The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

High School Sports

June 27, 2014

H.S. baseball: 2014 Daily Item All-Stars

Upper Dauphin senior is Player of the Year

Asked what was most responsible for Mac Ney’s success, his superb athletic ability or strong work ethic, Ryan Lentz pegged it a 60/40 split.

“But I don’t know which is the 60 and which is the 40,” Upper Dauphin’s baseball coach said with a laugh.

“Certainly his athleticism has helped him improve over the years. On the other hand, you’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He’s a worker. Whatever it is he is doing, he’s going to put 100 percent into it.”

This past baseball season, Ney was the best player on the Valley’s best team. His numbers were up across the board from an all-star junior campaign, but his impact extended beyond the box score. In fact, Lentz believes Ney’s leadership was as important, if not more, than any hit he had, pitch he made or out he recorded.

“A lot of his best qualities don’t show on paper,” Lentz said.

What he put on paper, though, was plenty impressive.

Ney batted .441 on the strength of a Valley-best 30 hits (tied with Line Mountain’s Kellan Masser), with 26 RBIs and 32 runs scored in 21 games. He slugged at a .677 clip (2 home runs, 2 triples, 6 doubles), stole 15 bases and struck out just seven times in 83 plate appearances.

On the mound, Ney was 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 30.1 innings for the Tri-Valley League champs.

Ney was named The Daily Item Player of the Year over East Juniata’s Nick Lorenz, with whom he shared the Tri-Valley League MVP, and Midd-West’s Shane Connahan.

“He had another strong offensive year,” said Lentz, who was named Daily Item Coach of the Year, “and who knows how good his pitching stats would have been if he doesn’t injure his finger on a ball against Millersburg (and missed several April starts).”

Prior to his injury, Ney shut out Susquenita (the eventual District 3-AA top seed) on six hits. He returned to the hill in early May and had a key complete-game win over Halifax.

The highlight of Ney’s year (as well as the Trojans’ season) came on May 10, when Upper Dauphin went to East Juniata and avenged its lone TVL loss, 25-5 in four innings. Ney spearheaded the rout by going 4-for-5 with a triple, a double, 4 runs scored and 3 RBIs.

“We saw coming in as a ninth grader he was talented but he put the time in and worked at it to be successful,” said Lentz. “The one thing I’m absolutely going to miss is his ability to come to practice every day and show the guys how to work. He gains a lot of respect from his teammates because he fits the leader’s role and he has the talent to back it up.

“He loves the game and he only cares about one thing, the success of the team. As a coach you’re fortunate to have a kid like that.”

Ney, who was also a TVL all-star in football and basketball, plans to study kinesiology and play baseball at Penn State Schuylkill.

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