Though they come from different corners of this pretty, great state -- from Hyrum, Vernal, Moab to South Jordan -- this year's Deseret News high school baseball MVPs have plenty in common.
For starters, Bingham's Kelly Peck, Mountain Crest's Jed Jensen, Uintah's Adam Madsen and Grand County's Keith Carroll each celebrated championships this spring.They're also extremely talented, which obviously came in quite handy for their teams' title runs. And to cap things off, they are all seniors and infielders.
The high-quality quartet headlines the 140-plus players from Utah's four spring baseball classifications being honored as Deseret News all-staters for the 1999 season. As usual, the Deseret News' All-State teams are selected by a balloting of every coach, though some did not participate.
Here's a look at the MVPs:
5A -- KELLY PECK, Bingham: The Miners' slugger literally left his mark on Lindquist Field and on 5A baseball in general this season.
During the championship game, Peck pelted a booming homer that left a dent in the Lindquist scoreboard. It was the highlight of what was a brilliant tournament for him and his teammates, who swept Mountain View in two games on the final day to claim their first title in 15 years.
In the playoffs, Bingham's third baseman slugged in a dozen runs on 14-for-27 hitting. Those big numbers were right on par for the year as he finished with a .515 batting average, 31 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .843 thanks to three dingers and 10 doubles.
4A -- JED JENSEN, Mountain Crest: The Mustangs' star was a consistent workhorse for Mountain Crest as a third baseman, a pitcher and from the plate.
Jensen hit .404 with 28 RBI onthe season. He also had three home runs, 11 doubles and he touched home plate 33 times.
As a pitcher, Jensen had a 1.35 ERA in his closer's role. He will play for Utah Valley State College next year.
Jensen came up the biggest for the Mustangs on the final day of his prep career. He drove in the winning run in Mountain Crest's first win over Payson, and he shut the door on the Lions' potent offense as the closer in the nightcap clincher.
3A -- ADAM MADSEN, Uintah: Not only is the standout third baseman the baseball MVP, a three-sport star, a 4.0 graduate and valedictorian, Madsen is also Mr. Uintah.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound muscle-y athlete won the coveted Mr. Uintah body-building competition this spring while lifting the Utes to their second-straight championship.
"He's put together like a tank," said Uintah coach Brent Labrum.
The future Dixie College quarterback belted nine home runs, drove in 46 RBIs, batted .541 and put together a nice 6-1 pitching record.
"The kids looked to him for the big plays, and he always seemed to come through for us," Labrum added.
2A -- KEITH CARROLL, Grand County: This Red-hot Devil had a blistering season for the 2A champions, and as a result was a near-unanimous MVP choice by the classification's coaches.
The Snow College recruit played shortstop for Grand and also made life miserable for opponents from the mound. The Red Devils' ace boasted a 2.50 ERA and racked up a 14-1 record.
Carroll was also a great leadoff hitter for Grand. He batted .615 with 30 RBIs and 22 doubles.