After enjoying one of its best regular seasons in program history, the 2019 North Marion baseball team racked up a king's ransom in the Tri-Valley All-Conference awards, including Player of the Year Nic Iliyn and Pitcher of the Year Griffin Henry.
The Huskies finished the year with a 23-3 record, including a 14-1 mark against league opponents to win the conference outright in its return to the Tri-Valley, giving North Marion back-to-back league titles for the first time since the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
As a result, the Huskies placed 10 players on the all-conference team, including seven First Team recipients led by Iliyn and Henry receiving top honors at their respective positions.
Nic Iliyn, Sr. — First Team outfield, Player of the Year
The Huskies leadoff hitter and starting centerfielder was a terror to opposing teams in the batter's box and on the base paths, leading North Marion in nearly every major offensive category, including batting average (.577), on-base percentage (.664), hits (45), runs (42), doubles (14), triples (3), walks (22), and stolen bases (26).
The fleet-footed senior also led the team in slugging percentage (.910), OPS (1.574), total bases (71) and runs created (60.3), was second on the team with two home runs and 26 RBIs.
Defensively, Iliyn led the team in innings played (165) and was the only regular starter to go the full season without commiting an error.
Griffin Henry, Sr. — First Team pitcher, Pitcher of the Year
North Marion was not just the top defensive team in the state at the 4A level this year, but gave up the fewest runs (59) among any team in the 3A-6A classifications.
Much of that was due to Henry, the Huskies' senior ace who added Tri-Valley Pitcher of the Year to his resume after winning Oregon West Pitcher of the Year honors the year before.
The team's No. 1 option racked up a 7-1 record, pitching nearly one third of the team's innings this season with 53.67 frames on the mound.
Henry struck out 90 batters and gave up just 11 earned runs over the course of the season for a robust 1.43 earned run average. He was also one of seven regular starters to finish the season with a fielding percentage above .900, with just three miscues for a .946 average.
Offensively, he batted .264 with one home run, one triple, 19 RBIs.
Grant Henry, Sr. — First Team catcher
The Huskies' primary option behind the plate, Grant Henry was second on the team among regular starters in fielding percentage (.964) and threw out five of 11 runners in stolen base attempts on the season.
Offensively, he led the Huskies in singles (20), RBIs (46) and home runs (3), and was second in batting average (.462), doubles (10), walks (14), on-base percentage (.551), slugging percentage (.705) and OPS (1.256).
On the mound, he was 3-1 with six saves in 24 innings with a 1.75 ERA and 41 strikeouts.
Brady Hansen, Jr. — First Team outfield
Batting second in the lineup for the Huskies, Hansen hit .378 and was second on the team in innings played (492), stolen bases (20) and walks (14), and was third in runs scored (25). He recorded 25 hits on the year and drove in 15 runs.
The team's No. 2 pitcher, Hansen went 6-1 in 39 innings with a 2.87 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
Ryan Olson, Jr. — First Team utility
Olson was third on the team in batting average (.415), OBP (.492), slugging (.453) and OPS (.945), driving in 16 runs and scoring 12. He was second on the team in fielding percentage (.964).
Olson was 5-0 in eight games on the mound, with a 1.17 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 innings.
Noah Wierstra, Jr. — First Team designated hitter
Wierstra batted .295 on the season, with 16 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He stole nine bases, drew 12 walks and had a .449 OBP.
Sergio Jimenez, Jr. — First Team infield
The junior shortstop played 482 innings for the Huskies, driving in 11 runs and scoring nine more on .205 average at the plate.
Jared Hauser, Sr. — Second Team infield
Hauser batted .266 with 22 runs scored, 20 RBIs, and nine walks. He had a .344 OBP.
Hunter Wierstra, Jr. — Second Team infield
Wierstra had a .917 fielding percentage and batted .268, scoring 28 runs, driving in seven, drawing 10 walks and stealing 10 bases. He was hit by nine pitches on the season to lead the team.
Isaac Hansen, Jr. — Second Team first base
Hansen had a .961 fielding percentage and batted .327 at the plate, driving in 14 runs and scoring 16. He drew eight walks and had a .453 OBP.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.