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INA All-State Baseball teams chosen

By Staff | Jul 30, 2008

DES MOINES – The Iowa Newspaper Association announced its 2008 All-State Baseball selections Tuesday, selecting first, second, third teams and team captains for classes 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A.

From Estherville Lincoln Central, senior Matt

Gruhlke was named to the 3A second team as an outfielder. The senior batted .456 this season.

Teammate Keith Fandel was named to the 3A third team as a utility player. The junior batted .382in 2008.

The four seniors selected as team captains are 4A – Andrew Host, Southeast Polk High School; 3A – B.J. Hermsen, West Delaware High School; 2A Willie Argo, Davenport Assumption High School; and 1A Reggie Hochstetler, Iowa Mennonite High School.

Class 4A Captain

A first-team all-state baseball selection by the INA as a junior in 2007, Southeast Polk outfielder Andrew Host led the Rams to a then-school record 27 wins.

Host helped SEP set a new mark of 29 victories in his senior season, hitting a team-high.470 (62-for-132) on his way to being named captain of the INA’s Class 4-A squad. He scored 70 runs this season, tops among hitters from 4-A state tournament qualifiers.

Host doubled and scored SEP’s only run July 23 in a 2-1 state tournament loss to Burlington.

From his leadoff position in the Rams’ lineup, he hit nine home runs, 10 doubles and six triples, driving in 40 runs. He also stole 11 bases and was hit by eight pitches. He was 1-0 with one save in 14 and one-third innings pitched. He struck out 18 while giving up 12 hits and five earned runs.

Class 3A Captain

West Delaware pitcher B.J. Hermsen was named captain of the Class 3A all-state baseball team.

The senior is one of the best players to come out of northeast Iowa and was a sixth-round draft choice of the Minnesota Twins earlier this summer. He is also a Division 1 college recruit. He led his team to a state tournament berth with a record of 9-0 and a 0.70 earned run average.

In 60 and one-third innings he struck out 114 while walking nine. He also hit .425 with 23 home runs and 71 runs batted in. He fired a three-hitter and blasted a two-run homer in the team’s 2008 state quarterfinal win over Cedar Rapids Xavier.

Class 2A Captain

Willie Argo is the 2A captain, the third year he’s been an all-state first-team selection.

Hobbled by a torn meniscus in his left knee, Argo hit .333 and drove in three runs in the Class 2A state tournament to lead Davenport Assumption to its eighth championship. The University of Illinois signee hit .442 with 47 runs batted in and 57 runs scored. He amassed a .562 on-base percentage and slugged .800, while striking out just eight times in 120 at-bats.

Argo, who was drafted in the 49th round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, committed no errors playing 43 games in center field for Assumption.

Class 1A Captain

Class 1A captain, pitcher Reggie Hochstetler helped lead Iowa Mennonite School to its first state baseball championship as a junior in 2007.

Hochstetler pitched complete games in winning the quarterfinal and the championship games, and he was named the most valuable player in the title game. He was even more dominant his senior season, compiling an 11-0 record and pitching the team to the state tournament once again.

He won the quarterfinal in a five-inning no-hit performance. A left-hander who used both sides of the plate and had pinpoint control most all of his career, he struck out 90 and walked just 20 coming into the state tournament. His earned run average was .966 and teams were batting .128 against him.