Monday, June 4, 2012

Skaggs named all-state in baseball

New Richmond senior Austin Skaggs has been named to the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Division II all-state team as an outfielder.
New Richmond senior Austin Skaggs receives all-state honors after
 leading the Lions in most offensive categories.

Skaggs, who led the Lions in hitting with a .460 average in addition to going 7-2 as a pitcher, was the only Cincinnati area player to make the Div. II all-state team. In addition to his .460 average, Skaggs also led the 21-6 Lions in runs scored (37), hits (40), doubles (13), stolen bases (18), on-base percentage (.536) and tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 28.

"Austin enjoyed a very complete 2012 season,” said New Richmond coach Brian Benzinge. “He was our leader in most offensive categories, and also was our top pitcher.”

When not pitching, Skaggs played center field for the Lions who tied for the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division title. The Lions won their first 16 games of the 2012 season and were ranked No. 1 in the state by the coaches' association at one point in the season.

Austin Skagges steals second against Cincinnati Taft.
“Austin was arguably the best defensive outfielder in the SBAAC,” said Benzinger. “As a senior, Austin led by example on the field and came to play each and every day. He is a big reason for the team's success in 2012. His abilities and leadership will certainly be missed."

Skaggs was 7-2 in 52 innings as a starting pitcher, striking out 36 batters and recording an earned run average of 2.94.

In addition to playing baseball, Skaggs was a two-time state qualifier in wrestling for the Lions.

Skaggs becomes the 9th New Richmond baseball player to make the coaches’ all-state team. Other all-state players were Greg Higgins (1971), Gary Higgins (1977), Chris Hawkins (1982), Brian Benzinger (1985), Jeff Ast (1986), Cory Lytle (1990), Toby Shamblin (1991) and Brad Blankenship (1993).

Ironically, Todd Benzinger (1981), who  is arguably the best baseball player in New Richmond history, did not make the all-state team but was named to an All-America team and went on to play nine years in the Major Leagues and was a member of the 1990 World Champion Cincinnati Reds.

Clermont Northeastern’s Tanner Sanders received honorable mention on the coaches’ Div. II all-state team which is available at