By News-Register staff • 

Mechals named GVC pitcher of the year

McMinnville senior Kade Mechals was named pitcher of the year by the baseball coaches of the Class 6A Greater Valley Conference on Friday.
Mechals, a unanimous selection as a first-team all-GVC pitcher, allowed two earned runs and four runs total in 44 ⅓ innings pitched for the Grizzlies. He struck out 74 batters against 14 walks and 16 hits allowed and posted an 8-0 record with a 0.32 earned-run average.
Mechals was joined by senior first baseman Sam Swenson (.305 batting average, .433 on-base percentage, .585 slugging percentage) on the conference’s first team. Junior pitcher Nathan Leid (2.09 ERA, 29 strikeouts, 16 walks, 6-3 record), junior catcher Wyatt Smith (.367 OBP) and junior third baseman Cedric Agcaoili-Ostrom (.357 average, .466 OBP) received second-team all-GVC spots.
Senior infielder Jesse Ehrhart and junior outfielder Brad Hessel received honorable mention.
South Salem senior infield Gabe Mathews received the player of the year superlative. Micah Tiffin, head coach of GVC champion West Salem (21-9, 13-3 GVC), was named coach of the year.
McMinnville finished second to the Titans in the GVC (11-5) and received the No. 22 seed in the OSAA Class 6A state playoffs. The Grizzlies upset No. 11 Aloha and No. 6 Clackamas before falling to No. 3 Jesuit Friday in the 6A state quarterfinals. It was McMinnville’s second appearance among the final eight remaining 6A baseball teams in as many seasons.

Grizzlies softball players honored
Following their third-place finish in the Class 6A Greater Valley Conference, seven McMinnville softball players earned all-conference honors from the coaches of the GVC.
Grizzlies junior shortstop Sydnee Reeser was McMinnville’s lone representative on the conference’s first team. Freshman pitcher Payton Hudson, sophomore second baseman Ashley Rhoads and sophomore outfielder Anika Heidt received second-team honors, while junior catcher Gillian Bonnett, junior outfielder/pitcher Bayleigh Snaric and junior first baseman Sydni Dix merited honorable mention.
West Salem senior infielder Tayler Gunesch was named player of the year. West Albany senior pitcher Julia Smith-Harrington took home pitcher of the year honors, and Bulldogs coach Ryan Borde was named coach of the year. West Albany (24-4, 15-1 GVC) won the conference title, while West Salem (19-8, 14-2 GVC).
McMinnville finished 10-6 in GVC play, but its best work was to come in the OSAA Class 6A state playoffs.
The Grizzlies, seeded No. 27 in the 32-team field, upset No. 6 Tualatin and No. 11 Tigard before falling to No. 3 North Medford Friday. It was McMinnville’s first appearance in the 6A state quarterfinals since 2009.

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