-most valuable pitcher award after setting the new CHS record for saves in a season with eight.
The Most Valuable Offensive Player award went to Logan Farmer while the Most Valuable Defensive Player award went to Cole Barker.
The team voted junior Garrett Johns the most improved player for the 2022 season while the duo of Cole Barker and Brock Thornton were honored with the Mr. Hustle award.
Senior Carter Bordner was honored by the coaching staff with the Coaches Award while senior Aiden Marsden was honored by his teammates with the Top Teammate Award.
Finally, evening coach Spangler revealed the players who have found a place on one of the all-time records in CHS history.
As previously reported, senior Joseph Closson set the new CHS save record, recording eight on the year, while moving into a tie for sixth all-time on the season’s stolen bases list with 22. Closson also finished tied for thirteenth all-time. scored with 30, tied for twentieth all-time for most at-bats in a season with 106, and was third all-time in fewest walks per seven innings pitched with 1.03.
Logan Farmer also found himself on several all-time lists as he finished tied for twelfth all-time in single-season hits with 40, tied for tenth all-time in bases. volleys in a season with 18, tied for seventh all. time in doubles with 11, tied for tenth all-time in runs scored with 33, and tied for eighteenth all-time in Rbis with 28.
Nate Tappenden also found himself with a spot on several record lists, including tied for eighth in doubles in a season with 10 and tied for sixth all-time in points scored in a season with 37. .
Brynden Massey also finished tied for twenty-first all-time for Rbis in a season with 25.
As a team, the Cardinals finished tied for eighth in most wins on the season with 22 and tied for tenth all-time in batting average with a team average of .301.
“Seniors, it always feels like it went too fast, but we’re very proud of you and how you’re growing,” Spangler said in his team summary. “The gift of being your coaches has been a pleasure. We wish you well and hope to keep in touch as you grow into successful adults. Returning players, the challenge is here for you guys, we need you. see at Crossfit, we want to see you play ball and continue your efforts in the classroom. Many of you have gained enough experience to become very good players and we hope you will strive to be that player. Parents, as always, we very much appreciate your efforts and support and the meals you have cooked for us. We are proud of your young men and we are very proud to have them involved. The lessons and growth have been in a way which many will be proud of. Their politeness and demeanor have always been present throughout the season and throughout their careers. We wish them the best of luck in all they do!
Coldwater baseball will now say goodbye to a host of talent who will be leaving due to graduation, including Aiden Marsden, Carter Bordner, Joseph Closson, Brock Thornton, Brynden Massey, Nate Tappenden, Cole Barker and Logan Farmer.
Congratulations to the Coldwater Cardinal baseball team on an awesome Spring 2022 baseball season.