The cream has risen to the top.
And now, the state's best baseball players will try to cream each other.
The annual Freightliner Oregon All-Star Series, is set for Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, at Goss Stadium on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.
The 2019 Oregon All-Star Series is a North vs. South battle of Oregon's top graduated senior baseball stars, and this year, the North roster will include two of West Linn's best — catcher J.J. Hoover and pitcher/shortstop Jonathan Kelly.
The series will kick off with a new event — the Jugs Sports Home Run Derby — at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, while the first pitch for Saturday's opener is slated for 7:15 p.m. The Oregon All-Star Series, which contracts to two games this year (previously, the series included one game on the first day and a doubleheader on the second), concludes with a single contest at noon Sunday.
Hoover earned his spot on the North team by batting .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.
Kelly, meanwhile, was named Three Rivers League Pitcher of the Year after 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.
A Xavier commit, Kelly 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.
The North team will be coached by Colin Griffin of Jesuit High School and Brian Grant of Central Catholic; it also includes four other Three Rivers League players — Gabe DeVille and Matt Sebolsky of Lake Oswego, Tigard first baseman C.J. Rivers and Tualatin shortstop Kyle Dernedde.
Tickets are available at 541-752-5656 or online at oregonallstarseries.com; all seats are $10.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)