ENTERPRISE — Four members of Wallowa Valley’s third-place team were named to the 3A all-state baseball team, and one took part in an all-star game Tuesday, June 22, at Volcano Stadium in Keizer.
Flynn Nave, the Eagles’ shortstop and pitcher, played in the all-star game. Trace Evans, Zeb Ramsden and David Salim all qualified, but have other events taking place that weekend, head coach Mark Ramsden said.
Nave, Evans and Salim all were named first-team all-state, and Ramsden was second-team.
Having four players make all-state was a “pretty big deal,” the head coach said.
Nave played a key role on the team, not only as a staff ace along with Evans, but also at the plate.
“He pitched really well for us. He kept the ball down in the zone which we’ve been working on forever,” Mark Ramsden said. “That is probably the biggest asset for Flynn as a pitcher is he threw a lot of strikes. He keep the ball down in the zone and he had a nice little curveball to add to that. He had strikeouts and he got a lot of groundballs. That’s a winning combination for us.”
Ramsden said Nave, who is set to attend Oregon Institute of Technology, has the skills to contend at the college level.”
“He should take the next step. He should try it,” the coach said.
Evans, the other staff ace, played a key role on the mound and in centerfield, and as Wallowa Valley’s leadoff hitter.
“Trace really, I think, stepped it up this year,” Ramsden said. “He kind of had to be a leader. He always had something to say after the game. I don’t think he ever picked on anybody, he was encouraging to the other players. He’s a good athlete. I just feel like he gave it 100% when he was in centerfield. We felt really good when he was in centerfield. He could cover a lot of ground.”
Evans is competing in the state wrestling tournament in Sweet Home on June 25-26.
Zeb Ramsden was a quiet leader on the field and a stalwart behind the plate, Mark Ramsden said. He also said his son excelled at working with the pitchers.
“He just did not let any passed balls go. I think he really did well handling our pitchers,” Mark Ramsden said, adding he had endurance behind the plate. “(Before him), we didn’t have a catcher that could last two games (in a doubleheader). Zeb had no problem catching two games. That was huge for us. He had the endurance to catch two games every series we played.
“There was probably no better at blocking pitches in the dirt. … His blocking was top notch.”
Ramsden is playing in Saturday’s 8-man all-star game in La Grande.
Salim’s flexibility, not just this year, but throughout his career, was an asset to the Eagles.
“He started all four years, and he’s been a utility man from the start. We always found a spot for him. He played in the outfield, played in the infield.
“David is an even-keel type of individual. No highs. No lows. You know what you got from David. He had the hardest job moving around like that.”