PREPS: Local players highlight all-state lists for baseball, softball
Southern Oregon was represented by nine first-team selections overall after the final all-state listings were posted from the Class 3A to 6A levels in baseball and softball as determined by a vote of the state’s coaches.
As the Class 5A state champions in baseball, Crater High led the charge with three of its players on the all-state first team, while South Medford baseball (6A) and Eagle Point softball (5A) each placed two members on the top unit. North Medford softball (6A) and Cascade Christian baseball (3A) also had one member honored with first-team recognition.
At the 6A level in softball, North Medford junior catcher Chelby Smalley secured the lone local first-team selection after a stellar spring that saw her post a .558 batting average with 24 RBIs and only one strikeout in 52 at-bats during the Southwest Conference campaign.
Second-team recognition was given to North Medford senior pitcher Rylan Austin, who was 16-2 in SWC play with a 1.24 ERA, and senior second baseman Alex Barry, who hit ..484 with 21 RBIs and 30 runs scored in league play.
Grants Pass junior Grace Gaither (infield) and senior Jordan Kuykendall (designated player/utility) were also second-team selections.
In 6A baseball, South Medford seniors Brandon Letendre (pitcher) and Jacob Melton (outfield) were first-team picks after leading the Panthers to the Southwest Conference championship and a No. 2 seeding in the state playoffs.
Letendre went 8-1 with a 1.88 ERA for South Medford, while Melton batted .513 with 51 runs, 28 RBIs, 33 stolen bases and eight home runs.
South Medford junior pitcher Ricky Boortz (7-2, 2.88 ERA) and senior second baseman Jaalen Owens (.265, 19 runs, 14 RBIs) were also named to the 6A second team, along with Grants Pass senior outfielder Tyler Rund.
Earning honorable mention recognition were South Medford senior left fielder Jaylin Parnell and Grants Pass junior infielder Payton Calabro.
In 5A baseball, Larson Kindreich, Trae Frodge and Nick Bastendorff each earned first-team honors after leading the Comets to the state title.
Kindreich (9-2, 0.71 ERA) had a streak of 37 consecutive innings without allowing a hit through the latter stages of the season in what is believed to be the longest such accomplishment in state history. He finished the season by not allowing a run in his final 43?2/3 innings pitched.
Bastendorff (shortstop) entered the state playoffs batting .417 with 31 runs and 23 RBIs, while Frodge (third base) hit .481 with 29 runs and 36 RBIs. It was Frodge’s two-run double in the sixth inning (scoring Kindreich’s pinch-runner and Bastendorff) that supplied the difference in the championship game against Crescent Valley.
Former South Medford system player Kyle Lund, who moved to Eugene for hockey pursuits, was a second-team outfield selection for Churchill as a senior.
In 5A softball, Eagle Point seniors Gillian Willis (infield) and Miyah Smith (designated player/utility) were named to the first team after Willis batted .577 with 29 runs and 21 RBIs and Smith hit .341 with 22 runs and 25 RBIs.
Earning second-team nods for the Eagles were sophomore pitcher Riley Shopp (14-7, 2.21 ERA) and senior catcher Samantha Thompson (.506, 30 runs, 37 RBIs), while Eagle Point senior outfielder Corie Dodge was a third-team pick.
At the 4A baseball level, Phoenix senior Brennen Watts was named to the all-state second team while junior teammate Mason Stella was an honorable mention outfielder.
In 4A softball, Phoenix senior outfielder Brooke Kentner was named honorable mention.
Cascade Christian senior infielder Joel McLemore was the lone first-teamer at the 3A level in baseball after he batted .465 with 28 runs and 21 RBIs to lead the Challengers.
Second-team acclaim went to Cascade Christian senior pitcher Kyle Reece and Rogue River senior utility player Henry Black, while Cascade Christian senior Gunnar Thompson (catcher) and freshman Sam Martin (infield) and Rogue River junior Derek Nelson (infield) and junior Cameron Hooker (outfield) were named to the third team.
Rogue River senior Jacob Tambellini (catcher) and Cascade Christian freshman Davis Federico (first base) earned honorable mention recognition.
In 3A softball, Rogue River juniors Jesse Langfield (infield) and Jillian Steinbrook-Cory (designated player) were honorable mention selections.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Aaron Zavala, Sr., South Salem.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Willie Weiss, Sr., Westview.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Matt Bailie, Westview.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Briley Knight, Sr., Crescent Valley.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Cole Wilkinson, Sr., Churchill.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Ryan Starwalt, Crescent Valley.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: GT Blackman, Sr., La Grande, and Derek Lee, Sr., Gladstone.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Casey Webster, Gladstone.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Grant Carley, Sr., Santiam Christian.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Steve Reed, Salem Academy, and Phil Dube, Pleasant Hill, and Matt Hilgers, Taft.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Alyssa Daniell, So., Clackamas.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Ashley Davis, Sr., Tigard.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jenna Wilson, Tualatin.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Abby Doerr, So., Marist.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Lauren Richards, Sr., Pendleton.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Tim Cary, Pendleton.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jayce Seaver, So., La Grande.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Allie Brock, So., La Grande.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Kirk Travis, La Grande.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ashton Phillips, Sr., Scio.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Anika Heidt, Sr., Dayton.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Rob Umbenhower, Dayton.