In one last hurrah of high school baseball, ADM senior Logan Crannell and head baseball coach Jason Book took one last shot at playing baseball for the season in the annual All-Stars Series, which was held at Carroll Stadium in Carroll August 8 through 11.
The series is set up to welcome the top outgoing seniors to one last hurrah, which was really appreciated by Crannell across the four day span.
“It felt amazing just to even be thought of for this,” began Crannell. “To be thought of as one of the best seniors in the state, you really can’t get much better than that. Just when I thought making it to the state tournament was great, I then get to be apart of this and I really couldn’t be happier.”
It was the ultimate climax to what was a magical end to the season, something head coach Jason Book spoke about as an appropriate ending.
“Logan making the All-Star Series is right in line with what our team has done, especially towards the end of the season,” started Book. “Logan has been a big spearhead for our success as a team this season and to see him make the All-Star Series is right in line with that as well.”
The All-Star Series participants were broken down into four teams based on school size. The teams were the Small Schools East squad, the Small Schools West squad, the Large Schools East team and the Large Schools West team. Crannell was placed on the Small Schools West team and officially became the seventh ADM player to make the All-Star Series and the 13th overall player from an Adel based school. Nearly half of the list of ADM players making the All-Star Series also earned their way into the ADM Athletic Hall of Fame at one point.
Just as he did for the majority of the regular season for the Tigers, Crannell opened up the All-Star Series on the mound for the Small Schools West team, which took place on Thursday, August 8. It was a wild back and forth contest that unfortunately fell against Logan and the Small Schools West squad by a final score of 7-6 to the Large Schools West team. Crannell and the Small Schools West team then moved on to play the Large Schools East team where they won 8-6 Friday but then fell to Small Schools East 10-1 on Saturday. The final game Crannell and the Small West team would play was on Sunday, August 11 where they would be defeated by the Large Schools East team 6-2.
It was a strong performance by Crannell in what may or may not be his final time tossing a baseball around the diamond competitively. Coach Book was pretty pleased with the performance Crannell put forth.
“Ultimately the All-Star series is meant to be fun and light-hearted but these guys do take it seriously as well,” stated Book. “Just as he has all season, Logan went toe-to-toe with some of the greatest senior players in the state.”
Along with that, even though it was a solid performance by Crannell, it’s something that coach Book partially credits as a by-product of the Raccoon River Conference.
“When you take a look at the last three-to-five state tournaments, the Raccoon River Conference has been represented in nearly every season,” said Book. “It’s been a conference that has pushed us as a team and without having such a strong competitive conference, we might not have gone as far in the postseason. For Logan it has really helped him out as I aimed to have him start mostly conference games. I feel that pitching in the Raccoon River Conference has really elevated his game.”
As for coach Book himself, the ever humble individual talked about the experience from his viewpoint.
“This was definitely new for me but also something I’d do again and again if I could,” said Book. “The Iowa High School Coaches Association is an amazing group and to be chosen to be apart of this great event is something I’ll never forget. It’s a great honor.”
It was just as great an honor for Logan Crannell himself who also walks away with a lasting memory.
“We were serious but overall it was an extremely fun time and now I have 15 new friends out of it,” said Crannell. “Aside from winning a state title this is the way I want to end my high school career.”