All season long, it was clear the 4A District 6 baseball conference was the most competitive in the state.
There may be some Boise-area teams that disagree, but Idaho Falls and Bonneville proved to be the class of the group, with Skyline, Blackfoot and Hillcrest nipping at their heels.
When the postseason rolled around, the Tigers and Bees had established themselves as the teams to beat. Bonneville took it a step further, handily defeating I.F. in the 4A District 6 championship game and then shutting down the Tigers again when the two met in the 4A state championship game.
When asked for input on the 2019 Post Register All-Area Baseball Coach of the Year, area coaches had several impressions.
How good is Bonneville without Post Register All-Area Player of the Year Randon Hostert on the mound in both wins over Idaho Falls? Maybe first-year Idaho Falls coach Trent Johnson did more with his team over the full course of the season despite losing in the state championship game? Sugar-Salem coach Brady Gardner led his team to the program’s first state championship game. South Fremont coach Chad Hill had his team in the 3A state tournament, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Marsh Valley.
The choice was tough, but as one coach said, “To the victor go the spoils.”
Bonneville’s Ryan Alexander is the Post Register All-Area Baseball Coach of the Year for the second straight season after guiding the Bees to the 4A state title. The second-year Bonneville head coach entered the season with a veteran lineup with plenty of experience after reaching the 5A title game a year ago. He also had the advantage of having Hostert on the mound for big games.
But it was one series that may have turned the Bees' season around. After losing a three-game series to rival Idaho Falls, Bonneville regrouped and emerged as a better team. Alexander downplayed the team’s surge, but the Bees won 12 of 13 games following the loss to Idaho Falls and finished the season with seven straight wins. Bonneville ended the season 24-6.
“They were too good to collapse,” Blackfoot coach Liam Pope said. “Maybe they needed a kick in the butt.”
“That was impressive to bounce back,” South Fremont’s Hill said. “They’re definitely doing something right.”