DES MOINES — A trio of baseball players were named to the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association teams, as the teams were released today after voting by a statewide panel of writers Saturday at Principal Park in Des Moines.
Fairfield's Austin Simpson and Kosta Papazoglou, as well as Pekin's Tanner Bainbridge were named to this year's teams.
Simpson, a second-team all-state player last season, was named as a first-team all-state first baseman in Class 3A after exhibiting one of the better power seasons in the state this year. The left-handed hitter hit 16 home runs and drove in 49 runs for the Trojans, while also scoring 44 runs and hitting .473. He also was excellent in the field, making just two errors in 178 chances (99 percent fielding percentage).
Simpson tied for the state lead in all classes with his home run total, sharing that honor with Johnston's Peyton Williams, who played in 10 more games. Simpson's RBI total was third-most in 3A.
Papazoglou was simply one of the best catchers in the state, not only defensively, but also at the plate. Offensively, he smacked 10 home runs and drove in 38 runs out of the the leadoff spot, and he scored 39 runs. He lead the Trojans in hits (45) and batting average .474.
Though he also played infield and pitched, Papazoglou was honored for his catching abilities. He made just one error in 119 chances this season (99 percent fielding percentage).
Both Simpson and Papazoglou finishing in the top five in batting average this season. Fairfield finished 26-5, one game from the state tournament.
Bainbridge had an outstanding season for a Pekin team that played its best baseball of the season at the end, when the Panthers broke through to qualify for the first state tournament in school history.
Bainbridge was a big part of that success, as he was named as a third-team all-state infielder in Class 1A. He hit .506 with five home runs, nine doubles and 31 RBIs. He also scored 34 runs, leading the team in almost every offensive category. He had a three-hit game against state champion Mason City Newman in a state quarterfinal game, as the Panthers finished 17-9.