James Hash of Clarinda has been selected to serve as the head coach of the Small Schools West baseball team in the 43rd Annual Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Series.
Hash was notified of his selection to serve as head coach of the Small Schools West team in January. He currently serves as an assistant baseball coach at Clarinda High School.
“It’s a pretty good honor to know the IHSBCA thinks that highly of me to be in a situation to coach the best players from the Small Schools West region. It was surprising, but I’m super excited about the opportunity,” Hash said.
To help defray the cost of the All-Star Series, a sponsorship fee is required from each player and coach participating in the event. The Clarinda Booster Club paid the sponsorship fee for Hash.
Hash will be joined on the Small Schools West coaching staff by two assistant coaches. Those assistants are Ridge View head coach Shannon Tesch and ADM head coach Jason Book. All the coaches for the series were selected by the IHSBCA Steering Committee.
In 2015, Hash was selected to serve as an assistant coach for the series and saw the Small Schools West team advance to the championship game. He said he hopes this year will be just as memorable for his assistants.
“I’m excited to be working with them. They are in it for the right reason. I told them to enjoy the process. When I did it in 2015, it was an awesome experience, so I hope I can bring that same kind of experience to them. I want them to have some fun with it and enjoy it,” Hash said.
The 2019 All-Star Series will be played Thursday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Aug. 11, at Merchants Park in Carroll. The field serves as the home of both Kuemper Catholic and Carroll High School.
“I really like that field. Typically, we go up there once a year to play Kuemper. The facilities are really nice and I’m excited about coaching on that field for the series,” Hash said.
There are four teams in the series that are separated into two classes, large schools and small schools. The two classes are then divided into an east team and a west team based on the geographic locations of the schools involved.
Each of the four teams in the series features 16 players selected for the event through a nomination process. All of the players are graduated high school seniors from the 2019 season. Player nominations for the series were due by July 1.
Hash and his two assistant coaches then met Monday, July 22, to review the nominations and select the 16 players that would comprise their team. The lineup for each team consists of four pitchers, two catchers, five infielders, four outfielders and one utility player.
“We tried to make sure the most deserving players were chosen, but it was harder than I thought it would be. It was extremely difficult to look at all those numbers, compare the numbers and evaluate the teams they played against. You hate to leave someone out, but I think we have come up with a pretty salty team,” Hash said.
Helping anchor the Small Schools West rotation will be Logan Crannell of ADM. Crannell led ADM to a 3-1 win over Harlan to secure a spot for the Tigers in the Class 3A State Tournament. He limited the Cyclones to one hit over seven innings and struck out nine.
Brett Sears of Harlan was also selected to the squad. Sears was on the mound for Harlan in the substate final against ADM. He will serve as an infielder/pitcher for the All-Star Series.
Other area players selected to the Small Schools West team were catcher Connor Lang of Missouri Valley, infielder Aaron Schreck of Kuemper Catholic and outfielder Kyle Christensen of Treynor.
Action will start Thursday with a round-robin tournament in which each team will play the other three teams in the series. The top two teams advance to the championship game, while the remaining teams play the consolation game.