Mateo Balderas on all-HOIC first team, six other Hawks honored by conference

Zeke Balderas, Hewitt, Klonglan and Berg on second team; Lewis and Balvanz honorable mention

South Hamilton senior Mateo Balderas slides safely into third base against Roland-Story this season. He was recently named a first-team all-HOIC infielder. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — The South Hamilton baseball team piled up seven all-conference accolades from the Heart of Iowa Conference coaches, it was recently announced.

Mateo Balderas, a senior second baseman, was the Hawks lone representative on the first team. Four players — senior catcher CJ Hewitt, junior shortstop DJ Klonglan, junior pitcher/catcher Zeke Balderas, and junior left fielder Cole Berg — were placed on the second team. Honorable mention honors went to junior center fielder Sam Lewis and sophomore first baseman Cade Balvanz.

Conference champion North Polk and runner-up Saydel hoarded eight of the 13 first-team slots. Both picked up four honors.

Mateo Balderas, a multiple-year starter, led South Hamilton in hits (25) and RBIs (20) and hit at a .352 clip, second behind only the .355 average of Lewis.

Hewitt, who was also one of the Hawks’ top pitchers, cranked out a .296 batting average with one home run and 15 RBIs. He was one of three players — the Balderas brothers, Mateo and Zeke were the others — with four doubles.

Berg and Zeke Balderas both hit .319 on the season. Zeke Balderas bashed a team-high three home runs and plated 16 runs, while Berg drove in six runs and swiped seven bases.

Zeke Balderas, who made the second team as a utility player, was also 3-2 on the mound with a 2.88 ERA and 44 strikeouts.

Hitting in the lead-off spot, Klonglan put up a .294 batting average with a pair of doubles and five RBIs. He also stole 10 bases.

In addition to his team-best batting average, Lewis also led the way in doubles (five) and stolen bases (11). Balvanz hit .274 with 12 RBIs.