Henshaw named to state all-stars

"Kitsap County's best prep baseball players all had a chance to go out on top Wednesday night as stars from Kitsap and Olympic peninsula teams played a doubleheader at chilly Legion Field. And although Bainbridge's participants were on the losing squad, late-season hero Thomas Henshaw was nominated for the state all-star game to be played next weekend in Wenatchee.The showcase games provided vindication of sorts for South Kitsap after the Wolves, unbeaten in the regular season, were blown out of the state playoffs, losing 12-1 in the first round.The Wolves supplied the bulk of the National team that swept both games. With SK's Nolan Soete supplying the offensive punch and Scott Hartung pitching four innings, the Nationals took the first game 6-2; then Matt Einspahr took over the spotlight, his three-run home run powering the Nationals' 7-6 win in the nightcap.Players from the Olympic League, South Kitsap, North Mason and Chimacum took part in the two eight-inning games, as well as between-games baserunning and home run-hitting contests.Henshaw said the players were trying to show their fancy moves, particularly the pitchers.Guys that normally depend on their fastball early were starting right away with their junk pitches, said Henshaw, who started at third base in the opener and was the Americans' starter on the mound for Game 2.I saw first-pitch curveballs, which you never see. Guys were using all their pitches early.Henshaw, bound for the College of Southern Idaho, was the Spartans' number two pitcher all season. But when tendinitis struck Bainbridge ace Jamie Hawkins in the post-season, Henshaw became the go-to guy. He and reliever Chris Shaffer combined to give Bainbridge the district championship over Yelm and a first-round win state win over Kennedy.UW-bound Hawkins went to Wednesday night's affair as a position player, and as was the case in the post-season, the tendinitis didn't bother his hitting. Hawkins was 2-2 in the opening game, in which his squad collected only six hits against the SK tandem of Adam Seward and Scott Hartung.Henshaw started the nightcap and gave up four runs in three innings, three coming on a Matt Einspahr homer, before giving way to North Kitsap's David Camus.Though his American teammates rallied for six runs in the last three innings, they couldn't quite catch the opposition, losing 7-6 and tagging Henshaw with the loss.The numbers and the statistics, however, were subplots in Wednesday's doubleheader, sponsored by the Red Brown Foundation and the Bremerton Athletic Roundtable.Mostly, it was 16 innings of fun, as longtime rivals became friends and friends became joking rivals.It's awesome, seeing all the talent from around the peninsula in one place, said Bremerton's Angelo Jeanpierre, who closed out a bittersweet senior year that saw him miss both football and basketball seasons because of injuries. It's great just getting the chance to play.We've played summer ball with most of these guys, and against them in school, said North Kitsap's Mike Thomas, who is bound for Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. It was a chance for all the North guys to get together for one last hurrah.It's exciting to hear about where guys are going, said Central Kitsap shortstop Matt Lingenbrink, who will attend Brigham Young University next year, where he'll room with CK's two-time state Class 4A wrestling champion Preston Chadwick. And these guys are just fun to play with. It's good competition.Four earn first team mentionFour Spartan hardballers were named this week to the all- Olympic League first team, which is selected by league coaches.The first-team honorees, all seniors, are second baseman Tyler Burkland, catcher Cole Childers, outfielder Mike Dressler and third baseman Thomas Henshaw.Named to the second team were designated hitter Dustin Atkinson and pitcher Jamie Hawkins. Honorable mention awards went to outfielder Zach Lieberman, first baseman Gareth Owens and to Henshaw in his capacity as pitcher.Burkland, Childers, Dressler, Henshaw and Hawkins played in the league all-star game Wednesday in Bremerton."

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