The team from Ida B. Wells embraces the Star Wars theme on 'May the 4th be with you' day. Nerds!
The team from Ida B. Wells embraces the Star Wars theme on "May the 4th be with you" day. Nerds!

Every other week during this COVID-shortened season, we’ll talk some Oregon high school baseball. This is the place!

Behind every successful head coach…

Knappa HS athletic director Kirk Miller has a Midas touch. He has been coaching high school baseball as an assistant for 20 years under four different head coaches at three different schools. At each stop he has been part of a state championship team and the head coaches he has worked with have a career record of 1870-678-1 combined.

Miller first helped lead Regis, directed by Hall of Famer Don Heuberger, to championships in 2001 and 2003. He coached with Hall of Famer Steve Smith at Pleasant Hill and won a state title with the Billies in 2013, with head coach Erik Hoberg, the year after Smith retired. Miller currently assists Jeff Miller (no relation) at Knappa, which is 11-0 in 2021. The Loggers captured state championships with the Millers in the dugout in both 2017 and 2018.

“This must be an unmatched run for a coach,” Jeff Miller asserted.

“When it comes to a fond memory it is so hard to narrow it down,” Kirk Miller said. “Obviously each season and player has a special place in my heart. I can think of so many stories about kids and teams and games. I think about one of the title runs at Regis where the ‘rattle snake’ became our inspiration. I think about the trips up north during our run at Pleasant Hill in 2013 and the shenanigans that the players were a part of. I reminisce about sharing the 2017 and 2018 championships at Knappa with my son, who was a player on those teams.

“The ones that stand out the most have to be the comeback wins in 2013 and 2017. In 2013, our team at Pleasant Hill was down going into the 7th inning. Our 9-hitter bangs a triple off of the wall to tie the game and send it into extra innings. In the bottom of the 8th inning the kids walk it off with a suicide squeeze bunt. I thought that one was epic.

“Then there is the remarkable comeback in 2017. We were down 9-1 in the 6th inning. The kids chipped at the lead a little in the sixth inning, but in the seventh inning they made one of the most remarkable comebacks in any high school game. Those kids persevered and walked away with a 10-9 victory.

“Those games are a great reminder that you cannot give up when you are down. The sheer grit and determination by the kids on those two teams are what high school athletics should help teach kids. I am excited to continue to be involved with high school baseball and the students I have the pleasure to work with. Each and every one of them is a gift that I cherish.” 

That’s Big Talk

Hidden Valley of Grants Pass plays in the Skyline Conference. With conference denizens like Klamath Union, Mazama and Henley all over 100 miles away on the eastern side of the state, the Mustangs are on long bus rides a lot. 

Plenty of time to make small talk.

Head coach Mark Vidlak prefers “Big Talk.”

“'Big Talk' is about intentionally using universal life questions as a tool for getting to know and care for each other and to have young men think about important aspects of life, team, and baseball,” Vidlak explained. “It is the opposite of small talk. These bus rides have now turned into productive trips where we intentionally get to know each other and build empathy for the members in our group.” 

Vidlak did not come up with the concept of Big Talk. There is a website devoted to the idea -- -- which was developed at Northwestern University in Chicago several years ago. He is passionate about it and other team-crafting concepts, however.

Universal questions that are meaningful and open ended have been a great starting point for discussions. Below are two examples:

Before you are done with high school, what do you hope to accomplish that will be lasting and impactful?

What is your purpose in life? Have you thought about that? 

“We talk about family and life,” Vidlak explained. “I love these boys and have been all over the place with them. We take pride in winning and competing at Hidden Valley Baseball, but I want to impact these young men beyond the game of baseball. That is one of my purposes in life!” 

No-no no-no! No? Yes!

South Umpqua defeated host Sutherlin, 12-0 and 13-0, in a doubleheader last Friday. The most remarkable thing about the sweep was that South Umpqua hurlers tossed no-hitters in each game.

Sophomore Jace Johnson went six innings in the opener, striking out 13 with one walk and one hit batsman. Junior Kade Johnson threw five innings in the nightcap, with 10 strike outs and three walks. Kade Johnson helped his own cause with two homers and seven RBIs in the second game.

The Johnsons are cousins.


Is the headline above a Star Wars character or a scoring play in baseball? Maybe it’s both! One week ago Tuesday, Roosevelt HS hosted Ida B. Wells (formerly, Wilson) for a “May the 4th be with you” game. Costumed characters from Star Wars Oregon were present and many in attendance wore Star Wars t-shirts in keeping with the theme.

Senior Luke "Boba Fett" Hunter got the win in the 4-1 game. He pitched 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball for Ida B. Wells until he reached his pitch max.

Maybe the Guardians should be calling Luke, “Skywalker,” rather than Boba Fett, after that performance, as he had to be on cloud 9 after the game…

Growing up fast

With 5-6 freshmen in the starting lineup for every game, 3A Douglas started slowly in 2021, losing its first five games. The Trojans then won their next six games. They now stand at 7-6 after yesterday’s 6-5 win over St. Mary’s of Medford.

Freshman Tristan Ledbetter was dominant on the mound when Douglas won its first game of the season and has two wins to his credit. OF Brayden West’s three-run double finished off a 10-run rule win over Sutherlin. The other starting freshmen are C Ryland O’Toole, 1B Colby O’Toole, 2B Ty Waldron and SS Evan Martin.

Head coach Ron Quimby said he was looking forward to finishing this season up strong and what the 2022 season might hold post-pandemic.


Four weeks into the season, the list of Oregon unbeaten teams, which was 20 two weeks ago, is now just nine. Here they are, by enrollment classification:


Grant  13-0

Lakeridge 12-0


Banks 13-0

Hidden Valley 12-0


Brookings-Harbor 13-0


Culver 5-0

Kennedy 12-0

Knappa 12-0

Lakeview 11-0

Culver plays a doubleheader today at Kennedy. By day’s end, the list of unbeatens will be down to eight, and possibly seven!

Odds and ends…

Since his opening day loss to Sprague, Ky Hoskinson of McMinnville has thrown four consecutive shutouts, including a no-hitter versus Glencoe and, on Saturday, a complete game 10-0 win over Jesuit. On the season he's thrown 27.1 innings, with 40 Ks to just 8 walks and has a 1.024 ERA…Led by Mason McAlpine, Toledo is 11-1 in 2021. The Boomers are looking forward to competing in the 2A culminating event that’s in the works. “After winning the basketball championship the boys are hungry for another title,” baseball coach Corey McAlpine said…  

Seaside edged Tillamook, 5-4 yesterday. The win was No. 500 for first year head coach Brett Wolfe, who amassed 494 wins and two state titles during a 25-year career at North Medford…Senior OF Spencer Siegel of Portland Christian was hitting .611 as of Monday through 12 games, with eight doubles and four home runs…Elmira senior OF Ayden Wolgamott stole 17 bases over his first 12 games. He was batting .595 as of Monday…Churchill senior catcher C.J. Smith’s last five hits have all been doubles…

Warrenton senior RHP Duane Falls has 49 strikeouts in 22 innings of work, including 18 in a complete-game win versus Catlin Gabel, which remains the Eagles’ only loss on the season…South Salem senior C Danny Alvarado has six homers this year and 21 for his three-year career. He was hitting over .600 as of Monday with an OPS above 2.0, which is unheard of…

Going going gone goodbye!

Everyone digs the long ball.

In this space, we will recognize those Oregonians who have gone yard five or more times so far this season. We will add to it in subsequent Baseball Notebooks as coaches tell us about the players who are dinger ringers.

Danny Alvarado, senior C, South Salem

Isaiah Burke, senior C, Thurston

Mason Guerra, senior SS, Westview

Isaac Hill, junior SS, Hidden Valley

Ty Percell, freshman 1B, Oakland

Spencer Scott, senior SS, Grant

Kellen Segel, sophomore 3B, Grant

Wilson Weber, senior C, Barlow

It’s a blur

Throwing hard in high school is the easiest way to get outs.

In this space, we recognize those Oregon hurlers who hit 85 mph or higher when they get on the bump.

Ben Christensen, sophomore RHP, Grant

Nick Esplin, senior LHP, Ontario

Isaac Evaniew, senior RHP, Churchill

Joey Gartrell, senior RHP, Canby

Jake Hartley, senior RHP, Ontario

Isaac Hill, junior RHP, Hidden Valley

Eli Holbert, senior RHP, Sherwood

Harrison Howell, senior RHP, Hood River Valley

Jackson Jaha, junior RHP, Clackamas

Carson Lydon, senior LHP, Churchill

Kaden Segel, senior RHP, Grant

Mason Spellecy, junior RHP, Hood River Valley

Cho Tofte, senior RHP, Churchill

Ian Umlandt, junior LHP, Sherwood

Nate Vidlak, junior RHP, Hidden Valley

Chance Wallace, senior LHP, Sunset

Paul Wilson, sophomore LHP, Lakeridge

Waaaay above average!

If you hit .275 in major league baseball these days, you’re a superstar. Hitting almost twice that -- .500 – makes you high school royalty.

In this space, we list those who have at least one hit for every two at-bats at this point in the season. Yowza!

Diego Aguilar, sophomore 2B, Jefferson (2A)

Danny Alvarado, senior C, South Salem

Titus Dumitru, senior 1B/OF, Barlow

Nick Esplin, senior 1B, Ontario

Mason Guerra, senior SS, Westview

Parker Guinn, sophomore C, McMinnville

Matt Iwamizu, senior C, Hidden Valley

Jackson Jaha, junior IF, Clackamas

Spencer Kowalski, sophomore C, Blanchet Catholic

Maddox Molony, sophomore SS, Thurston

Connor Mansfield, junior SS, Ida B. Wells (Wilson)

Mason McAlpine, senior LHP, Toledo

Aidan O'Brien, junior OF, La Salle Prep

Ty Percell, freshman 1B, Oakland

Corbin Picknell, senior IF, Oakland

Danner Salisbury, senior SS, Stayton

Mason Scott, freshman 3B, Ridgeview

Spencer Scott, senior SS, Grant

Kellen Segel, sophomore 3B, Grant

Spencer Siegel, senior OF, Portland Christian

C. J. Smith, senior C/DH, Churchill

Mason Spellecy, junior SS, Hood River Valley

Jeffrey Squires, senior OF, Churchill

Austin Teran, senior 1B/OF, Monroe

Hayden Thomas, senior OF, Toledo

Nate Vidlak, junior OF, Hidden Valley

Wilson Weber, senior C, Barlow

Ayden Wolgamott, senior OF, Elmira

Get a whiff of this!

Missing bats is an art.

In this space, we recognize those pitchers who have sent 40 or more batters back to the dugout with a “K” – frontwards or backwards – next to their names so far this season.

Rex DeAngelis, sophomore LHP, North Marion

Nick Esplin, senior LHP, Ontario

Duane Falls, senior RHP, Warrenton

Nolan Helgerson, senior LHP, Portland Christian

Ever Lamm, junior RHP, South Umpqua

Mason McAlpine, senior LHP, Toledo

Austin Teran, senior LHP, Monroe

Nate Vidlak, junior RHP, Hidden Valley 

Chance Wallace, senior LHP, Sunset


In this space, we list those players, in the current senior class and younger, who have signed National Letters of Intent in baseball or have made a commitment to attend a college or university of their choice. Congrats! I have two currently playing college sports. It can be so demanding but at the same time is so rewarding.

Here’s who we have so far. We will add to this list in subsequent notebooks as we receive notifications.

Danny Alvarado, senior C, South Salem -- Wenatchee Valley CC

Payton Anhorn, senior OF, Crater – Linfield

Brady Baltus, senior RHP, Beaverton – Linn Benton CC

Ty Beers, senior 1B/LHP, Pendleton -- Blue Mountain CC

Isaiah Burke, senior C, Thurston – Mt. Hood CC

Nick Burkett, senior RHP, Jesuit – College of Idaho

Cam Clayton, senior SS, Lakeridge – Washington

Ryan Cooney, sophomore SS, Jesuit – University of Oregon

Caden Davis, senior 3B, Sherwood -- Pacific University

Jacob Dodge, junior 1B, Southridge – University of Oregon

Jack Dorn, senior OF, Clackamas – Mt. Hood CC

Collin Driscoll, senior RHP, West Linn – St. Martins

Titus Dumitru, senior 1B/OF, Barlow – Linn Benton CC

George Eisenhardt, senior RHP, Lakeridge – Xavier

Kyle Field, senior RHP, Pendleton -- Spokane Falls CC

Jack Fulwiler, senior SS, Sherwood – Johns Hopkins

Joey Gartrell, senior RHP, Canby – University of Portland

Mason Guerra, senior SS, Westview – Oregon State

Jackson Hannan, senior RHP/OF, Sherwood -- Pacific University

Nolan Helgerson, senior LHP, Portland Christian – Linfield

Isaac Hill, junior RHP, Hidden Valley -- Oregon State

Eli Holbert, senior 1B/RHP, Sherwood – Everett CC

Gabe Howard, freshman RHP, West Linn – University of Oregon

Harrison Howell, senior RHP, Hood River Valley – University of Portland

Cole Hubka, junior SS, Wilsonville – Utah

Jackson Jaha, junior IF, Clackamas – University of Oregon

Ky Hoskinson, junior IF, McMinnville – Cal State Bakersfield

Levi Jones, sophomore 3B, Jesuit – Oregon State

Jayden Junta, senior RHP/IF, Rex Putnam - Berea College

Nelson Keljo, junior LHP, Jesuit – Oregon State

Kai Kiyokawa, senior IF/OF, Grant – Clark CC

Gavin Kleier, senior LHP, Grant -- University of Portland

Noah Lyman, senior 3B, Jesuit – Columbia University

Mason Masterson, senior SS, Jesuit – Linfield

Reece McKenzie, senior IF, Barlow – Jamestown University

Noble Meyer, sophomore RHP, Jesuit – University of Oregon

Kadin Miller, senior IF, Clackamas – Centralia CC 

Tyler Minney, senior RHP, South Salem -- Chemeketa CC

Maddox Molony, sophomore SS/RHP, Thurston – University of Oregon

Braeden Munger, senior OF/LHP, Westview – Lower Columbia CC

Sean Murphy, senior C/1B, Jesuit – University of Puget Sound

Caden Parker, senior SS, West Linn – Clark CC

Grayson Reeder, senior SS, Cascade – Lane CC

Caden Rickman, senior OF, Westview – Mt. Hood CC

Vinny Salvione, junior SS/RHP, Rex Putnam - University of Portland

Dawson Santana, sophomore 2B, Lakeridge – University of Oregon

Josh Schleichardt, senior 3B, Lakeridge --- Utah

Stanley Schoppe, senior 3B/OF, Jesuit – George Fox

Spencer Scott, senior SS, Grant -- University of Portland

Kaden Segel, senior C/RHP, Grant -- Linn Benton CC

Braden Semingson, senior RHP, Sherwood – Linfield

Derek Seneker, senior OF, Lakeridge -- Claremont-McKenna College

Nicolas Sheley, senior IF/RHP, Pendleton -- North Central University

Josiah Shipley, senior C, Westview – College of Idaho

Spencer Siegel, senior OF/RHP, Portland Christian – San Diego Christian

Kyle Sullivan, senior RHP, West Linn -- University of Portland

Shane Tacla, senior IF, Wilsonville – Chemeketa CC

Drew Talavs, sophomore RHP, West Linn, Oregon State

Ian Umlandt, junior LHP/OF, Sherwood – University of Oregon

Mason Utech, junior C/SS, Lakeridge -- Utah

Mason Van Arsdall, senior C/1B, Baker – Eastern Oregon

Ryan Vandenbrink, freshman C, West Linn – Oregon State

Chance Wallace, senior LHP, Sunset – Pacific University

Wilson Weber, senior C, Barlow – Oregon State

Paul Wilson, sophomore LHP, Lakeridge – Oregon State

Joshua Woods, senior IF, Sherwood -- Wenatchee Valley College

Tucker Zander, senior IF/RHP, Pendleton -- Eastern Oregon University

If you are a HS coach and want to add someone to the list, by all means email me, [email protected], put “baseball commitment” in the subject line and provide the info in the manner shown above.