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2018 Post Register Baseball Player of the Year: Randon Hostert, Bonneville

Bonneville’s Randon Hostert is the Post Register’s 2018 All-Area
baseball Player of the Year. John Roark/ jroark@postregister.com

By LUKE O’ROARK | Loroark@postregister.com

It’s hard to miss Bonneville High School’s Randon Hostert on the mound.

His lanky 6-foot-6 frame jumps out to opposing batters and screams “THIS KID IS A COLLEGE BOUND ATHLETE.” His curveballs made some 5A District 5-6 batters look foolish. His ability to bat cleanup and score runners caused some pitchers to second guess their fastest fastballs.

It’s hard to miss Hostert because he’s the best player in District 6, and arguably, in Idaho. He’s hard to miss because he’s the Post Register’s 2018 baseball All-Area Player of the Year.

“(Baseball) is a big part of my life, that’s for sure,” Hostert said. “Outside of it, I try to spend time with my family and friends. It’s not a super different life, I guess.”

“Hostert” and “baseball” are almost synonymous. Almost like, “peanut butter” and “jelly” or “Randy Johnson” and “mustache”.

Bonneville’s Randon Hostert is the Post Register’s 2018 All-Area
baseball Player of the Year. John Roark/ jroark@postregister.com

Baseball — or, more broadly, sports — flows rich in the Hostert family DNA.

Before Randon, there was Kohl — a dominating righthanded Bonneville pitcher who was a member of an undefeated 2013 team. He went on to play at Oregon before landing at Utah Valley with former Bees coach Joldy Watts.

Before Kohl, the Hostert parents played collegiate sports. Their mother played basketball and attended the University of Wyoming. Their father played football and attended Chadron State in Nebraska.

“I can’t imagine life without (baseball),” Randon said in a recent interview. “It’s a big part, for sure. What really got me hooked to baseball was going to the World Series in Texas in 2011.”

Randon — with his own signature golden, wavy locks and killer curveball — continued his family’s athletic tradition this spring.

On the mound, Randon was Bonneville’s ace: 0.81 ERA, 6-0 record, 77 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched and a .110 opponents’ on-base percentage.

At the plate, Randon was the main cog in Bonneville’s high-powered offense: .367 batting average (36 hits in 98 at-bats) with 41 RBIs, six doubles, four triples and three home runs.

He’s already committed to the University of Utah to play baseball.

“As far as defensively, all the accolades come in for his pitching, but he’s really serviceable at third base,” Skyline coach Brett Taylor said. “At the plate, that’s the last guy you want to throw to. The frame, the arm, he’s got everything.”

Blackfoot coach Liam Pope went a little further, describing Hostert as “one hell of a dominant pitcher.”

“Not often you’re going to see an arm like that,” Pope said of Hostert. “Just untouchable at times.”

Randon said there is some pressure to continue his family’s rich, sports tradition. Of course there is.

Randon is the sixth Bonneville player since 2011 to earn the Post Register’s All-Area baseball Player of the Year honor. Kohl also won the award in 2013.

First-year Bonneville coach Ryan Alexander said there’s even a slight sibling rivalry between Randon and Kohl.

And despite a dominant junior season, Randon rarely talks about himself in interviews. He shows more of a quiet, “team-first” nature than a braggadocios or arrogant persona.

Alexander said Randon is just “a kid who just likes to compete”.

Bonneville’s Randon Hostert makes a catch beating Idaho Falls’ Benson Packer to first base for an out as Bonneville High School takes on Idaho Falls High School at Melaleuca Field on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. John Roark/ jroark@postregister.com

“There’s definitely some pressure to it, but it’s not all about me,” Hostert said. “I try to give my team a chance to win and do my part.”

And just like “Hostert” and “baseball” are intertwined, so is “Bonneville” and “baseball”.

Randon mentioned there’s a bit of a “target” on the Bees’ back. Of course there is.

Bonneville went 24-6 this past season. It advanced to its first state baseball championship since 2013 with a junior-heavy team. Since 2013, the Bees have gone 107-49 with just one losing season (2015). The Hostert brothers had a hand in building the Bees recent success.

But before he heads off to Salt Lake in 2019 and leaves the yellow and green jersey behind, he’s got one more goal: winning a state championship.

After the Bees finished second at this year’s 5A state tournament (losing 7-3 to Timberline in the championship game), Hostert will return for one more go next spring.

Alongside the kid with a killer curveball and the golden locks? A veteran group that will play in the 4A classification.

“It’s exciting for sure,” Hostert said. “This year was a good year for us and the senior contributed a lot. I think next year we got a good chance to get back to where we got this year. A real shot at that championship.”

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