Grove City Record

Baseball

Cowles selected MVP of Heartland tournament

By

Tyler Cowles hasn't slowed down since helping the Grove City High School baseball team reach a Division I regional semifinal this past season.

Cowles was named Most Valuable Player of the Heartland Baseball Classic held June 16-21 in Norman and Moore, Okla., despite his Team Ohio squad finishing fifth in the seven-team tournament.

Cowles, who played left field, hit .524 (11-for-21) with two home runs, two triples, two doubles and 10 RBI.

"I was really shocked," he said of being named MVP. "I knew I was seeing the ball well that whole tournament, but I didn't know that they even had an MVP. I knew they had an all-tournament team, but not MVP. A bunch of my buddies got all-tournament team (honors), so I didn't think anything of it, but when my name got called for MVP I was kind of shocked."

Team Ohio went 3-4. Team Maryland defeated Team Texas 4-0 in the championship game.

Cowles earned a spot on Team Ohio after receiving nominations from several area coaches, including Grove City coach Ryan Alexander.

"There were a ton of great kids there and (Cowles) swung (the bat) really well," Alexander said. "The (Team Ohio) coach (Toledo St. Francis' Jeff Mielcarek) said he never had a guy swing it that well in his 10 years there as a coach. Tyler had a blast out there."

Team Ohio's coaching staff included Tony Cleveland, an assistant at Dublin Coffman.

"That's really surprising coming from a fifth-place team," Cleveland said of Cowles being named MVP. "That was quite an honor. We were pretty stunned. He had some great numbers all week long."

The team also included 2014 graduates Alec McCurry of Olentangy Orange, Jarod Yoakam of Marysville and Bryan Stopar of DeSales.

Cowles also is in his first season playing for the Titans baseball team, which is based in the Columbus area. He also has played summer baseball for Teays Valley and Midland in Cincinnati.

The Titans finished second in the Midwest Classic held June 26-29 at Miami University, losing to the Indiana Eagles 8-1 in the championship game.

"Summer baseball is the best," Cowles said. "You get to travel around the country and meet new people."

Next up for Cowles, he will play at Sinclair Community College in Dayton with hopes of someday moving up to a Division I program.

"Right now he's on the bubble of a bunch of Division I teams, so hopefully he continues to make a name for himself because that's what he wants to do," Alexander said.

For Grove City this past season, Cowles hit .500 with 26 RBI, 15 stolen bases, eight doubles and four home runs. He was named first-team all-state, all-district and all-league.

Grove City lost to Gahanna 8-7 in a regional semifinal May 29, snapping a 21-game winning streak to finish 24-6. The Greyhounds captured their third district title in four seasons and won the OCC-Ohio Division title at 12-1, ahead of Pickerington North (9-4), Pickerington Central (8-5), Gahanna (8-6), Newark (6-8), Lancaster (5-9), Reynoldsburg (5-9) and Groveport (1-12).

"These past four years have been the best four years of my life," Cowles said. "I had a great coaching staff. I had a person to look up to like (Alexander). He's a wonderful parent. He's one of those role models that you look up to in the future and you want to be just like him.

"Coach (Jeremy) Johnson, we've had our moments where we argue, but at the end of the day, I love him to death. He taught me my fundamentals about hitting and same with 'Coach A' with fielding, and I loved every second of it."

Comments