ONA - Cabell Midland's Seth Kinker came into the 2014 baseball season wanting to continue the momentum he built at the end of the 2013 campaign.
As the 2014 season played out, Kinker's confidence never left, nor did his dominance on the mound as he allowed just four earned runs in 84 2-3 innings of work.
That dominance led Kinker to the distinction of being the 2014 State Player of the Year.
"Coming into this season, this was definitely a goal of mine -to win a championship and to earn this honor," Kinker said. "I wish I could've had the state title, but to win this award is special. It's humbling and I'm grateful for it."
On the season, Kinker finished with a 9-3 record and a 0.33 earned run average with 117 strikeouts and 19 walks allowed for the Knights. In his 84 2-3 innings of work, Kinker allowed just 55 hits and only surrendering four earned runs.
Perhaps his best outing of the season came in his final outing for the Knights -a 1-0 loss to eventual state champion Hurricane. Kinker allowed just two hits to the hard-hitting Redskins while striking out six. The game's lone run was unearned.
In addition to his success on the mound, Kinker led Cabell Midland in home runs (5), runs-batted-in (28), doubles (11), triples (3) and also ranked second with a .361 batting average.
He will continue his career at Ohio State next season.
"He was our go-to guy and he wanted the game in his hands," Cabell Midland coach Tracy Brumfield said. "When the game was on the line, he wanted that pressure. You can't ask for much more than that."
Kinker earned the honor in a close vote over Logan's Zach Minnick and Washington pitcher Jared Silva. Minnick hit .473 for the Wildcats with seven home runs and 34 runs-batted-in while also being dominant as the team's ace. When Minnick wasn't pitching, he was behind the plate or at shortstop, proving he was one of the most versatile players in the state.
The promising utility player is only a junior, meaning he will return to the Wildcats as a leader next season for head coach Roger Gertz.
Silva led Washington to the state semifinals and posted a 7-2 record with a 0.87 earned run average. In 48 innings, he struck out 75 while allowing just 16 walks. The VMI commit also batted .431 with 19 runs-batted-in for the Patriots.