OSKALOOSA — Two members of the Oskaloosa baseball team were selected for the all-state teams by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association met Saturday.
Junior Tyler Miller was picked as a second-team outfielder in Class 3A while fellow junior Colton Butler was a third-team choice as an utility player.
“Both are well-deserving of their honors,” Oskaloosa coach Bill Almond said. “Both kids as well as the other players on the team worked hard.
“It’s a great honor for them and it’s a great thing for Oskaloosa baseball.”
Miller led the team in batting at .419 with 44 hits, six doubles, two triples and two home runs with 22 RBI and scored 28 uns. He stole 18 bases and committed just one error with a .982 fielding percentage.
“That’s a great accomplishment any day, any place of hitting in a tough conference we play in,” Almond said. “He was definitely the captain of the outfield and he can track any ball down. Tyler works hard on his hitting and it paid off for him.”
Butler batted .348 with 31 hits with 10 doubles which tied Noah VanVeldhuizen for the team lead. He also drove in 21 runs. He compiled a 6-3 record on the mound with a 0.32 ERA, which led 3A. He also struck out 47 batters in 441/3 innings pitched and opponents hit just .121 against him.
“Colton stepped up this year and his pitching was phenomenal throughout the season,” Almond said. “He surprised on the mound. He really worked hard this winter and his hard worked showed this summer. His hitting was up this year and was a pleasant surprise.
Chosen as team captains were Josh Fitzgerald, of Newman Catholic, in Class 1A; in Class 2A, North Linn’s Jake Hilmer; in Class 3A Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Garrett Finley; and in Class 4A Johnston’s Peyton Williams.
Fitzgerlad led Newman Catholic to a 38-3 record and the Class 1A state title in an 11-1, six-inning win over Alburnett. Fitzgerald went 1-2, scoring two runs and driving in a pair with a home run and a pair of sacrifice flies in the finals. During the season he ripped 26 doubles, three triples and 15 home runs, driving in 42 runs. He hit a scorching .568 with an on-base percentage of .616 while slugging at an .838 clip. In 15 mound appearances, he earned a 1-0 record with three saves with an ERA of 1.71
Hilmer added Class 2A captain to his collection of accolades, which also includes Mr. Basketball. He is the first athlete in the state to earn both awards. He and the Lynx, who finished the year at 40-6, fell 6-0 to Van Meter in the title game. He boasts a 15-2 record with one save in 18 pitching appearances. Over 851/3 innings he finished with a microscopic ERA of 0.75.
Finley propelled Central DeWitt to the best season in program history. The catcher and three-year starter led the Sabers to a 38-win campaign and a state runner-up finish in the Class 3A tournament. Finley hit safely in 37 games for Central DeWitt, including 21 contests with two hits or more. Headed to play baseball at Central College in Pella this fall, Finley was second in 3A in runs batted in (53), third in batting average (.498) and among the top 10 in doubles (15). Besides catching a staff that included two all-state players, Finley, the WaMaC East Division player of the year, also was 6-0 on the mound with a 2.01 ERA. Among those victories was a 3-2 decision over Dubuque Wahlert in the substate final to secure the school’s third trip to the state tournament.
No one hit more home runs in the state of Iowa this season than Johnston’s Peyton Williams, the Class 4A captain. The first baseman and Iowa recruit finished the season with a .480 average, 17 doubles, 16 home runs and 57 RBIs in leading the Dragons to a 36-6 record and a state runner-up finish in Class 4A. A four-year starter, Williams was part of four state tournament teams and 140 victories. He finished his career with 27 home runs and 160 RBIs for the Dragons, who spent the majority of this season ranked No. 1.