Over 10 days, the News-Review will be highlighting the top sports stories of 2016. This is the first in the series.
In his fourth year on varsity, Shoreham-Wading River junior Brian Morrell compiled one of the best seasons in program history.
The pitcher/infielder dominated in all facets of the game, helping lead the Wildcats to a 19-6 overall record and League VII title. Morrell, who has signed to play baseball at the University of Notre Dame, was rewarded for his efforts with the Carl Yastrzemski Award as the top player in Suffolk County. He became the third Shoreham player and first since 2012 to win the prestigious honor.
Morrell did it all for the Wildcats. He led Suffolk County in both home runs (12) and strikeouts (94). On the mound, he was 5-1 with a 1.139 ERA (0.87 in the regular season). He batted .405 and drove in 28 runs, tops on Long Island, and his 17 extra-base hits.
Shoreham coach Kevin Willi said in June: “It’s funny talking to other coaches; they say we don’t know what to throw him.”
Morrell was also named Newsday’s Long Island Player of the Year.
The Wildcats were the top seed heading into the playoffs but went 2-2 to finish one win away from the county finals. In a 12-inning loss to Rocky Point, Morrell threw eight innings and struck out 10 while giving up two earned runs.
“To get an award like this is a great honor,”he said after winning the Yastrzemski Award.
Photo credit: Joe Werkmeister