Siuslaw baseball sends off seniors

Five athletes will be missed

May 28, 2022 — The Siuslaw baseball team wrapped up their season with their first post-season appearance since 2014. Though they lost their final game, at Tillamook 8-7, the season will still be considered a rousing success.

On May 16, between games of a doubleheader against Marshfield, the five Siuslaw seniors on the baseball team were honored by their teammates, coaches and family. Each player’s name was announced, and they were presented with gifts and mementos to commemorate their time playing the game at Dodson Field in Florence.

Viking Baseball Coach Tom Shinn will miss all five of his seniors and was complimentary of all of them when asked about their careers.

Henry Rankin played first base and catcher for the Vikings.

“The vocal leader of the group,” said Shinn. “His baseball IQ is off the charts.”

Rankin played great defense at both his positions all season and finished the year with an impressive .968 fielding percentage.

Maybe the speediest Viking on the basepaths, Beau Erickson played both infield and pitched for Siuslaw.

“The spark plug of the offense,” said Shinn. “They say speed kills, and that is just what Beau can do to you on the basepaths.”

Speed is an understatement as Erickson stole 21 out of the 23 bases he attempted to steal, a 91% stolen base percentage. Erickson was also second on the team in batting average (.354) and, as a pitcher, second on the team in strikeouts (58 in 40 innings pitched.)

Erickson was also named to the Sky-Em League all-star team. He was honorable mention for both infield and pitcher.

Isaac Garza also played infield and pitched for the Viks.

“A foundation of our defense,” said Shinn. “He pitched and played both positions up the middle of our infield.  He was a student of the game, always looking for ways to improve.”

With a .301 batting average for the season, Garza was also named honorable mention all-league at infield.

The definition of a utility player, Jason Garcia could play almost every position on the field. He was one of Siuslaw’s top pitchers and hitters and provided energy whenever the team needed it.

“Truly the spark plug of the team,” Shinn said of Garcia. “He could play anywhere on the diamond and did over the course of the season.”

Garcia was third on the team in RBI with 16.

Ethan Halpin was the team’s workhorse. He led the pitching staff in innings pitched by a large margin (54 2/3) and also got the most at bats on the team (83). When Halpin wasn’t pitching, he was playing stellar first base for Siuslaw.

“It was great to have Ethan back with the group again this season,” said Shinn. “He is another that was a student of the game. The approach he took at the plate this year was great.”

Halpin was named to the Sky-Em All-Star second team. He led the Vikings in batting with a robust .361 batting average and was second in ERA (3.59).

“This senior class will be missed,” said Shinn. “They were quality baseball players that fit well together. They helped put Siuslaw baseball back on the map. They will truly be missed.”