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Bandits' Veneziano, Widger receive top honors
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Bandits' Veneziano, Widger receive top honors

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Quad Cities left-hander Anthony Veneziano delivers a pitch in a game against South Bend this season. The River Bandits starter was named Thursday as the pitcher of the year in the High-A Central League.

A dominant season on the diamond has resulted in plenty of postseason honors for the Quad Cities River Bandits.

High-A Central League strikeout leader Anthony Veneziano was named Thursday as the league’s pitcher of the year and Chris Widger was chosen as the manager of the year after guiding Quad Cities to a 77-41 regular season record and the league’s playoff championship.

Major League Baseball announced postseason awards for all of its High-A leagues on Thursday and Quad Cities landed a league-leading four players on the 12-player postseason all-star team.

First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, second baseman Michael Massey and catcher Logan Porter joined Veneziano in earning league all-star status.

Veneziano filled the left-handed starting pitcher spot on the all-star team after finishing 6-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 23 outings for Quad Cities. He finished the season with 127 strikeouts and walked 37 batters in 93.2 innings of work.

Pasquantino dominated during the first half of the year before earning a promotion to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Before being reassigned by the Royals organization on July 20, he hit .291 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs over 61 games with the River Bandits.

Massey dominated with his bat and glove during a full season with Quad Cities. The former Illinois standout shared the team batting title with a .289 average. He finished with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs.

Porter split duties behind the plate but made a difference with his defense. A .241 hitter who saw action in 77 games, Porter hit 14 home runs and collected 45 RBIs during the regular season.

In addition to Veneziano and Widger earning individual honors, Great Lakes outfielder Andy Pages was selected as the High-A Central League player of the year and league’s top prospect.


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