Trojans draw Southland in Class A state baseball opener
(Section 8) Fosston (18-5) vs. (Section 7) Deer River (19-7) -- 10 a.m. June 17 at Chaska Athletic Park. Both teams are making first tournament appearances, the only teams among the 24-team tournament field to do so. Neither team has played any other competitor in the field. Fosston hitters are averaging .357 while Greyhounds pitchers have limited opposing hitters to .186. Seven of the 'Hounds 18 home runs have come from senior Cooper Wilson. Senior Steven Lyseng has a team-high .525 batting average, including two home runs, and also has a 5-0 record on the mound with a 1.33 ERA and 68 strikeouts. Senior Gavin Ross is 5-1 with a 3.47 ERA, 79 strikeouts, and is hitting .443, including five home runs. Four other players have 13 or more innings on the mound to their credit. The Warriors of Deer River have hit .349 as a team while holding opponents to .243. They are adept thieves, as well, having stolen 113 bases so far. Sophomore Damon Benham has a team-high batting average of .479. Senior Kenny Benham has a team-high 31 RBI. Both junior Cody Willis and sophomore Eythan Stangland have identical 6-0 records and 2.69 ERAs. Stangland has struck out 51 and Willis has struck out 44.
(Section 6) Sebeka (19-5) vs. (Section 1) Southland, Adams (21-4) -- 10 a.m. June 17 at the Mini Met, Jordan. The Trojans of Sebeka are making their third appearance and first since 2007. Sebeka has hit .314 as a team while holding opponents to .182. The Trojans have also stolen 72 bases. Sophomore Paul Funk has a team-high batting average of .507 and 24 RBI. Six players have driven in 14 or more runs, including senior Josh Kinnunen who is hitting .372 with 17 RBI. Senior Alex Brockpahler is 8-1 on the mound with a 0.79 ERA and 79 strikeouts. One of his wins was a no-hitter against Pillager. Senior Taylor Pederson has gone 6-2 with a 0.55 ERA and has 55 strikeouts. Southland is making its second appearance with the team's first in 2008 resulting in a runner-up finish. Southland provided no team or individual statistics. Neither team has played any other qualifiers.
(Section 4) Mayer Lutheran (17-8) vs. (Section 3) Adrian (23-2) -- 12:30 p.m. June 17 at Chaska Athletic Park. Both teams are making their fourth appearance. Mayer Lutheran last qualified in 2008 and Adrian last played in 2005. Neither team has played any other qualifiers. The Crusaders of Mayer Lutheran are led by three power hitters with seven home runs between them. Senior Scott Willmsen has a team-high .371 batting average with one home run. Seniors Josh Genske (.338 and 21 RBI) and Chad Ische (.290 and 15 RBI) each have slammed three home runs. Junior Aaron Cook (5-3, 2.25 ERA and 58 strikeouts) and Genske (5-3, 5.85 ERA and 21 strikeouts) see the most mound time. The Dragons of Adrian have scored 206 runs and are hitting .318 as a team while limiting opponents to 80 runs and a .191 average. Seniors Adam Diekmann and Brett Nowotny have hit all four of the team's four home runs -- three for Diekmann (405 and 29 RBI) and one for Nowotny (.422 and 21 RBI). Diekmann has gone 10-0 this season with a 2.04 ERA and 96 strikeouts. His career record is 24-3. Four other players have also pitched without losses.
(Section 5) Eden Valley-Watkins (24-0) vs. (Section 2) Minnesota Valley Lutheran, New Ulm (13-13) -- 12:30 p.m. June 17 at the Mini Met, Jordan. The Eagles of Eden Valley-Watkins are making their third appearance, but first since 2001, and they were the 1985 runners-up. The team has scored 242 runs and has a .381 batting average while limiting opponents to 57 runs and a .141 average. Three Eagles have averages of .500 or better -- senior Tyler Geisinger at .542 and 30 RBI; junior Kevin Kramer at .511 with 24 RBI; and senior Ryan Schmitz at .500. Five other players are hitting .400 or more. Both Tyler Geisilinger (2.00 ERA and 82 strikeouts) and junior Matt Geislinger (1.21 ERA and 79 strikeouts) are 10-0 on the season. The Chargers of Minnesota Valley Lutheran are making their second appearance; their previous appearance was in 2004. Senior Galen Holzhueter has a team-high batting average of .380. Junior Michael Schlottman has a team-high 30 RBI, including two home runs, and has a .366 average. Junior Brandon Johnson has hit three home runs, is hitting .363 and has 29 RBI. Six different pitchers have records, but senior Keith Besemer has the most innings, 62, and is 5-3 with a 4.29 ERA and 33 strikeouts. Neither team has played any other qualifiers.