The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Huskies name Keegan Holly best of this year's baseball team


June 6, 2018

BASEBALL award winners include, from left, Keegan Holley, Nathan Virtue, Colton Smith, Zach Luttmer, Travis Thorpe and Terron Kopperud.

Keegan Holly was named the baseball team's Most Valuable Player during the annual awards banquet held on the field May 30.

Among the first baseman's achievements this season, he set a new school record for career runs, scoring 37 times on 33 hits.

Holly, who signed a letter of intent last week to play for Lewis & Clark College, committed one error this season, dropping the ball, just missing a tie with the school's fielding record, 100 percent, winning him the Golden Glove Award for defense this season.

He hit .371 with a .462 on base percentage, with a .427 slugging average.

He has been selected to play in the 2018 4A Baseball All Star Series in Roseburg on June 16 and 17.

"We had a really awesome year," said Coach John Best.

Though Best said the Huskies "didn't quite finish the goals we had," the team finished third in league and made it to the post-season. Sweet Home was ranked 14th in the state at the end of regular season. They were 10-5 in league and 15-9 overall.

Brookings-Harbor defeated the Huskies 5-3 in the play-in round of the state playoffs.

Sky-Em rival Junction City made it to the semi-finals before losing 4-1 to Gladstone, which went on to win the championship 3-2 against La Grande.

The Huskies went 1-2 against Junction City, with both losses going into extra innings. The Tigers made the semifinals, losting to eventual champion Gladstone 4-1.

Sweet Home's players cracked the record books several times, Best said. All year long, he yelled at his players about getting on base, taking all the free bases they could get.

As it turned out, they did just that, he said. Colton Smith had the most walks during league play, with 13.

Austin James tied the hit-by-pitch season and league records, getting hit by 12 pitches during the season and eight times during league. Junior Nathan Virtue was hit by pitch eight times, also tying the record for league play.

As a team, the Huskies were hit by pitch 32 times during league play, rolling past the old record, 21 times, set in 2005.

Throughout the season, they were hit by pitch 45 times, surpassing the old season record of 35 set in 2005.

The team as a whole had the highest GPA among 4A baseball teams across the state this season.

Among team awards, junior Zach Luttmer was named Rookie of the Year based on a unanimous vote of the coaches.

Sophomore catcher Travis Thorpe was Most Improved.

Junior Terron Kopperud won the team's Hustle Award.

Junior Colton Smith was Pitcher of the Year. He lost just two games all season, and one of them was in extra innings against Junction City. He gave up 32 runs, 21 earned, on 41 hits, a 2.625 earned run average. Hie gave up 39 walks and struck out 51 batters.

Virtue won the Big Stick Award. He was the number two hitter in the lineup, and most of the time Holly was on base in front of him, Best said. He made some clutch hits.

Virtue went 37-85, a .425 batting average, with an on-base percentage of .520, hitting five doubles and a triple.

Senior Fisher Anderson was the recipient of the Greg Hagle Memorial Scholarship. Jim Hagle presented the award during the baseball awards. Normally, it is presented during the Senior Sports Banquet.

Seniors Nick Marler and James won their third letters.

Second-year lettermen were juniors Smith and Virtue and seniors Anderson and Holly.

Winning their first letters were sophomores Zach Zanona, Thorpe, Gavin Nichol and Luttmer and juniors Kopperud and Nate Jeppsen.


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