High School Sports

Marvin Ridge’s Max Wotell is Charlotte Observer baseball player of the year

Marvin Ridge pitcher Max Wotell tosses the ball during practice on May 27. He was 14-0 with a 0.52 ERA and 145 strikeouts, and has a 92-mph fastball.
Marvin Ridge pitcher Max Wotell tosses the ball during practice on May 27. He was 14-0 with a 0.52 ERA and 145 strikeouts, and has a 92-mph fastball. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Marvin Ridge baseball coach Mark Mennitt and his good friend, Providence coach baseball coach Danny Hignight, talked the week of their respective state championships and wished each other luck as both pursued their first career title.

A few days later, Mennitt led Marvin Ridge (29-5) to a 3A state title in a 2-0 sweep of C.B. Aycock.

The same day, Hignight guided Providence (31-4) to a comeback win as the Panthers beat Millbrook twice to claim the 4A state title.

Mennitt and Hignight, the Charlotte Observer co-baseball coaches of the year, won their first state championships

Marvin Ridge senior pitcher Max Wotell is the player of the year.

Wotell, who was the 3A championship most valuable player, was 14-0 with an 0.52 ERA for the Mavericks. He had 145 strikeouts. Wotell gave up six earned runs in 811/3 innings.

Meanwhile, his year got even better on June 9, when he was the New York Mets’ third-round pick (88th overall) in the major league amateur draft.

Wotell, who had committed to the University of Arizona, will begin work this summer at the Mets’ training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., according to his father, Gene Wotell.

2015 Observer baseball team

All Observer Baseball Player of the Year: Max Wotell, Marvin Ridge.

All Observer Baseball Coach of the Year: Danny Hignight, Providence and Mark Mennitt, Marvin Ridge.

First Team


Max Wotell, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: N.C. Gatorade player of the year begins his career in the New York Mets’ organization after going 14-0 with 0.52 ERA and 145 strikeouts.

Garrett Davila, South Point, Sr.: Red Raiders’ ace was a fourth round pick by the Kansas City Royals after going 8-0 with 0.22 ERA.

Jackson Kowar, Charlotte Christian, Sr.: Two-time, all-state selection and Clemson signee led the Knights’ to their fifth straight state championship. He was 10-0 with 0.20 ERA, 118 strikeouts.

Austin Leonard, Providence, Sr.: All-American and Davidson College signee was huge in state championship run, including a two-hitter in the second game of 4A state finals, He was 10-2 with 2.04 ERA and 75 strikeouts this season.


Andrew Fishel, Providence, Sr.: Another Panthers All-American. Fishel, an Ohio State signee, hit .438 while managing a talented rotation.


Dupree Hart, Northwestern, Sr.: S.C. 4A Player of the Year, College of Charleston signee had hit .476 with two home runs, 29 RBI, 15 stolen bases.

Josh Hiatt, Providence, Sr.: North Carolina signee was a N.C. Gatorade player of the year finalist. Hiatt, an All-American, hit .468 with nine homers. He was 11-1 with 89 strikeouts and 1.84 ERA.

Jake Holtzapple, Providence, Jr.: North Carolina commit and All-American hit .455 with a school-record 50 hits.

Aaron Pilkington, Ardrey Kell, Jr.: All-American and College of Charleston commit hit. 486 with six home runs, 22 RBI. He also was 3-0 on the mound with four saves.

Tommy Bullock, Mooresville, Sr.: N.C. Central signee hit .448 with eight home runs, 23 RBIs, 16 stolen bases. He also had four wins and eight saves as the Blue Devils’ closer.


Drew Ober, Hough, Sr.: MECKA 4A conference player of the year, Charlotte 49ers’ signee hit .487 with six doubles, seven triples, two home runs and 35 runs scored.

Josh Ladowski, Lake Norman, Sr.: North Carolina signee hit .507 with seven doubles, scoring 26 runs.

Andrew Moritz, Providence, Sr.: All-American and UNC Greensboro signee hit .393, setting school records with 30 stolen bases and 32 walks this season.

Cameron Brantley, Ardrey Kell, Fr.: Knights freshman stepped into a starring role immediately hitting .459 with five home runs, 38 RBIs. He’s a Division I recruit, according to coach Hal Bagwell.

Designated Hitter

Dillon Carpenter, Charlotte Christian, Sr.: All-state pick, Anderson signee hit .426 with six home runs, 14 doubles and 41 RBIs.

Kobe Phillips, Butler, So.: Bulldogs shortstop hit .445, with 32 RBI, 39 runs to help Butler to 4A state semifinals.


Andrew Jordan, Hunter Huss, Sr.: 13th-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds’ is heading straight to the pros after a monster year at the plate. He hit .486 and was 6-1 with a 0.60 ERA.

Jason Curtis, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: A major part of the 3A state championship run, hitting .379 with 18 stolen bases. He , had three errors all season at shortstop.

Second Team


Henry Ryan, Ardrey Kell, So.

Clay Hunt, Nation Ford, Sr.

Chris Cox, East Lincoln, Jr.


Jarrett Norman, Butler, Sr.


Logan Davidson, Providence, Jr.

Xavier LeGrant, Berry, Sr.

Caleb Baucom, Piedmont, Sr.

Bailey Connell, Cuthbertson, Sr.

Alston Mosteller, Cherryville, So.


Reece Hampton, Charlotte Christian, Sr.

Tristan Baker, Hopewell, Sr.

Dean Looney, Butler, Jr.

Tristan Shea, Porter Ridge, So.

Designated Hitters

Zach Carter, Rock Hill, Sr.

Zach Little, Lake Norman, Sr.


Tate Pennington, Butler, So.

Justin Williams, Independence, Jr.