In their first year in Class A, Gretna burst onto the scene with a state tournament berth, while the Platteview Trojans and Papillion-La Vista Monarchs fell in districts. Those three area teams collected three selections each to the 2019 All-ITG baseball team.
To round out the rest of the ITG team, Bellevue West and Ralston added two selections each while Bellevue East earned one.
Gretna finished the regular season with a 16-8 record on its way to be the District A-4 host. The Dragons defeated Westside in the district final to clinch a spot in state but their season ended after losing their first two state games.
Caden Opfer, CF — Opfer was a mainstay in Gretna for the past two seasons in center field while hitting in the top of the lineup. The left-handed senior played in all 24 games slashing a .427 batting average (eighth best in Class A) with 16 RBIs, 18 runs scored and 15 stolen bases (sixth in Class A). He added a .932 fielding percentage with 40 putouts.
Quinn Mason, P/OF — The Nebraska commit was Gretna’s ace on the mound while playing corner outfield on his days off from pitching while hitting in the heart of the order.
To finish his Gretna spring career in his third year on varsity, Mason had a 2-3 record with a 2.76 ERA, 49 strikeouts (second in Class A) and held opponents to a .203 batting average despite battling an arm injury in the last month of the season. In the batters’ box, Mason hit .333 with 16 RBIs, 13 runs and a homer.
Ben Coldiron, P/OF - The Concordia University commit came into the season under the radar, especially on the mound, but turned into a solid one-two punch with Mason and became a dependable arm. His effectiveness on the mound was a big reason why Gretna was able to host a district and advance to state.
The senior posted a 5-1 record (second most wins in Class A) with a 3.50 ERA in 10 appearances. He struck out 42 batters (sixth in Class A) and held opponents to a .250 average. In 21 plate appearances, he hit .333 with six RBIs and a double.
• Platteview finished the spring season with a 13-10 record, falling in the District B-1 semifinals. The Trojans posted a strong April, going 14-5.
Caden Mathewson, SS — After hitting over .350 his first two seasons, the Buena Vista University commit wrapped up his three-year varsity career by hitting over .400 at the plate. The senior finished with a .429 line while adding 17 runs, 30 RBIs and twelve doubles. His average was 14th best and his RBIs were fourth best in Class B.
He only struck out five times in 88 plate appearances. In the field, Caden finished with a .912 fielding percentage.
Jordan Mathewson, second base - After hitting .424 last season, the future Buena Vista infielder upped his play by slashing .451 with 32 runs (third best in Class B), 17 RBIs and 14 walks with his average being 10th best in Class B.
The senior struck out only two times in 90 at bats. In the field at second base, he accumulated a .924 fielding percentage.
Sam Kennedy, first base - The senior played stellar defensive baseball for the Trojans by playing error-free at first base. At the plate, Kennedy hit in the heart of the order to finish with a .355 average with 17 runs, 24 RBIs and five doubles in 85 plate appearances with his RBIs finishing ninth best in Class B.
• Papillion-La Vista went through an up-and-down season given the expectations coach Nate McCabe expects from his bunch. Papio shook off a five-game losing streak in the middle of the season before winning 11 of their last 16 games to finish with a 17-12 record.
The Monarchs fell to Elkhorn South in the District A-2 final.
Conner Barnett, OF — The University of Nebraska at Omaha commit finished his stellar Monarch career by leading the team in hits, runs scored and average. The senior slashed for a .456 average with 30 runs, 13 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Barnett added a .500 on-base percentage while striking out just four times in 103 at-bats.
Papio has produced a lot of talented baseball players and Barnett, at least, has an argument to be considered one of the better ones to come through in recent years.
Garrett Anglim, third base — The Wichita State commit led the Monarchs in RBIs and triples while tying for the team runs lead. The junior hit .360 with 30 runs, five triples and 25 RBI. The future is bright for Anglim, who will be a name to keep an eye on next season.
Zach Colbert, SP — The senior was the top arm for Papio this season, finishing with a 5-2 record. He led Papio in innings pitched (37 1/3), strikeouts (41) and ERA (1.69). Colbert allowed just 10 walks and 33 hits in those 37-plus innings to help finish with a 1.15 WHIP.
• Bellevue West finished the season with a 12-14 record and a loss in the District A-5 tournament to Grand Island.
Caleb Lemon, SS/P — The senior posted career highs in his third varsity season, while continuing to hold the leadership in the dugout. Lemon, a Cloud County Community College commit, hit for a .362 average with 24 runs (ninth best in Class A) and 14 RBI. He only struck out eight times in 95 plate appearances. He was also 13th in Class A with 11 stolen bases.
He was solid on the mound when needed, too. In seven appearances, Lemon finished with a 1-2 record and three saves for a 2.76 ERA.
Eric Anderson, C — The junior has played on varsity since his freshman season and has upped his numbers at the plate every season. The junior almost raised his average 100 from his sophomore to junior campaign.
He finished with a .353 average, racking up 19 RBIs (13th best in Class A), eight doubles and three triples. Behind the dish, he held a .970 fielding percentage in 165 total chances.
• Ralston started the season 4-0 by outscoring opponents 47-12, but then lost 12 of their next 13 games to, eventually, finish with a 10-14 record and losing in the District B-1 semifinals.
Nolan Sailors, SS — Just a sophomore, Sailors slashed a .463 average (eighth in Class B) with just six strikeouts in 92 plate appearances. He scored 24 runs and 14 RBI to go with four doubles. His on-base percentage was a whopping .511, while his 24 runs was 12th best in Class B.
The Rams will look to keep building around Sailors, while colleges will start coming to watch the electric middle infielder.
Kaleb Holm, OF — Holm was Mr. Steady for the Rams on offense and in the field. The junior hit for a .455 average (ninth in Class B) with 30 runs (sixth best in Class B), eight doubles and 19 RBI in 100 plate appearances. The lefty only struck out eight times and stole six bases. As a pitcher, Holm struck out 22 batters in 20-plus innings on the mound.
• Bellevue East finished with a 12-14 record, but the Chieftains protected home field by finishing 7-2 at Roddy Field under first-year coach Ian DeLaet. East dropped a close one against Creighton Prep in the District A-5 semifinals to end the season.
Ty Chudomelka, INF/OF/P — Chudomelka’s ability to play just about anywhere gave DeLaet flexibility. Playing multiple position, the junior only made one error in 25 chances for a .971 fielding percentage. At the plate, Chudomelka’s productivity nearly doubled from last season. The lefty hit for a .383 average with 15 runs, 10 RBI and 11 walks, only striking out six times.
Despite a tough-luck 3-3 record on the mound, Chudomelka allowed only a 1.57 ERA (12th in Class A) with 32 strikeouts in 22-plus innings.