Newberry stars named Co-Class 1A Player of the Year

The Newberry baseball team added more hardware to its 2021 baseball trophy case.

On Friday, the Florida Dairy Farmers announced that Justen Crews and Luke Ridley were the Co-Class 1A Player of the Year. Their head coach, Mike Spina, was named the Class 1A Coach of the Year.

Crews, a senior pitcher/second baseman, helped lead the Panthers to a 25-1 record and the Class 1A state title with a .584 batting average, 11 doubles, six home runs, 46 runs scored and 29 runs batted in. He had a 3-0 record with a 2.33 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched.

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“Very well deserved,” Spina said. “As I have said, he has been the most dangerous lead-off hitter I have seen in high school baseball for a long time.”

Crews will be playing at Tallahassee Community College next year.

“His numbers don’t lie,” Spina said. “Zero strike outs all season says a lot. Great kid and I’m so happy for him.”

The senior pitcher/third baseman was 7-0 on the mound with a 1.02 ERA. He had 110 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched.

“This kid has been a bulldog on the mound all year for us,” Spina said. “He was by far the most dangerous pitcher on the mound that can throw three pitches. I look forward to watching both players compete at the next level.”

Ridley, who had a .367 batting average with 29 runs scored and 26 runs batted in, is headed to Polk State College.

Meanwhile, Spina was named the Class 1A Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to their first state baseball title in program history.

“I am honored to be considered 1A Coach of the Year,” he said. “I take pride in coaching the kids the game on the field but strive to make each player a better man by the time he leaves our program. I wouldn’t be in this situation without my players I have had the opportunity to coach the last four years at NHS.”

Newberry finished the season with a 19-game winning streak.

“This year’s state championship team was a special group,” Spina said. “We are going to strive to keep making Panther Baseball the best it can be.”

Newberry pitcher Justen Crews

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