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Seniors Grant Henry, Griffin Henry and Nic Iliyn will represent home team in annual baseball event

PMG FILE PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Bob Brack Stadium at North Marion High School will be host to the 2019 Oregon 4A Baseball All-Star Series on June 15-16. The event features the top 4A seniors in the state, divided into North and South teams playing in a three-game series.With the conclusion of the 2019 high school baseball season, the best seniors in the state in the 4A Classification will descend on North Marion High School for one final swing of the bat.

The North Marion Huskies will play host to the 2019 Oregon 4A Baseball All-Star Series on June 15 and 16, an annual celebration of the top 4A graduating players in Oregon.

"You get a chance to see all the top seniors from throughout the state of Oregon at the 4A level compete against each other," North Marion head coach Randy Brack said. "It's kind of their last hurrah for their four years of high school baseball and their accomplishments, and it's always a fun time."

The event will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and for the first time in the history, will take place outside the friendly confines of historic Legion Field in Roseburg.

The southern Oregon region used to be a hotbed for 4A talent, but as the landscape for high school athletics changed across the state over the decades, the event became less and less of a local draw and more of a trek for incoming players.

The most drastic change came in 2006 when the OSAA added two new classifications, bumping the biggest high schools up to 6A and 5A, while smaller schools were moved into the 3A, 2A and 1A leagues. As a result, the Roseburg-area was no longer a hub for 4A players, ultimately leading to the event moving to Bob Brack Stadium at North Marion this year.

"Over the last several years down in Roseburg, the attendance has really dropped," Brack said. "Mainly because in Douglas County, there are no longer any 4A high schools. They've all dropped down to 3A, so there's no local interest in what was going on down there."

Teams are roughly divided by region, representing schools in the North and South. Coaching staffs are determined by the most succesful programs of the season, with coaches from semifinalists Henley and Hidden Valley representing the South while coaches from Astoria and Gladstone will skipper the North.

State finalist Banks would have supplied one of the North coaches, but Brack said head coach Joe Baumgartner had a family vacation scheduled, so Gladstone's Casey Webster will step in instead.

Players from around the state will arrive on Saturday and be treated to a banquet and introduction in the afternoon at North Marion High School before taking the field that evening for a nine-inning contest. The teams will return on Sunday for a pair of seven-inning games to conclude the event.

With 18 athletes on each team, the event acts like a true MLB All-Star game, with each player getting a handful of innings to play, shifting between positions to make sure everyone gets an opportunity on the field.

"It's never been a problem, it's pretty easy to get everybody," said Brack, who coached the North in 2018. "Nobody pitches a complete game. You'll throw a guy three or four innings, then throw another guy."

PMG FILE PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - The Oregon 4A Baseball All-Star Series will be held outside of Roseburg for the first time in the event's 40-year history. As the landscape of Oregon high school baseball has changed, many of the 4A programs are located much closer to the Willamette Valley, leading event organizers to change venues.The biggest variable will be the spectators. With the change in venue, it's tough to tell what kind of crowd to expect, but Brack has seen enough interest through coaches, players and sponors to leave him optimistic for a good turnout to showcase North Marion's baseball complex.

"It's really hard to tell, (but) everybody seems to be really excited about it" Brack said. "We're hoping for a really good crowd, and we're getting great response from the series sponsorship and all kinds of help."

Sidebar

2019 Oregon 4A Baseball All-Star Series

Where:

Bob Brack Stadium, North Marion High School

20167 Grim Rd NE, Aurora, OR 97002

When:

Game 1 — Saturday, June 15 at 7 p.m.

Game 2 — Sunday, June 16 at 1 p.m.

Game 3 — Sunday, June 16 at 4 p.m.

TEAMS

North

Will Reed, Astoria

Burke Matthews, Astoria

Dakota Bunn, Banks

Tyler Lillly, Banks

Jake Gehrke, Gladstone

Austin Conner, Gladstone

Matthew Kuhn, Gladstone

Matthew Lehrbach, Gladstone

Jacob Dobmeier, Newport

Ryan Torres, Newport

Cole Braxling, Newport

Jacob Riley, Newport

Griffen Henry, North Marion

Grant Henry, North Marion

Nic Iliyn, North Marion

Brooks Stearns, Philomath

Mike Slater, Philomath

Payton Westerholm, Seaside

South

Dawson Linscott, Baker

Wyatt Sayles, Cottage Grove

Jaxon Simmons, Cottage GroveBlake Loney, Henley

Hayden Rasica, Henley

Andrew Reynolds, Henley

Johnathon Prescott, Junction City

Hunter Vancurler, Junction City

Isaac Zamora, La Grande

Will Bullock, Marist

Zach Gibson, Mazama

Seth Forsythe, Ontario

Josh Navarrete, Ontario

Chance Palmer, Ontario

Liem Serean, Phoenix

Mason Stella, Phoenix

Colton Smith, Sweet Home

Nate Virtue, Sweet Home


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