Knudtson, Smith selected to the all-state second team
After reaching the first round of the state playoffs for the second consecutive year, the Crook County Cowboys have had two players selected to the Class 5A baseball all-state team.
Crook County senior Carson Smith was named to the all-state second team as a designated hitter, while junior infielder Kyle Knudtson was also selected to the second team.
Smith, a right-handed hitter, was one of the best hitters in the state at any level, batting .400 with a .455 on base percentage and a .580 slugging percentage during the Intermountain Conference season.
Smith had 12 singles, seven doubles and a triple during league play along with 14 RBI's and 10 runs scored.
Knudtson, a switch hitter, had nearly as high a batting average as Smith. The junior, who played short stop and pitched during the season, finished the league season with a .380 batting average, a .466 on base percentage and a .520 slugging percentage.
Knudtson had 15 singles, one double and three triples during the Intermountain Conference season while driving in 11 runs and scoring 12 times.
In addition to a pair of Crook County players. several other players from the Intermountain Conference also received all-state recognition.
Pendleton, which finished second to Central, had four players named to the all-state team, while Hood River Valley, which also made the state playoffs, also had four players selected.
Pendleton's Ryan Stahl was named to the first team as a pitcher, while teammates Justin Duso, catcher, Ty Beers, first base, and Gabe Umbarger, outfield, were all named to the second team.
For Hood River Valley, Caden Leiblein was selected to the first team as an infielder while Greyson Losee, pitcher, and Ryan Gray, utility, were named to the second team. Also receiving all state recognition from Hood River Valley was Jeremiah Brittle, an honorable mention outfielder.
Thurston senior Decker Stedman was named the Class 5A player of the year, while Central pitcher Kaleb Kantola, also a senior, was named pitcher of the year.
Central won the state championship, and their head coach, Tom Roberts, was named the Class 5A coach of the year.
Class 5A Baseball All-State Team
Player of the year: Decker Stedman, Thurston
Pitcher of the year: Kaleb Kantola, Central
Coach of the year: Tom Roberts, Central
Pitchers: First team — Kaleb Kantola, 12, Central. Chase Reynolds, 10, West Albany. Matt Evans, 12, La Salle. Ryan Stahl, 12, Pendleton. Beau Bernett, 12, Churchill. Second team — Greyson Losee, 11, Hood River Valley. Eric Kessler, 12, Dallas. Eli Westrick, 11, Ashland. Kammeron Mecham, 12, Hillsboro. Honorable mention — Riley Kramer, 12, Silverton. Gage Mack, 11, Silverton. Kevin Pierson, 11, Willamette. Nick Geerston, 11, Putnam.
Catchers: First team — Ben Leid, 12, Crescent Valley. Isiah Burke, 10, Thurston. Second team — Justin Duso, 12, Pendleton. KJ Ruffo, 11, Putnam. Honorable mention — Emiliano Alarcon, 12, Central. Kane Kiaunis, 11, Hilsboro.
First base: First team — Decker Stedman, 12, Thurston. Second team — Ty Beers, 10, Pendleton. Ethan Kurpp, 12, Crescent Valley.
Infield: First team — Caden Leiblein, Hood River Valley. Trevor Antonson, 12, Wilsonville. Jayden Frank, 12, North Bend. Owen Bischoff, 12, Silverton. Second team — Kyle Knudtson, 11, Crook County. Jake Riley, 11, Thurston. Will Tsukamaki, 12, North Salem. Ruben Cedillo, 12, Central. Honorable Mention — Caleb Beach, 12, West Albany. Kolbi Blevins, 11, Eagle Point. Jordan Buchanan, 12, Scappoose.
Outfield: First team — Taylor Holder, 11, Crescent Valley. Nolan Thebiay, 12, Wilsonville. Cole Kleckner, 11, Wilsonville. Jake Simmons, 12, North Bend. Second team — Gabe Umbarger, 12, Pendleton. Hunter Runion, 12, Silverton. Blake Bowers, 11, West Albany. Logan Travis, 11, Scappoose. Nate Carter, 10, Ashland. Darin Marsh, 10, Eagle Point.
Designated Hitter: First team — Richard Estrella, 12, Churchill. Second team — Carson Smith, 12, Crook County. Honorable mention — Kyle Meyer, 9, Hillsboro.
Utility: First team — Carson Lydon, 10, Churchill. Cade Crist, 11, Thurston. Second team — Sawyer Cleveland, 12, Crescent Valley. Ryan Gray, 11, Hood River Valley. Honorable mention — Josh Oneil, 11, Hillsboro.