Dufur and Sherman burst onto the Blue Mountain Conference scene this year with solid seasons and plenty of all-league representatives to show for it.
Both teams combined for 27 wins and 416 runs scored, so being represented on the all-state list was a tip of the cap from opposing coaches across the state.
Dufur junior Kolbe Bales picked up first-team honors, teammate Connor Uhalde was a second-team winner and junior catcher and pitcher Bailey Keever had his name called for honorable mention.
“Kolbe, Bailey and Connor exemplify what is right with high school baseball,” said Dufur coach C.S. Little. “Their solid leadership paved the way for a successful season when odds were against us. I am certainly proud of their recognition as All-State players.”
For the Huskies, sophomore Bradley Moe earned second-team recognition and fellow sophomore, Brett Troutman, was an honorable mention selection for his solid pitching and offense this past spring.
Fresh off a 12-win campaign, all-league status and a state berth, Bales tacked on the biggest honor of his athletic career after posting personal-bests from his first base position.
On the field, Bales committed four errors on 106 chances for a .962 fielding percentage, and helped turn nine double plays.
The No. 3 hitter on the Ranger roster, Bales had a .466 batting average with 19 runs scored, a team-high 47 RBIs, and he added 10 doubles and a home run.
The lefty had a .536 on-base percentage and a .643 slugging percentage and struck out a team-low eight times in his in his 84 plate appearances.
Up until this past season, Uhalde had been a second baseman.
However, with a young roster of nine underclassmen, the junior patrolled centerfield early on, but made his biggest contributions at shortstop to pick up a second-team bid.
The junior had a healthy batting average of .494 on the season, with 40 hits in 81 plate appearances.
Uhalde led the Rangers in runs scored (43), drove in 16, popped eight doubles, three triples and swiped 37 bases on 37 attempts.
In his 99 official at-bats, Uhalde walked 14 times, had an on-base percentage of .576 and a slugging percentage of .667.
Defensively, Uhalde committed six errors in 67 chances for a fielding percentage of .910. He also was second on the team, with 22 assists.
“It means a lot to get all-state,” Uhalde said. “It shows that all of the hours practicing have paid off. It’s just a great feeling. I do believe all of the success we had was due to the confidence I had in our team and that we were going to do good. All we had to do was work hard and play as a team and we were going to do good things.”
In just two years, Moe has been a steady influence on the Sherman Husky roster for head coach Joe Justesen.
As the main catcher, he endured his share of bumps and bruises, but was a constant threat and contributor every time he stepped on the field.
From his catcher’s position, Moe led the Huskies in total bases, batting average, RBIs and hit by pitches.
In 37 at-bats, Moe had a .432 average with two home runs and 19 RBIs, adding four doubles and 11 runs scored to his stat line.
He also hit a league-high seven times, and only committed two errors in 12 league games played.
Justesen credits the breakout season to Moe working extra hours with Sherman hitting instructor, Derek Gummersall.
“Bradley works very hard. Baseball is the thing that he loves and we see that every day,” Justesen said. “He puts in that extra effort in practice, he is always the first one out there hitting and doing the little things. He has a great approach to the plate and he loves the game. It is starting to show through. He did well. I hope to see that continue where he can put the bat on the ball for us and keep us going in the right direction.”
Although Troutman was an all-state pick for his infield prowess, he showed his bat can be just as potent.
The sophomore shortstop committed four errors on the season, and chipped in with a .400 batting average in league play, adding 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored, two stolen bases and three walks in 40 at-bats. He struck out just four times.
Justesen is happy to have Troutman for two more seasons.
“It is awesome watching Brett play the game,” Justesen said. “His baseball IQ is off the charts. He understands the game, he loves it a lot and he works hard at getting better at it. He understands what he has to do and does so with a passion not many players have. He is going to be a kid to watch out for.”
With an early-season injury to teammate Hagen Pence, Keever was thrust into several different positions, but what caught the eyes of other coaches was his play at catcher.
The junior was a stout defender and had the arm strength to cut down potential base stealers.
He also showed some power from the top of the batting order.
Keever hit .391 overall with 41 runs scored, 40 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
He led the team with two home runs, added 11 doubles and tied for the team lead with three triples.
He also led the team in walks, with 16 for an on-base percentage of .538 and a team-leading slugging percentage of .724.
“I was very thankful and surprised,” Keever said of his honor. “The things I do can't happen without my teammates. Everyone has been so supportive of me and really helped me push to be the very best I can.”