Mt. Abram Roadrunners Baseball Team with family and coaches at Awards Ceremony. Photo by Paula Kane

Mt. Abram Roadrunners Baseball Team 2021 before home game vs Spruce Mountain. Photo by Paula Kane

Kenyon Pillsbury Paula Kane

BenDiBiase Paula Kane

Hunter Warren Paula Kane

Gabe Emery Paula Kane

SALEM — The Mt. Abram Roadrunners’ Baseball Team concluded their 2021 season recently with an assembly for players, family, and friends, who gathered at their home field in Salem. The players were recognized with certificates of participation and a variety of other special awards.

Head Coach Jeffrey Pillsbury served as Master of Ceremonies. Helping with the proceedings were Assistant Coaches Jamie Phelps, Kawika Thompson, and JV Coach Lanie Roy.

Coach opened the ceremonies by thanking those coaches and the many others who helped make 2021 a very successful season.

“Any success this team has had should be credited to players first,” he began, “Secondly, credit should go to my assistant coaches. They are a passionate, highly dedicated crew, who I think it is fair to say are just as crazy as I am when it comes to baseball. I certainly could not have done it without them, and quite frankly, would not want to coach solo.”

Continuing, Pillsbury also thanked others who contributed throughout the season: Jeremy Starbird, Mt. Abram’s athletic trainer (“It’s always nice to him on scene.”) Scott Lehay and his crew of bus drivers; Billy Gilmore, “a loyal supporter of MTA baseball”; Andy Debiase for her six-year commitment and perseverance in getting a scoreboard installed at the ball field (“We are in desperate need of a batting cage, if you are looking for another project,” he quipped.); Athletic Director Kristina Stevens, “who has worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to support our team…she is one of our biggest fans”; the Boosters Club, for their “ongoing support. They have helped fund the baseball field from the very beginning.”

Special thanks went to the parents and fans for their support.

“Most of you have been on the sidelines for the past nine or ten years,” he stated, “These guys did not rise to this level without your support, commitment, and patience.”

The team’s bookkeeper was also recognized as another of the team’s biggest fans.

“She was unable to make a couple of games and the dugout was not the same without her,” Pillsbury said.

Lastly, he spoke of his players.

“This is a special group of individuals in a lot of ways,” he declared, “Not only are they winners, but they are great teammates, competitors, passionate about baseball, and outstanding individuals. I could not ask for a better group of guys to coach.”

Pillsbury continued with “a bit of history”.

“I believe this group has won at least four district titles, participated in four state tournaments, finishing fourth on one trip,” he shared, “They’ve also won a number of Elks tournaments and will soon be rolling out what will be pretty much a Mt Abram Legion baseball team…

“What this team has accomplished rivals anything that teams before them have done with any MTA baseball team prior. In my opinion, when one looks at soccer, basketball, and baseball, I do not recall another group of players that has been as competitive in three sports as this group of boys.

“I think it goes without saying,” he concluded, “that this is a special group of athletes.”

Coach spoke specifically of his Senior players: Ben Debiase, Gabe Emery, Kenyon Pillsbury, and Hunter Warren.

“I can’t say enough about my Seniors,” he stated, “They stepped on the field four years ago and we instantly became competitive. Every team these guys have played on for years have shined.

“Collectively,” he pointed out, “(the boys) had a batting average over 400, 78 hits, 53 RBIs, and 63 stolen bases.”

And in addition to those statistics, he applauded the fact that they also “have great baseball IQs and are quality teammates.”

Before closing, Coach Pillsbury spoke of the accomplishments of every single player, noting each one’s individual skills and versatility in their various positions on the field and their proficiency at the plate.

The presentation of special awards, as follows, concluded the program:

Lowest ERA (earned run average), a pitching award, Hunter Warren; Defensive Player, Kenyon Pillsbury; Highest Batting Average, Ben Debiase; Rookie of the Year, Tucker Plouffe; Comeback Player of the Year, Brendon Williamson; Most Improved Player, Trevor Phelps;

Coaches Awards, Wyatt Siemenski and Ian Allen.

Kenyon Pillsbury, Ben Debiase, and Hunter Warren also received “Web Gem” Awards for spectacular defensive plays during the season. (Note: The word “web” is in reference to the web part of a baseball glove. This term was made popular by the network ESPN, which had a segment on their show, Baseball Tonight, called “Web Gems”, short videos of the defensive highlights of the baseball games.)

Comments are not available on this story.