It’s never easy to become an All-State athlete, but a few area baseball players received that honor, as the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association released their 2017 All-State Teams earlier this week.
In Class 1A, Twin Cedars senior Trace Embray was named to a utility position on the First Team. Embray pitched over 37 more innings than anyone else for the Sabers. He tossed 62 innings while going 8-2 with a superb .90 ERA while striking out 98 batters and walking only 19. Opponents only had a .150 batting average against him.
He was no slouch at the plate either, hitting .440 with 4 homers and 32 RBI. He also had a .567 on-base percentage, went 33 for 34 stealing bases, and struck out only twice in 75 at bats.
He is joined by a pair of area players on the Second Team: Moravia third baseman Tucker Babbit and Sigourney outfielder Avery Moore.
Babbit finished a great junior year in which he led Moravia with a .413 batting average and a .570 on-base percentage. He hit the only home run on the season for the Mohawks while driving in 23. He was also a thief on the basepaths, going 23 for 25 in swipes. He also did some work on the mound, going 4-2 with a 2.22 ERA as the #3 pitcher in the Moravia rotation.
Moore was a great multi-sport athlete and he wraps up his senior season with an All-State Second Team honor. Moore hit .477 in 2017, hitting a homer with 19 runs batted in. He went 35 for 35 in steals and reached base at a .578 clip. He scored 39 runs on the season in just 23 games for Sigourney.
There were no area players named in Class 2A, but there were four players from the area in Class 3A.
On the First Team, Pella’s junior catcher Jaden Rolffs and senior utility player Tyler Hillman were both honored.
Rolffs was the best hitter for the Dutch in 2017, batting .450 with a .522 on-base percentage. He hit 3 home runs with a team-leading 38 RBI. He also walked twice as many times as he struck out.
Hillman finished a great senior season where he was excellent on the mound while doing more than his share of damage at the plate. He went 5-3 with a 2.20 ERA as the Pella ace. At the dish he hit .400 with a team-leading 6 homers with 33 runs driven in. He had a .511 on-base percentage and walked a team-high 23 times.
On the All-State Second Team in Class 3A, Oskaloosa outfielder Tyler Miller and Grinnell shortstop Ethan Mitchell made the team.
Miller finished an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him lead the state qualifying Indians with a .444 batting average. He reached base at a .492 clip while driving in 22 runs. He also led the way in steals with a 23 for 27 mark.
Mitchell helped lead Grinnell’s bounceback season with a .409 average, a .485 on-base percentage, 2 homers, and 36 RBI, all team-highs. The junior was 11 for 13 in steals and also contributed on the mound with a 4-4 record and a 3.32 ERA.
Finally, Ottumwa senior Austin Shotts was named to the All-State Second Team in Class 4A as the third baseman. Shotts batted .476 with a .563 on-base percentage. He hit one homer with a team-leading 25 RBI. He walked 19 times to only 10 strikeouts and went 17 for 21 in stolen bases. He also went 4-2 on the mound with a 2.12 ERA.
It was a successful summer sports season and these players were the cream of the crop on the baseball diamond in our listening area.