Albion High diamond duo earns first team All-WNY honors

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 5 July 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s duo of John Warne, left, and Connor Barleben have both earned first team All-Western New York baseball team honors.

Two key members of Albion’s Niagara-Orleans League and Section VI Class A championship baseball team, the senior battery of pitcher Connor Barleben and catcher John Warne, have been named to the first team of the annual All-Western New York baseball squad.

“It’s huge for a school in our league to have two first team All-WNY selections. It’s a pretty big honor”,” said Albion Coach Bruce Blanchard. “They are such team players. They are both baseball kids. They both just love the sport and they really work at it to make themselves better. Their baseball IQ is very high and they really carried the load for us. They are very deserving of this honor.”

Interestingly Barleben and Warne will continue to be teammates this fall as members of the Genesee Community College baseball squad.

Barleben hurled Albion to three sectional victories posting an earned run average of just 0.328 with 26 strikeouts in 21 innings. He also hit .312 with three doubles, one home run and five RBIs.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Connor Barleben

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – John Warne

For the entire season, Barleben, who also hurled Albion to a sectional title in his sophomore year, was 6-0 on the mound with 70 strikeouts in 44.3 innings with an era of just 0.97. At the plate, he hit .406 with 11 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 31 RBIs.

Warne, a four year varsity starter at catcher, hit .533 in the sectionals with two doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBIs.

On the season Warne hit .485 with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs an 26 RBIs. Defensively, he had a fielding percentage of .995 and threw out eight runners and picked off six more.

“Connor is just so versatile,” said Blanchard in noting that he played shortstop when not pitching. “And John has such a great arm that teams just don’t run on him.”