What Crater left-handed pitcher Larson Kindreich was able to accomplish this past season for the Class 5A state champion Comets was something pretty special, and voters for the Oregon Sports Awards certainly agreed.
On Wednesday, Kindreich was named Prep Baseball Player of the Year at the annual Oregon Sports Awards gala, capping off a stellar season that saw him post a 9-2 record and 0.71 ERA with 154 strikeouts and only 17 hits allowed.
“I’m still a little speechless on the whole thing,” Kindreich said of his latest award. “It’s just super exciting and humbling, too. There’s a lot of good ballplayers in the state so to get that award is pretty cool.”
Kindreich had a streak of 37 consecutive innings without allowing a hit through the later stages of the season in what is believed to be the longest such accomplishment in state history. He finished the season by not allowing a run in his final 43?2/3 innings pitched.
“I’m happy that I had the opportunity to play for Crater and I really do believe that the coaches over there really helped me reach my potential,” said Kindreich, who is playing for the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks in the Alaska Baseball League this summer. “I was able to improve so much under their guidance.”
Also earning Oregon Sports Awards on Wednesday were Crater senior Andy Monroe, who was named the Prep Male Cross Country Runner of the Year, and Southern Oregon University track and field All-American Jessa Perkinson, who was named the Ad Rutschman Female Small College Athlete of the Year.
Monroe will take five individual state titles in cross country and track and field to Stanford University in the fall, including two straight Class 5A cross country crowns for the two-time champion Comets.
Perkinson recently wrapped up her SOU career having compiled an unprecedented list of accomplishments, including 14 NAIA All-America performances and two national championships.
Kindreich also recently was named to the Class 5A all-state first team after helping guide to Crater to a second straight appearance in the state championship game and a 2-0 win over Crescent Valley. The Biola University-bound pitcher struck out 14 in seven scoreless innings to secure the title, and also had the first hit for the Comets (25-6) in the game.
Joining Kindreich on the Class 5A baseball all-state first team were fellow Crater seniors Nick Bastendorff (shortstop) and Trae Frodge (third base). Bastendorff entered the state playoffs batting .417 with 31 runs and 23 RBIs, while Frodge hit .481 with 29 runs and 36 RBIs. It was Frodge’s two-run double in the sixth inning (scoring Kindreich’s pinch-runner and Bastendorff) that supplied the difference in the championship game.
Kindreich, Bastendorff and Frodge were all selected to play for the South team in the Oregon All-Star Series on Saturday and Sunday at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.
Crater head coach Jay Campbell will be joined by Crescent Valley’s Ryan Starwalt in coaching the South squad, with the 13th-year Crater coach making his third appearance as a coach in the Oregon All-Star Series.
“It was so cool to have all three of us on the (all-state) first team,” said Kindreich, “and Nick and Trae are going to the All-Star Series and that’s going to be awesome for them to go and enjoy that and have some fun times. And with our coaches like Jay going, too, that’s really a cool thing for everyone to be a part of this weekend.”
Also selected to compete for the South team this weekend were South Medford seniors Jacob Melton and Brandon Letendre and Tyler Rund of Grants Pass.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry