Senior All-Star Game
With their college career on the horizon, three baseball players from around Grays Harbor got the opportunity to throw on their high school uniforms one last time at the 41st Annual Senior All-Star game on May 30.
Nate Kloempken and Matt Plato of Montesano and Aberdeen’s Austin Timmons suited up for the American League squad to go up against other top seniors from schools in the southern part of the state.
Plato got the start and played the first five innings at third base and briefly shared the field with Timmons when he entered the game for a relief appearance in the fifth inning.
Timmons didn’t have too much trouble in his inning of work, surrendering an infield hit and striking out a batter during his all-star appearance.
Timmons said playing with athletes from other county schools felt like old times.
“I used to play all my sports in Monte, so I played with them when I was younger,” he said. “It was cool being able to play with them again.”
He also added that he felt fortunate to get out of the inning unscathed.
“I’m used to playing tough competition, with how tough our league is, but it was cool knowing that if I miss a spot they could hit it over the fence,” he said.
Despite going 0-for-3, Plato made some loud contact in his at bats against some of the best pitching in the area.
He said he enjoyed the relaxed environment of the all-star game.
“I just tried to play relaxed and have fun. It’s not a league game or anything so I just tried to play relaxed and do my best,” he said. “It was cool. I got to play with some good athletes and had a lot of fun.”
Kloempken took the mound in the seventh with a four-run lead to protect for the American League squad.
The Montesano ace right-hander gave up a pair of runs in two innings of work.
Though proved himself as one of the best pitchers in the 1A Evergreen League in his senior season, Kloempken said he was pleasantly surprised to find out he had made the roster.
“About a week-and-a-half ago we just got a text message saying we were in,” he said. “I had some seniors go the last couple of years. It wasn’t really on my mind but once I found out I was pretty excited.”
The National League ended up winning the game, 8-7.
After getting in one more game together, the three local ball players will head their separate ways. Kloempken to University of Puget Sound, Plato has signed to play with Big Bend Community College and Timmons is expecting to make a decision on a college destination in the near future.
Kloempken said he is going to miss having a hitter like Plato in the lineup.
“I liked being out on the mound knowing that he was going to be hitting bombs for me and scoring some runs. He was fun to play with,” he said.