By Roger Mischke
LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP
Back for a sixth season as a contributing writer for the Minnesota Baseball Association with your weekly amateur baseball (Town Team) baseball reports. Including not only game summaries, but upcoming schedules, league standings, tournament summaries and an occasional special interest feature. The plan is to continue to include: Lakewood League, Central Valley League, Sauk Valley League, Victory League South and Stearns County teams throughout their league playoffs, regional and state tourney games. Check out the Minnesota Baseball Association website for additional information: http://www.mnbaseball.org. This column will focus on any players that maybe retiring or moving on to other teams. Also, new players in the area and high school players joining an amateur team for possibly their first time. There has been some realignment with the Class C regions throughout the state.
The Lakewood League will again be playing in Section 2B, with the four Lakewood teams and the Moorhead Brewers, Duluth Express and the Hibbing Minors. The Marshall A’s have been moved to Class C this season. All managers are back in the Lakewood League for the upcoming season.
COLD SPRING SPRINGERS
Tim Illies and Dave Hinkemeyer will back at the helm as co-managers for the upcoming season. No one is planning to retire. Brian Hansen did have offseason surgery and may be limited most of the season. Sean Terres had major arm surgery last summer and will be trying to make a come back. He would boost the Springers pitching staff. Drew VanLoy will likely be back on the mound for some pitching duties as he is coming back from shoulder surgery a year ago. Max Fuchs will be playing with the Pearl Lake Lakers this season. Tanner Aleshire is planning to return to the St. Joseph Joes for this season. College players returning (all previously on the roster, but doing the legion/HS thing) for their first full season of Springer ball will be Will Huls, Nick Penick and Jordan Barth.
The Saints will have Brian Anderson back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. The only player news Anderson had to report was that Tom Imholte wasn’t expected to be with the Saints this summer. Imholte is planning to play with a college league in South Dakota this upcoming season.
SAUK RAPIDS CYCLONES
The Cyclones will have Paul Schlangen and Tommy Wippler returning as their co-managers for the upcoming season. They believe that all players will be returning with the exception of Evan Warnert. He will be joining the Foley Lumberjacks this season. The Cyclones may have one player joining them this upcoming season, this would surely boost their pitching staff. Jason Hoppe is set to return to the Cyclones this upcoming season. The Cyclones may also sign a couple of their high school players, too.
Back for the Bees will be a young player/manager, Tim Martin. He wasn’t expecting many changes, everyone should be back. The Bees may add a couple of their area high school players.
CENTRAL VALLEY LEAGUE
The big news in the Central Valley is that they will no longer be with the Corn Belt league for regional play. The Central Valley will be with the Sauk Valley League.
The Brewers will have Cory Wenz back at the helm as their manager this upcoming season. They don’t have anyone that is planning to retire, but they do have two of their players who will be playing with St. Augusta this upcoming season, Colton Fruth and Mitch Ergen. The Brewers will picking up some new players this upcoming season. Sam Matchinsky and Shea Rosha both from St. Augusta. Also Reed Pfannenstein from the Cold Spring Springers will coming over to the Brewers. Pfannenstein really should boost an already good pitching staff.
PEARL LAKE LAKERS
The Lakers will have Tom Voit back the at helm as manager. Stephen Krippner and Preston Peglow are not expected to be back with the Lakers this season. The Lakers are expecting three new players to join this upcoming season. Mitch Ergen and Colton Fruth from the Luxemburg Brewers will be with the Lakers and Max Fuchs coming over from the Cold Spring Springers.
ST. NICHOLAS NICKS
The Nicks will have Robert Lutgen back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season.
The Clippers will have Matt Geislinger back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They will have two players leaving them this season, Adam Hiltner and Dan Sargent. They have Ben Griffin, yes the former Cold Springer who has been retired for two seasons, will back in uniform this season for the Clippers. Luke Jansen a sophomore from Eden Valley-Watkins High School will be joining the Clippers.
COLD SPRING ROCKIES
The Rockies will have a new manager; or actually he will be returning as manager this upcoming season, Tom Ficker will be back at the helm. Reece Hemmesch has retired as manager as of now. Austin Mehr from Milaca, a cousin to Jake Brinker, and Chris Sundmark from Litchfield both move to the Cold Spring area. There may be some high school players they may sign for the upcoming season.
EDEN VALLEY HAWKS
The Hawks will have Robert “Birdie” Geislinger back at the helm for the upcoming season. He reported that they don’t have anyone that was planning to retire. They did add Derek Ruegemer formerly of the Richmond Royals.
The Express have Tom Marquardt back as the manager for the upcoming season. They expect everyone to be returning for the upcoming season. The Express plan to add two new players; Zak Wallner, he played one season for St. Cloud Tech College and a senior from Kimball High School, Aaron Serbus.
ST. AUGUSTA GUSSIES
The Gussies will have a new person at the helm as manager this upcoming season, Adam Benoit. The Gussies will have two players leaving to play with Luxemburg this upcoming season, Sam Matchinsky and Shea Rosha. All others are expected to be returning for this season. Colton Fruth and Mitch Ergen are new to the Gussies; as they will be moving over from Luxemburg for the season.
UPCOMING CENTRAL VALLEY GAMES
Cold Spring Rockies vs. Kimball Express (2 p.m.)
Luxemburg Brewers vs. St. Nicholas Nicks (2 p.m.)
Pearl Lake Lakers vs. Watkins Clippers (2 p.m.)
SAUK VALLEY LEAGUE
Again the big news here will be that the Sauk Valley League will join the Central Valley League for their regional play. The Sauk League no longer be with the Region 1 teams from the Eastern Minney League
The Muskies will have Randy Beckstrom back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They expect everyone to be back with the Muskies for the upcoming season. They have signed three new players. Ethan Carlson is moving over from the St. Joseph Joes, Brandon Kramer, a graduate a year ago from Sartell High School, and Riley Hartwig, a senior at the Sartell High School this spring.
ST. JOSEPH JOES
Their long-time manager Pat Schneider will be back. They have four players moving on to play elsewhere, Ethan Carlson will be with the Sartell Muskies. Nate Chandler, Justin Barg and Eric Vigil not not return to the Joes. New players expected to play with the Joes this upcoming season, include the return of Tanner Aleshire. He has been with the Cold Spring Springers the past couple of seasons. Nick Gill, a senior from Apollo High School and Burke Tagney.
The Lumberjacks will have their crafty player/manager Mike Beier back at the helm for the upcoming season. Beier will likely will pitch a few innings, too. All players are expected to be returning with the exception of Cameron Jurek, he is leaving for the Marines this summer. One addition to the Lumberjacks for the upcoming season will be Evan Warnert, coming over from the Sauk Rapids Cyclones. Warnert is a high school physical education teacher at Foley High School.
CLEAR LAKE LAKERS
The Lakers will have Mike Golombiecki back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. One player won’t be back for the this summer, Ryan Paasch, as he broke his arm in the offseason. New players that are expected to player with the Lakers this summer are: Ben Anderson from Osakis, Chris Anderson, Mitch Delfine and Tommy Fresen.
The Villains will have a new manager this upcoming season, at the helm will be player/manager Mike Krampa. Two players that are planning to retire are Todd Klaers and former player/manager Jason Sokolowski. Some of their younger players that will be returning are expected to improve a great deal after playing together another season. They will feel more at home now in their second season in the Sauk Valley League, at least they will know where the ball parks are located. One player that will be returning after being away for one season will be Henry Berning, he should surely add to a already deep pitching staff. The big bat of Todd Klaers will be missed, but with the addition of new players that void should be partially filled. Kyle Hayden, Jake Bloomstrand and Nick Oakvik will be new additions to the Villains. This will make them overall a younger group of players that will take the field for this crew.
SARTELL STONE PONEYS
The Poneys’ Jeff Amann will be at the helm as the manager for the upcoming season. Their will be a number of changes with the Poneys for the upcoming season. Stephen Fish and Jesse Ouren will not be playing but helping with coaching. Rob Gabrielson will not plan to play this summer and Sean Tillman will be limited with his first child on the way. Teddy Flemming will be a part-time player this summer, with three children and being very busy as a lawyer. The Poneys have added Jacob Light of Davenport, Iowa and Andy Knudson of Warroad. From the St. Cloud area Mike Ashwill and Alex Kreiling, a Sartell graduate. St. Cloud Apollo graduates Cameron Knudsen and Dallas Haugen, both of St. Joseph, will all be new additions, this new group, includes four pitchers.
The Bandits will have Cole Hanson back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They expect Matt Yoerg, Kendal Hanson and Cody Gruenhagen to be leaving them for this upcoming season. New players that have signed with the Bandits for the upcoming season are: Ryan Hess, Logan Anderson, Morgan Kramer, Zach Halverson and Ryan Swanson.
STEARNS COUNTY LEAGUE
Big offseason news here is the Stearns County League will be by itself and it will have three teams that will qualify for state. The County Line League will now be paired with the Corn Belt for their regional playoffs.
The Saints manager A.J. Hadley is back at the helm for the upcoming season. All their players are expected to back back, with the exception of Austin Hadley. He will moving south to play in the County Line League for the New London-Spicer Twins. Also one player is planning to retire, Matt Middendorf.
The Cubs will have NIck Rademacher back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They are not expecting Cody Imdieke to return for this season. They were not aware of any new players at this time.
MEIRE GROVE GROVERS
The Grovers’ Doug Meyer will be at the helm again as their manager for the upcoming season. At this point they are expecting all their players to be returning from last years team. No new additions are known of this at this point.
NEW MUNICH SILVERSTREAKS
The Silverstreaks will have Paul Sand back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They are expecting everyone to return with one exception. Brennan Hoppe died from cancer this past winter. They may add some high school players for the upcoming season.
SPRING HILL CHARGERS
The Chargers will have Gordon Barten at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They have Shawn Schoenberg, Corey Schoenberg and Kyle Bertram all retiring. Tyler Revermann will not play this summer, as he was injured in an ATV accident. They are expecting to add one high school junior for the summer, Kyle Meyer.
The Flames will have Dale Schroeder back at the helm as the Flames manager for the upcoming season. All players are expected to return this season, with the exception of possibly Nick Mergen. He may stay in Fargo to continue to train for the NDSU wrestling team. They are expecting a group from Albany High School to join the Flames this summer: Carter Kotzer, Ethan Navratil, Adam Winkels and Robert Schleper.
LAKE HENRY LAKERS
The Lakers will have Keith Lieser back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They expect to have one player that will be retiring: Ryan Wuertz. They do expect all the others to be returning for the season. Nic Dingman will come over from the Richmond Royals and Max Weidner a junior a Paynesville High School has signed for the season.
The Royals will have Kirby Hemmesch back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. No report was received from Hemmesch, so there isn’t any news on the Royals.
The Rangers will have Lee Schleper back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They don’t expect Nic Dingmann and Trent Gertken to be with them this season. Dingmann is headed to the Lake Henry Lakers and Gertken is headed to the Richmond Royals. They have signed two high school players from Paynesville: Spence Evans and Zack Mackendanz.
ST. MARTIN MARTINS
The Martins will have back Carl Lieser at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. Taylor Holthaus will be moving to Avon in the Victory league to play this upcoming season. They are expecting all the others to back with the Martins, with the addition of a couple of high school players.
UPCOMING STEARNS COUNTY GAMES
Elrosa Saints vs. Spring Hill Chargers(1:30 p.m.)
Farming Flames vs. Roscoe Rangers(1:30 p.m.)
Greenwald Cubs vs. Richmond Royals(1:30 p.m.)
Meire Grove Groves vs. New Munich (1:30 p.m.)
The Victory League will once again be alone in its regional play, with four teams qualifying for state tournament play.
Their player manager will be back at the helm are for the upcoming season, Reed Voit. They don’t expect former player/manager Dave Kalthoff and Troy Wunderlich to return for this season. The Lakers did have two big signees however, Taylor Holthaus will be moving over from St. Martin to give the Lakers great deal of potential power in their lineup. Also to bolster their pitching staff, Matt Pichelmann, a former St. Cloud Tech College pitcher, former Sibley East high school player and Arlington A’s player. The Lakers will looking to take another run, yet possibly deeper into the state tournament.
ST. STEPHEN STEVES
The Steves will have Ben Oman back at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. There wasn’t any report received from Oman, so there will be no news on the Steves.
FREEPORT BLACK SOX
The Sox’s Rob Mettenburg will be back at the helm as their manager this upcoming season. Mettenburg wasn’t aware of any players that were leaving. He thought that they might sign a couple of high school players.
ST. WENDEL SAINTS
The Saints will have Grant Pierskalla back at the helm for the upcoming season. They have three players that are moving up to play with other teams this season. Tylor Erickson and Jake Bragelmeman are moving over to the Opole Bears. Ryan Bloomer isn’t expected back with the Saints for the upcoming season. They do have a number of high school players that may sign for the upcoming season.
The Bears will have Scott Binek at the helm as their manager for the upcoming season. They are expecting all their players to return from last season in addition a few more high school-age players. This would be a good mix with the young team they have. Two additions expected to join the Bears are Jake Braegelmann and Taylor Erickson both from St. Wendel.
UPCOMING VICTORY LEAGUE SOUTH GAMES
Buckman Billy Goats vs. Avon Lakers(1:30 p.m.)
St. Stephen Steves vs Opole Bears(1:30 p.m)
Freeport Black Sox vs. St. Wendell Saints(1:30 p.m.)
Pearl Lake Lakers vs. Regal Eagles (2 p.m.)
Staples Lumberjacks @ Clear Lake Lakers (3 p.m.)
Champlin LoGaters @ Clear Lake Lakers (3 p.m.)
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