They threw it harder.
They hit it farther.
They fielded it cleaner.
Now it's time to honor the best of the best in Three Rivers League baseball.
West Linn saw players honored at 11 spots this season, that group led by two-time, first-team selection and TRL Pitcher of the Year Jonathan Kelly, along with fellow senior first-teamers Cormac Duffy and J.J. Hoover.
For the Lions, Kelly — who was also honored with a first-team berth as a shortstop — earned his Pitcher of the Year award by going 7-2 on the mound with a 1.69 earned run average, 69 strikeouts, 14 walks and 53 hits in 66 1/3 innings.
"I always knew he'd be a top-notch pitcher, but (before this year) we always had so many pitchers," said West Linn coach Joe Monahan, noting that Kelly didn't allow any runs in six of his nine starts, including five of six in league play. "He's one of the most feared players in our league."
Kelly, a Xavier commit, was equally effective as a shortstop and hitter, fielding at a .937 clip with 68 assists, 37 putouts and 11 double plays in 30 games. At the plate, Kelly batted .353 with eight home runs, one triple, eight doubles, 23 RBIs, 28 runs scored and five steals.
"He's an exceptional athlete and a special person. He was always working hard, even when no one was looking," Monahan said. "He set a standard of excellence for our players."
Hoover — a senior catcher — got it done for the Lions, too, this year. He batted .348 in 2019 with 28 RBIs, 16 runs scored, six homers and 10 doubles. He also posted a .984 fielding average at catcher and threw out nine would-be base-stealers.
After a junior season that ended with an injury and a senior year that started with one, Hoover managed to come back strong, missed just one game and helped lead the Lions into the state quarterfinals.
"He has that physical presence. He'll be a D1 player," Monahan said. "He's special. He's a big-time catcher."
Duffy, a senior outfielder, stepped up big-time in his first year as a varsity starter. He hit .317 with 16 RBIs, 15 runs scored, two homers, one triple, two doubles and four steals.
"He's one of the most pleasant surprises I've had as a coach," Monahan said. "I had to try and find a place for a guy like him that could swing the bat. (And he had) good athleticism and instincts so we moved him to the outfield."
Also honored for the Lions were: senior outfielder Garrett Wiancko, second team; senior infielder Matt Kurtin, second team; senior pitcher Caleb Franzen, second team; senior designated hitter Zach Bell, second team; senior infielder Chase Bartley, honorable mention; sophomore pitcher Kyle Sullivan, honorable mention; and senior pitcher Gabe Johnson, honorable mention.
Monahan was honored as Three Rivers League Coach of the Year after leading the Lions to a TRL title, a 19-10 overall record and a berth in the Class 6A state quarterfinals.
In other TRL awards, C.J. Rivers of Tigard was named TRL Player of the Year, and Oregon City's Tyler Winkle was honored as Manager of the Year.
Three Rivers League All-Stars
First Team: Outfielders — Matthew Sebolsky*, Lake Oswego, sr.; Fletcher Ahl*, Tigard, sr.; Cormac Duffy*, West Linn, sr.; Michael Montoya, Oregon City, sr. Infielders — Cayden Delozier*, Canby, jr.; Kyle Dernedde*, Tualatin, sr.; Jonathan Kelly*, West Linn, sr.; Cam Clayton, Lakeridge, so.; Ethan Clark, Tigard, jr.; Lance Kreisberg, Tigard, sr. Pitchers — C.J. Rivers*, Tigard , sr.; Jonathan Kelly*, West Linn, sr.; Cooper Justice, Lakeridge, jr.; Cameron Atkinson, Tualatin, sr. Catchers — Gabe Deville*, Lake Oswego, sr.; J.J. Hoover*, West Linn, , sr. Designated Hitter — Cameron Laroche, Tigard, sr. First Baseman — C.J. Rivers, Tigard, sr.; Utility Player — Alex Giroux, Lake Oswego, sr.
Player of the Year — C.J. Rivers, Tigard
Pitcher of the Year — Jonathon Kelly, West Linn
Coach of the Year — Joe Monahan, West Linn
Manager of the Year — Tyler Winkle, Oregon City
Second Team: Outfielders — Spencer Santana, Lakeridge, jr.; Garrett Wiancko, West Linn, sr.; Josh Schleichardt, Tigard, so.; Griffin Biggs, Tualatin, fr. Infielders — T.D. Davison, Oregon City, so.; Hayden Moore, Lakeridge, sr.; Matt Kurtin, West Linn, sr.; Jackson Laurent, Lake Oswego, sr. Pitchers — Lance Kreisberg, Tigard, sr.; Caleb Franzen, West Linn, sr.; Sean Wiese, Canby, sr.; John Taylor, Lakeridge, jr. Catcher — Ashton Stalheim, Oregon City, jr. Designated Hitter — Brian Hamlin, Lakeridge, jr.; Zach Bell, West Linn, sr. First Baseman — Alex Sol, Lake Oswego, jr.
Honorable Mention: Outfielder — Thomas Dukart, Lake Oswego, jr. Infielders — John Taylor, Lakeridge, jr.; Jordan Weseman, Oregon City, jr.; Mike McNamee, Tigard, jr.; Chase Bartley, West Linn, sr. Pitchers — Spencer Santana, Lakeridge, jr.; Sam Gerkman, Tigard, sr.; Kyle Sullivan, West Linn, so.; Gabe Johnson, West Linn, sr. Catchers — Trent Allen, Lakeridge, jr.; Blake Jackson, Tualatin, jr. First Baseman — Cam Springer, Tualatin, sr.
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