ALL-PENINSULA BASEBALL TEAM: Forks’ Logan Olson earns area MVP honors

Senior hit .463 with 7-1 record and 1.86 ERA

Forks pitcher Logan Olson releases a pitch against Adna in the District 4 quarterfinals at Shelton High School May 7. (Alec Dietz/The Centralia Chronicle)

Forks pitcher Logan Olson releases a pitch against Adna in the District 4 quarterfinals at Shelton High School May 7. (Alec Dietz/The Centralia Chronicle)

FORKS — Forks senior Logan Olson focused on getting the most of out of his final season on the diamond for the Spartan baseball team rather than individual glories.

“Looking back on the year before [2021], we made the state tournament, but it wasn’t held due to COVID. We just wanted to get back to the same place to get the opportunity to make it to state,” Olson said.

“I was thinking more about the team instead of myself because I didn’t have to worry about impressing [college coaches]. I was interested in leading the team, because we had a lot of younger guys, so they can keep it going to state and keep playing.”

Any coaches or scouts watching Olson play would have been impressed.

Olson went 7-1 with two saves and a 1.86 ERA in 49 innings pitched, most on the Spartans’ pitching staff, with an 84-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a walk and hits per inning pitched line of 0.89.

At the plate, Olson hit .463 with one home run, two triples, five doubles and 18 RBIs. He scored 24 runs and had an astronomical on-base percentage of .600 for the 17-2 Spartans.

Olson was a natural selection as the Class 2B Pacific League Most Valuable Player and he’s also the 2022 All-Peninsula Baseball MVP as selected by the sports staff of the Peninsula Daily News.

“My pitching got a lot better, I think I was throwing harder this year than last year, so I think I improved on the mound,” Olson said. “My curveball has kind of been my main pitch since I was little, about 12 years old. It’s what I’ve used in tough situations. The curveball has been there for me sometimes when I’m having trouble with my fastball.

“Hitting-wise, I’ve always been able to have a high average, but this year I tried to hit for a little more power.”

Playoff performances

Forks also fared well in the postseason, including a state tournament-clinching 6-5 walkoff win over Adna to open district play.

“Our district game against Adna,” Olson said when asked about his favorite game. “Gosh, it was a good game the whole time, neither team scored until late and Keaton Northcut hit a walkoff in the last inning. Winning a game on a walkoff is a big deal, but to send a team to state on a walkoff is incredible, and Keaton came up clutch there.”

The Spartans earned the No. 9 seed into the 16-team state tournament and opened play with a 2-0 win over Liberty.

“Going to state and winning our first game and spending the weekend with the teammates in the hotel is a great memory,” Olson said.

The run ended against the Ducks and their University of Oregon-committ Jackson Cox in the state quarterfinals. Cox, also likely to be a high-round MLB draft pick this month, tossed a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over Forks.

“And getting to play against Toutle Lake, getting to face a guy with major league-quality pitching ability. It was fun to face that type of pitching, and it was 0-0 for a while, so we didn’t play badly against them, especially for how young our team was. They haven’t faced that type of pitching before.”

Olson committed to play baseball at Skagit Valley in December, but thinking about the amount of time required to play junior college athletics and the distance between Mount Vernon and his 2-year-old son Gracen back in Forks, Olson chose to remain on the North Olympic Peninsula post-graduation.

“I made the decision that I was not going to go play college ball anymore,” Olson said. “With my son being here in Forks, it’s best that I don’t leave here, so I can be here for him.”

Olson is spending his post-high school graduation summer learning a trade as an electrician’s apprentice in Sequim and playing American Legion baseball for Wilder Senior, including in the Dick Brown Classic through Sunday at Civic Field.

2022 All-Peninsula Baseball Team

• MVP: Logan Olson, sr., Forks: Rocksteady pitcher/shortstop led Spartans to Pacific League crown, Class 2B state tournament berth and a trip to the state quarterfinals (top eight).

• Beckett Jarnagin sr., Port Angeles: Riders outfielder was a first-team All-Olympic League selection and made the All-State baseball team.

• Gunner Rogers, soph., Forks: 1B/3B/P was a first-team All-Pacific League pick. Hit .500 with two HRs, team-high eight doubles and 12 RBIs.

• Elijah Flodstrom, jr., Port Angeles: Riders infielder/pitcher was a first-team All-Olympic League pick.

• Connor Bear, sr., Sequim: Wolves’ top player earned All-Olympic League first team selection as a utility player.

• Dalton Kilmer, sr., Forks: 2B/SS/P was a First-team All-Pacific League selection after hitting .400 with four doubles, 22 runs and seven RBIs.

•Aidan Salazar, soph., Forks : Infielder earned first-team All-Pacific League selection. Hit .333 with 13 RBI and 23 runs.

• John Vaara, sr., Port Angeles: Riders DH/Pitcher had his season cut short by Tommy John surgery, but was a first-team All-Olympic League pick.

• James Burkhart, sr., Port Angeles: Senior leader was a steadying influence for young Rider team. Second-team All-Olympic League outfielder.

• Colton Romero, soph., Port Angeles: Sophomore pitcher was a second-team All-Olympic League pick.

• Owen Thornton, sr., East Jefferson: Rivals’ first baseman/pitcher was a second-team All-Nisqually League pick.

• Kole Acker, jr., Port Angeles: Second-team All-Olympic League pitcher will return for Roughriders.

• Brody Moore, soph., East Jefferson: Rivals top pitcher threw plenty of strikes to earn second-team All-Nisqually League status.

• Coach of the Year: Jason Richards, Forks: Guided Spartans to 17-2 record and state quarterfinal appearance, including Pacific League title and a first-round win at state.

________

Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected]

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