DUFUR – It was quite the turnaround season for the Dufur baseball team.
After posting two wins and a ninth-place league finish, the young Rangers bolstered their roster with eight freshmen and won 11 games, securing a second-place league outcome and a state berth under head coach C.S. Little.
The team was rewarded with eight all-league recipients, led by first teamers Isaac Anthony and Russell Peters, along with second-team winners Gabe Petroff and Louis Red Cloud.
Taking honorable mention honors were the freshman trio of Brock Lafaver, Carson Smith, Kaleb Pence and sophomore Nate O’Brien.
On the year, Dufur jumped from 62 runs scored in 2018 to 146 and turned in a .312 batting average, and 42 of the team’s 176 hits went for extra bases.
The team also went 53-of-58 on stolen bases attempts, combined for 86 walks and 110 strikeouts.
Ranger pitchers allowed 114 runs, 41 earned, in 20 games, which was a huge improvement from the 223 given up in 2018 and added a 2.31 earned run average with 181 strikeouts and 93 walks in 124 innings.
Anthony proved to be stout in big games, as he tossed his first career varsity no-hitter on 65 pitches and capped the opening-game of a twinbill with a walk-off RBI single in Dufur’s 10-0, five-inning mercy-ruled victory over Weston-McEwen on May 14.
In his five frames, Anthony, a freshman southpaw, fanned 13, walked one and had two putouts.
Just six days later, Anthony struck out 10 and did not walk a batter in his 100-pitch, complete-game performance against Lakeview, a 5-0 loss, in opening-round state action.
For the year, Anthony had a 0.65 earned run average, and opponents managed a .170 batting average against him.
Spanning 43 1/3 innings, the freshman went 4-3, struck out 87 and walked 23, while allowing 20 runs, four earned, on 27 hits.
Defensively, he committed six errors on 70 chances for a .914 fielding percentage.
On offense, Anthony totaled 21 hits in 76 plate appearances, a .313 average, had a .395 on-base percentage, a .432 slugging average, drove in a team-high 27 runs and was third on the team with 17 runs scored.
Peters, one of two seniors, led the team with a .431 batting average with 11 of his 25 hits going for extra bases, including a team-leading two home runs.
He drove in 23 runs, struck out eight times in 73 plate appearances, led the team with six hit by pitches, posted a team-best on-base percentage (.548) and slugging average (.724), and was second on the team with 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.
To get the most out of a young pitching staff, having a calming influence behind the plate was vital, and Petroff proved to be an asset in his first varsity campaign.
Petroff reeled off a .286 average with a team-high nine doubles, was second-best in runs scored (22) and drove in 16 runs.
Petroff led the Rangers with 12 stolen bases, had a .395 on-base average and had a .428 slugging percentage.
Defensively, the 6-foot-1-inch catcher made four errors on 183 chances for a .978 and had 16 assists.
Red Cloud, another senior, hit .346 in 16 games, drove in 16 runs and scored eight runs. He struck out five times in 55 plate appearances, posted a .382 on-base average and added a .346 slugging percentage.
Lafaver, a freshman pitcher and first baseman, earned his all-league award for his play at first base, but displayed talent on the mound as well.
Overall, he had a .286 batting average with 14 hits in 49 at-bats, and he drove in 10 runs and scored eight times.
He was second on the team with 12 walks, added the fourth best on-base average (.435) and slugged at a .326 level.
Defensively, Lafaver committed six errors on 71 chances, had 16 assists and was part of three double plays.
On the mound Lafaver tossed 39 innings, and allowed 27 runs, nine earned, on 33 hits, with 44 strikeouts and 26 walks. He was 2-2 in eight starts and held a 1.62 earned run average and opponents turned in a .193 batting average.
Smith, a freshman middle infielder and pitcher, secured all-league honors as an infielder, as he batted .400 with 12 RBIs and seven runs scored. He led the team with 15 walks and struck out nine times in 71 plate appearances, added a second-best on-base percentage (.521) and slugging average (.454), and swiped 8 of 10 bases.
Used mostly in a relief role, Smith gave up 14 runs, three earned, in 18 2/3 innings with 27 strikeouts and seven walks.
He went 3-1 and added a save in 11 appearances, and he finished with a 1.12 earned run average and opponents hit .132 off the right-hander.
Pence played in all 20 games this year and tallied a .254 average, slammed a home run, scored nine runs and was third on the team with 21 RBIs.
He posted a .347 on-base percentage, added a .349 slugging average and went a perfect 3 for 3 on stolen bases.
Playing infield and catcher, Pence had six errors on 46 chances for an .870 fielding percentage and he racked up 24 putouts.
The final player scoring honorable mention was O’Brien, a sophomore infielder in his first season at Dufur.
Over 15 contests, O’Brien notched 16 hits on 49 at-bats for a .327 average, with 16 runs scored and three RBIs.
He received 10 walks, struck out seven times, was fourth in on-base percentage (.450), seventh in slugging percentage (.408) and went 10-of-11 on stolen base attempts.
On the mound, O’Brien went 1-0 in five appearances and allowed 18 runs, 10 earned, on eight hits in 10 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 11, walked 13 and opponents hit .195 against him.