DRS Preview

By: 
Jay Schneider, lrlife@frontiernet.net

Elko Express Terry Fredrickson/ Elko Express Manager ( 7th season), Last year’s record: 22-15 overall. Lost the last Section 1 play in game to not qualify for the Class B Tournament. Players who left to team: We lost several key players from last year. Key players back: Dylan Thomas, pitcher/outfielder/hitter. Travis Evanson infield/hitter, Chase Hentges outfield/hitter, Ash Larsen Hitter/outfield Kyle Kraska infield/hitter, and Easton Richter ss/pitcher/hitter. New players: Hayden Mileski, Ryan Baumgartner, Justin Roitman, Nick Dolsky pitcher, Alex Schneider pitcher. All the new players should all help fill the voids. Glenn Parker pitcher is also back after spending 2 years playing in Henderson. We have several young players that will need to step up their play for us to be competitive in Section 1.

Veseli Warriors Manager: Bill Dunker (1st Season) League Record 2-20 New Players to Veseli: Bryce Simon and Blake Woodson (Previously St. Patrick and NPHS grads) Max Fierst (Previously New Prague Orioles and NPHS grad). Pitchers: Matt Perkinson, Jackson Jirik, Blake Woodson, Matt Friedges. Top Position players: Corey Friedges, Nate Picka, Nathan Simon, Mitch Callahan. Expectations: We need to learn how to finish games. From what I’m told, if games were 7 innings, there would be more wins. So it’s clear that we need to play a complete 9 innings. We’re a pretty young group, and we’re going to learn as we go and there will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’re going to be a tough out.

New Market Muskies Manager: Todd Bergstrom 20-12 & a final 4 appearance in the State Tournament. Players we are losing: Lucas Crimmins, Joe McKibben, and Aiden Oates. We may be adding a few high school kids when their seasons end. Top pitchers: Brett Herber- Staff ace, great stuff and getting better. Connor Wietgrefe - young lefty with great movement and velocity. Lincoln Berry - moves the ball around the zone and uses off speed well. Top hitters: Blake Schmit - great hitter and even better fielder. Scott Lyden - coming off an all-tournament team selection. Kyle Bergstrom - big bat off the bench in the later innings. Expectations: Still being led by guys like Lyden, Henkemeyer, Vocca, the Muskies look to have another strong season hopefully culminating in another State run. Top 4: St. Pats, Union Hill, Faribault, and New Prague.

Union Hill Bulldogs Manager(s): John Masberg, Dusty Steinhoff Last year's record and accomplishments: 19-10 and State Tournament appearance Players who have left the team since last year: Matt Zweber, Luke Zweber, and Derek Masberg. New players on the team this year, what position and where did they come from: Ross Beumer(OF), Adam Fjerstad (P), Charlie Otteson (IF), and Peter Lim(Utility). Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers: Joe Becker, Conrad Masberg, Nathan Berg, Jack Kreutzian … All bring previous mound experience. Position players: Nate Lee, Jack Giesen, Jacob Becker. Giesen provides us the stability we need behind the plate. Nate Lee provides us the veteran stability. Jacob Becker provides a solid plate presence. General expectations about the team: We hope to stay competitive within the league and within the C Class teams. Top 4: St. Patrick, New Prague, Prior Lake, Faribault.

New Prague Orioles Manager: Nick Schoenecker, assisted by Dan Shetka, Ryan Kubes and Seth Dorner. Players who have left: Max Fierst and Jack Ulschmid. New Players: Luke and Matt Zweber from Union Hill. New graduates joining the team Cam Prochaska, Ben Schmitz, Tommy McBroom, and Evan Anderson. Top pitchers: Nathan Sprouls, James Fuerniss and TJ Bergland will be our top 3 pitchers. Beau Plaisance, Frank Ruzicka, Matt Zweber, Luke Zweber and Jacob Mader will also get plenty of innings on the mound this summer. Top position players: Bryce Novak, Paddy Timmer, Eric Wagner, Fuerniss, Spencer Kajer, Jake Deutsch, Collin Dorzinski, Gavin Bergman, Bennett Isley and Aiden Dorzinski will all play important roles in the lineup this year. Anthony Mader will handle the catching duties. Expectations: The league is extremely competitive and the Orioles plan on playing hard and competing for one of the top spots in the standings. There are no easy games and you have to bring your best every time out. The top teams this year: St Patrick, Union Hill, Montgomery and Faribault.

Webster Sox Managers: Todd Klehn & Mike Prochaska (GM) Last year’s record: 8-14, we made improvements from 2020 and added some quality players that will help this team become a contender. New Players: Austin Greven PITCHER, played for the Northfield Knights last year. Will Arendt 1st baseman/ OF/DH. Peter Grassl UTILTY, played for Lonsdale Aces. Top Pitchers: Peter Tveite, Peter is a hard throwing right hander that should be a top pitcher in the league this year. Luke Allen, Luke will continue to help our starting pitching depth. Dave Picha, Dave is a steady veteran that not only gives us quality innings but helps the younger pitchers. Top Position Players: Jake Ekness, Jake helps lead the team in hitting, RBI’s, and is a solid outfielder. Cody Carlson, In Cody’s first year of DRS he was second in BA and lead the team in runs scored, he is a solid shortstop. Jordan Huwe, Jordan has a ton of speed and will be our leadoff hitter again, he is an above average outfielder with a great arm. Jake Bellile, Jake led our team in home runs in his first year of DRS and should improve on that this year. Expectations: We are looking to take the next step this year and finish above 500 and also compete for a first round bye. Top 4 Teams: 1. Union Hill, 2. St Patrick, 3. Faribault, 4. Prior Lake.

Montgomery Mallards Manager(s): Both new in 2022 : Greg Westerman - Manager; Dave Barnett - Assistant Manager. Last year's record and accomplishments: 13 wins, 12 losses; lost in the 2nd round of Region 3C Playoffs Players who have left the team since last year: Jared Schlosser, Kayden Factor New players on the team this year, what position and where did they come from: Jack Barnett (joined mid-season 2021) – Jordan HS; Max Krautkremer – TCU HS; Carter O’Malley – TCU HS; Dylan Westerman – TCU HS; Dylan Hollom – TCU HS; Ben Barnett – Jordan HS. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers: Johnny Krocak – Still one of the elite pitchers in the league, capable of throwing a shutout every time on the mound and hitting a ball out of the park each time at the plate. Robbie Marshall – Workhorse that will take the ball and get outs whenever he is asked. Ted Christian – Back from a season rehabbing an injured shoulder. If he can return to 2019 form, could be a difference maker. Derek Christianson – Veteran and consummate professional that makes hitters work by moving the ball around and changing speeds. Position players: Cole Pint – Emerged as the team’s best hitter last season and still has room to improve. Expecting to lead the team in RBI this season. Pat Lloyd – As dependable a fielder as there is in the DRS that gets on base a lot with good speed. Ryan Iverson – Disciplined hitter that can hit for both a high average and with power. Mike Flicek – Struggled with injuries in 2021 but if healthy will expect to have the highest OBP on the team. General expectations about the team: Anything short of a multiple weekend appearance at the state tournament will be a disappointment. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? St Patrick, Union Hill, Montgomery and New Prague.

Lonsdale Aces Managers: Phil Tisdel head, Darrell Vosejpka assistant. Record: Aces were 10-12 on the season lost first 2 games in playoffs. Players released- Ross Beumer, Adam Fjerstad, Peter Grassel, and Cade Readman. Players: Connor Crabtree- P, utility. previously played with Luverne. Lonsdale. Hunter Soular - C . Dundas. Tyler Nelson P, infielder. Dundas. Morgan McDonough P, infielder. Lonsdale, and Brad Albano DH, 1st base. Lonsdale. Top pitchers: Issac Pint, Joe Sabal, Phil Tisdel are the top pitchers who are all veterans who are good at hitting there spots and have the ability to go deep into games. Position players: Jordan Yetzer, a sliding machine at second base that can put the ball in play when needed. Devin Vosejpka, top of the line up hitter whos a brick wall at 3rd base. Marty Kalina, great leadoff hitter who can fly to the ball in the gaps. Issac Pint, is a middle of the line up hitter whos’ a stud at shortstop. Expectations. Fully expect the Aces to go deep into Regions and be a contender in the State Tournament. Top 4 teams. St Patrick, Union Hill, Prior Lake, Lonsdale.

St. Patrick Irish Manager(s): Brent Goracke Assistant: Dave Readmond. Last year's record and accomplishments: 28-6 Players who have left the team since last year: Bill Dunker, Josh Simon, Kevin Pexa, Bryce Simon, Blake Woodson, and Nick Spitt. New players on the team this year: Out of Retirement: Mathew Pexa, Dan Popple, and Eric Solheid. New Adds: Michael Gerda, Lakeville South Junior Utility/ Pitcher. Jack Ulschmid, New Prague Orioles P/1st, Jack Taxdahl, Cretin-Durham Hall Catcher. Ian Segna, Lakeville South Junior Utility/P. Coltin Smith, Lakeville South Freshman, Catcher. Nate Klehr, Graduated Lakeville North, Utility. Ben Tupy, New Prague High School Senior Pitcher. Wil Muelken, Graduated Jordan High School Utility. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players: Pitchers: Zach Seurer, Luke Tupy, Trevor Divinski, Collin Denk, and Phillip Garcia. Position players: Seth Ambroz, 1st base, Jack Friedges, SS. Kal Brohmer, 2nd base. Ryan Friedges, 3rd base. and Kyle Rhodus, OF. General expectations about the team: We are trying to compete in a very competitive DRS league. Our team goal is to place ourselves at the end of the game to have a chance to win every game. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? The teams I would suspect to be towards the top of the league would be: Union Hill, Faribault, St. Patrick, Prior Lake, New Prague and I think the teams to watch would be Webster, St. Benedict and Montgomery.

St. Benedict Saints Manager: Wade Olson Last season went 10-12. Defeated Webster in League Playoff Series. Defeated Montgomery and Prior Lake in Regions to advance to State Tournament. Newcomers include: Michael Pauly, Eli Erickson, Jack Jones, and Bennett Thurow. Top Returning pitchers: Alex Donkers, Cody Pirkl, Cole Minnick, and Matthias Duevel. Top Returning hitters: Nolan Eischens, Matt Mortenson, the Heitkamp brothers, Jon and Andrew Huss, and Zach Bakko. Top four: Favorites in the DRS are St. Patrick and Union Hill. New Prague, Faribault, Montgomery, Prior Lake expect to be the leaders of the group fighting for other 2 spots. Team Outlook: We get written off every year. We’ve made the State Tournament 5 times in 9 years despite some people and circumstances working against us. We relish this role. St. Benedict is a place to find your love for baseball again. We love our roster, have great guys. We think we will be in the middle of the pack most of the season and will look to win big games when it matters most.

Prior Lake, Faribault, and Shakopee coaches did not return the questionnaire.

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