LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
One of the key ingredients in South Laurel’s success this past season has been honored with an individual award.
Daniel Neal was recently named the 13th Region Player of the Year. It was Neal’s play that helped the Cardinals advance to the semifinals of the state baseball tournament.
“This award is very well deserved,” South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said. “Daniel means a lot to us, obviously. He does so many different things. His offensive stats speak for themselves, and on the mound he helped solidify our pitching staff, which I think was one of the best in the state.”
Neal, a junior who has committed to the University of Tennessee, batted .487 with seven home runs and 37 runs batted in during the regular season. He also smacked 13 doubles and two triples, and in 119 plate appearances, he struck out only 10 times. He led the Cardinals in batting average, hits (58), RBI, doubles, triples and home runs.
On the mound, he went 5-3 with an ERA of 0.75. In 56 innings of work, he allowed only 10 runs (9 earned) and 27 hits while striking out 58 and walking nine.
“He pitched a lot of our big games,” Harris said. “The first game of the district tournament, the championship of the region, and a lot of our district games. He’s a very impactful player and he does what he can to help his team.”