For the second season in a row, La Grande’s G.T. Blackman was voted Class 4A state baseball co-player of the year.
The accolade came on the heels of the senior playing a key role in helping the Tigers’ baseball team reach the state championship game for the second straight season, though he pointed out it’s not just his award.
“I see it as a team award,” he said.
Blackman, who was also a first-team all-state pitcher, had a spotless 8-0 record on the season with a 0.54 ERA. That included a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA in the playoffs, where he earned two complete-game victories. He finished 2018 with 78 strikeouts, 10 walks, 21 hits and only four earned runs allowed in 51-2/3 innings.
He was also the Tigers’ best hitter, finishing with a batting average of .543 with 30 RBIs and 34 runs scored — all of which led the team. He also stole a team-best 11 bases and had a fielding percentage of .857.
He shared the player of the year award with Gladstone’s Derek Lee.
The senior gave a lot of credit to LHS baseball coach Parker McKinley for his individual success as well as that of the team.
“(McKinley) did an amazing job this year. I really want to congratulate him and make it well known he does great things for the kids, us and the community,” Blackman said.
Blackman was one of six La Grande players to receive all-state honors after the Tigers’ second-place finish at state.
“It shows how great of a season we had as a team,” Blackman said of the multiple all-state recipients.
Pitcher Cody Dubray was a second-team all-state selection. The senior left-hander was also 8-0 with an ERA of 1.73, striking out 77 batters, allowing 19 walks, 12 earned runs and 42 hits in 48-2/3 innings. He also batted .280 with 20 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Logan Paustian was a second-team catcher. The sophomore finished with a .353 batting average, one home run, 28 RBIs and 15 runs scored. He also earned a team-high of 17 walks for a .521 on-base percentage, the second-best on the team. Behind the plate, Paustian had a .986 fielding percentage and threw out 47 percent of would-be base stealers.
Senior Isaac Chamberlain was a third-team selection as an infielder. Chamberlain hit .311 with 17 RBIs and 27 runs scored, while also stealing seven bases — second on the team. In the field, Chamberlain picked up a .923 fielding percentage.
Both sophomore Justin Frederick and senior JayCe Leonard were named honorable mention — Frederick as an infielder and Leonard as a utility (multi-use) player. Frederick hit .250 in his first full season as a starter with 10 RBIs and 27 runs scored, and was 5-for-5 in steal attempts. He also had a .952 fielding percentage, best on the team among the regular starting infielders. Leonard turned in a .381 batting average with 11 RBIs and scored 20 runs.
La Grande also rakes in several GOL awards
The Tigers were also frequently listed in the Greater Oregon League awards with 11 players named to the all-league list.
Blackman was named the GOL player of the year. In league, the senior was 6-0 with a 0.94 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 29-2/3 innings. He gave up four earned runs and 13 hits. He also hit .500 in league with 16 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Dubray was a first-team pitcher with a 5-0 record and a 1.64 ERA with 40 strikeouts and six runs allowed on 21 hits in 25-2/3 innings.
Logan Atkinson was named to the first team as a first baseman. The senior finished with a .265 average, drove in nine runs and scored nine times, and also had a .979 fielding percentage.
Paustian was the first-team catcher, batting .324 in league with 12 RBIs and six runs scored. He went 4-for-9 throwing out base stealers in league action, and had a .981 fielding percentage.
Chamberlain and Frederick were both named first-team infielders. In league play, Chamberlain batted .405 with 13 RBIs and 15 runs scored. He was second on the team in all three categories among the starters. He also registered an .875 fielding percentage. Frederick collected a .280 average, drove in five runs and scored 14 times. In the field, he had a .920 fielding percentage.
Sophomore Parker Robinson was selected as first-team outfielder. Robinson hit .241 with five RBIs and nine runs scored, and also had a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Sophomore Brody Kincade was a first-team utility (multi-use) player. In limited action at the plate, Kincade batted .500 with 12 runs scored and two RBIs.
Leonard, a first-team designated hitter, hit .611 in league in limited at-bats (11-for-18) with seven RBIs and 11 runs scored.
Sophomore Blaine Shaw was named a second-team outfielder. He hit .133 in a small batting sampling with an RBI and four runs scored, and had a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Junior Isaac Zamora was named to the second team in the infield. Zamora hit .292 with seven RBIs, nine runs scored and registered a 1.000 fielding percentage.
McKinley was also named GOL coach of the year as La Grande went a perfect 12-0 to claim the league title.