Amassing some of the best senior talent from across Southwest Washington, Longview played host to the 44th Annual Southwest Washington Senior All-Star Game Wednesday night, with a field laden with jerseys representing 14 local high schools.
When all was said and done, Rochester’s Tony Groninger walked away with Offensive MVP honors, recording two hits, two runs scored, a steal, and an RBI to help the Nationals team beat the Americans, 8-3, in eight innings at Story Field on the campus of Lower Columbia Community College.
“It feels great to be the MVP,” Groninger said. “I worked hard all season to get selected to play in this All Star game and to win MVP was a great feeling. It was fun to be able to meet and talk to the other great players that made this game also.”
Groninger’s performance also helped him secure a nomination as one of 10 players that could be selected for the all-state series in Yakima later this month. The other Chronicle-area athletes nominated were W.F. West’s Logan Moore, Napavine’s Gavin Parker, and Tumwater’s Ryan Orr and Jordan Hanson.
As for the game action, several locals had a strong impact on the winning team outcome.
The Nationals’ bats came alive in the fifth inning, with Groninger recording the first of several RBIs for the team. After Groninger’s RBI, Napavine’s Scott Burdick doubled to put two runners in scoring position, and W.F. West’s Brock Bunker single to score them both and make it 4-0. A couple bats and RBIs later, and the Nationals held a 7-0 lead after one inning.
The Americans wouldn’t go down without swinging though, with Adna’s Chance Muller hitting a ball over the right fielder’s head for a double and their first base hit of the game. The Americans put three runs across before the game was over.
Kalama’s Noah Imboden and Keaton Fisher, Mark Morris’ Jaden Anderson, and Kelso’s Jacksom Toms and Carter Gaston were also nominated for the all-state series.
Athletes will know next week if they were selected for the all-state series.