Portage has a long history of sending players to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Star Classic, and the list of Warriors selected to participate in the event has grown longer, as Portage senior Matthew Miles was recently named to the South All-Star squad for the 2020 All-Star Classic.
Miles won’t actually get to play in the All-Star Classic, as the event, which typically is held in late June in Oshkosh, was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which also whipped out the spring baseball season. That didn’t stop the state’s baseball coaches from nominating all-stars this year, based off last year’s stats.
Miles becomes the 13th Portage player to be selected for the event, and the first since Jakob Kastenholz in 2017.
Miles, an All-Badger North Conference second team pick last year as a junior, was going to be a senior leader this spring for a Portage team that was expected to compete for a Badger North title. Portage was ranked 18th in the WBCA Division 2 preseason poll, in part because of Miles and a strong senior class that brought a boat-load of experience to this year’s team.
Miles, who intends to play baseball at UW-La Crosse, was one of three catchers selected to the 18-player South All-Star squad, joining Green Lake/Princeton’s BJ Konkel and Palmyra-Eagle’s Derek Stefanczyk.
Last season Miles batted .240 in conference play, but also provided some much-needed pitching depth for the Warriors, when he threw 14⅔ innings. Miles didn’t pitch in any of Portage’s first six conference games — all losses — but did pitch in four of the team’s final eight league contests. In those 14⅔ innings, he gave up three earned runs, walked just two and struck out nine, earning three saves. He finished the season with a 3-1 record and a 1.40 earned run average.
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