Banks baseball, softball players earn decorations
Banks baseball and softball players were honored in recent weeks, earning all-league and 4A all-state honors.
Baseball players, senior Charlie White, fellow senior Colten Hesselman and junior Logan Kind all earned first team all-state honors, with Hesselman honored as a pitcher, Kind as a first baseman, and White for his work behind the plate.
Banks head coach Joe Baumgartner spoke highly of all three players shortly following the season, and specifically White and Hesselman's leadership, along with their work both in the field and at the plate.
"Charlie culminated his amazing athletic career at Banks … with an amazing baseball season, and more importantly was our unquestioned leader, fierce competitor, and one that will be hard to replace in all our sports," the coach said. "Both him and Colton were amazing two-way players."
Baumgartner went on to speak to White's ability on the mound, something the recent Braves graduate hadn't done in four years.
"He was 7-0 as a pitcher, and giving up only five runs all year is pretty special for someone that hasn't really pitched since the eighth grade," the coach said following the season. "But combine that with his .444 batting average, 36 runs scored, 26 RBIs and six home runs, and you have a special baseball player."
White and Hesselman were both first-team all-state honorees last season as well.
Hesselman finished the year with a 10-2 record and 0.86 ERA on the mound, throwing 57 innings and allowing only 28 total hits while striking out 82 and walking 18. Additionally, the senior batted .311 with two home runs and 17 RBIs.
Kind hit an impressive .430 over Banks' 25 games, tallying two home runs, nine doubles and a team-leading 28 RBIs.
Also earning all-state honors was Hesselman's younger brother Wyatt, who made the second team as an infielder. The sophomore led the team with 100 plate appearances and batted .382 with 16 RBIs and an impressive .495 on-base-percentage.
Braves sophomore Justin Walters also earned honorable mention as an infielder.
La Grande senior Devin Bell was the State Player of the Year, while La Grande head coach Parker McKinley was the Coach of the Year.
In addition to their all-state recognition, all of the aforementioned Braves earned All-Cowapa League honors, along with sophomore Ashton Crossen, who too was recognized all-league.
White and Colten Hesselman were also selected as the Co-Players and Pitchers of the Year, while Banks' Baumgartner shared Coach of the Year honors with Tillamook's Matt Strang.
Also, Braves junior Wyatt Selleck and freshman Harry Gardner were honorable mention.
On the softball side of things, three Braves earned all-league honors while two more earned honorable mention.
Banks finished third in the Cowapa League with a 5-7 record, and was 8-12 overall.
Earning all-league honors was Braves senior catcher Kassandra Douglas, along with junior pitcher Alex Saunders and senior infielder Hayden Rockwell.
Both Rockwell and Douglas were all-league selections last season, while Saunders was an honorable mention.
In addition to the Braves' all-league honorees, junior infielder Morgan Rockwell and freshman infielder Jordyn Maller earned honorable mentions.
Astoria freshman Maddie Wilkin was the Cowapa League Player and Pitcher of the Year, while Tillamook's Ashlyn Mattson and Valley Catholic's Emilie Eddy were the Designated Co-Players of the Year, and Astoria head coach Kent Israel was the Coach of the Year.
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