FIRST TEAM

Infield

Tyler Vance, jr., Blackfoot

THE PLAYER: One of the top hitters in the state at any level, with an impressive .566 average, more than 100 points higher than the next player in 4A District 6. His four homers tied for the conference lead and his 11 doubles put him among conference leaders. He also totaled 40 RBIs in 24 games.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “That kid can really hit. Without a doubt he was the hitter you had to pitch around in that lineup.” – Trent Johnson, Idaho Falls

Zac Bridges, sr., Idaho Falls

THE PLAYER: The Tigers’ shortstop combined with second baseman Nate Rose for one of the area’s premier middle infields and table setters for the Idaho Falls offense. Bridges hit .379 and knocked in 21 runs in the high-scoring offense.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “As a defensive infielder, he’s probably the top shortstop in the area. Defensively, his hands and his feet are so good.” – Jason Ralph, Madison

Kameron Kostial, sr., Madison

THE PLAYER: Kostial split time between shortstop and third base and was a tough out in the Bobcats’ lineup, hitting .449 and knocking in 23 runs.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “Probably their biggest impact bat in their lineup … Madison had one of the best offenses in the state and Kameron is a big part of that.” – Trent Johnson, Idaho Falls

Nate Rose, sr., Idaho Falls

THE PLAYER: Rose was prolific at the front end of the Tigers’ lineup, hitting .407 with three homers and 26 RBIs while also leading the conference with 27 stolen bases and 43 runs scored. Was also one of the area’s best defensive infielders, sporting a .938 fielding percentage.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “If I were coaching against them, who do I want to see come to the plate last? It would be Nate.” – Ryan Alexander, Bonneville

Outfielders

Stryker Wood, sr., Blackfoot

THE PLAYER: Wood was a key part of the Broncos' hard-hitting offense, batting .434 with a conference-high 15 doubles and four homers. He also led the conference with 41 RBIs in just 25 games.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “That kid can hit the ball. He had his share of power numbers … He was a phenomenal hitter.” – Brett Taylor, Skyline

Tyler Pena, sr., Madison

THE PLAYER: A first-team all-conference selection, Pena was second in 5A District 5-6 in hitting with a .458 average to go with 21 RBIs and 27 runs scored.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “He’s super smart, savvy. He’s one of those kids that’s going to hit the cut every time. He’s going to make the right decision …He was a very good athlete.” – Brett Taylor, Skyline

Ryan Harris, jr., Sugar-Salem

THE PLAYER: One of the top hitters in 3A District 6, Harris batted .384 with 23 RBIs and 34 runs scored. Just a junior, Harris and South Fremont’s Kaiman Peebles (.429 BA) should be something to watch next season.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “He’s just a tough out and always hit the ball hard. Hopefully he hits it at somebody.” – Chad Hill, South Fremont

Catcher

Landen Drake, jr., Madison

THE PLAYER: Hit .300 and was one of the area’s top defensive catchers with a strong arm and ability to frame pitches. The junior, who started catching as a freshman, earned first-team all-conference honors in 5A District 5-6.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “As far as the catching position, Landen has more tools all around than any catcher in the area. His ability to block and throw out runners … Typically runners aren’t stealing on Landen.” – Jason Ralph, Madison

Pitchers

Merit Jones, jr., Idaho Falls

THE PLAYER: The Tigers’ ace finished 9-0 with a 1.26 earned run average, and he struck out 74 batters in 55 2/3 innings. Coaches credited Jones’ good velocity and solid secondary pitches for his unblemished success.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “One thing that was difficult with Merit was he might throw an 85 or 86 miles per hour fastball, and then he might throw a curveball coming in at the high 70s … He was a kid that you knew you were going to have to earn everything. He wasn’t going to walk you. He was going to hit his spot and command the ball.” – Jason Ralph, Madison

Candon Dahle, sr., Blackfoot

THE PLAYER: Dahle was a dual threat on the mound and at the plate. He finished the season 6-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 46 strikeouts. Offensively, he was third in the conference in batting with a .435 average. He was named to the first-team all-conference list as a pitcher and was second as a utility player.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “He’s a big-body righty. Kind of a funky delivery and at times could overpower hitters. As he’s gotten older he’s become more of a strike thrower.” — Trent Johnson, Idaho Falls

Utility/DH

Eliot Jones, jr., Idaho Falls

THE PLAYER: Jones was tabbed all-conference utility player after playing outfield and third base, and he proved to be a key piece in a talented Tigers’ lineup. Jones batted .391 with a .506 on-base percentage and knocked in 25 runs.

WHAT COACHES SAID: “He’s a do-everything kind of guy. He can pitch and catch. Play at third or center field .” – Brett Taylor, Skyline

SECOND TEAM

Infielders

Kaimen Peebles, South Fremont

Ayson Webb, Thunder Ridge

Trey Olson, Skyline

Bradley Thompson, Idaho Falls

Outfielders

Dylan Seeley, Idaho Falls

Ben Wilson, Blackfoot

Dayton Robison, Bonneville

Pitchers

Bridger Erickson, South Fremont

Davin Luce, Bonneville

Catcher

Jaxon Cherry, Idaho Falls

Utility/DH

Nathan Park, Firth

HONORABLE MENTION

Brett Bartell, Hillcrest; Jace Grimmett, Blackfoot; Jaden Harris, Blackfoot; AJ Hill, North Fremont; Crew Howell, Bonneville; Kaysen Isom, Thunder Ridge; John Kerner, Shelley; Jordan Lenz, North Fremont; Landon Merzlock, Skyline; Reid Nelson, Teton; Tanner Olsen, Sugar-Salem; Braden Owens, Skyline; Carson Packer, North Fremont; Burton Park, Firth; Jacob Perez, Bonneville; RJ Philps, Challis/Mackay; Dillon Pilkerton, Salmon; Chandler Robinson, Skyline; Cody Rydalch, Madison; Joel Simmons, Rigby; Riley Sutton, Madison; Brent Tueller, Thunder Ridge; Alex Vasquez, Firth; Isaac Walker, Madison; RJ Woods, Bonneville; Karter Yancey, South Fremont; Ben Zarate, Hillcrest.

Allan Steele is Sports Editor of the Post Register. Reach him at 208 542-6772 and follow on Twitter at asteele12000

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