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D-R-S Blue Division 2013 Preview
St. Patrick Irish Monte Hennen has stepped down after a successful tenure as manager of the St. Patrick Irish. Johnny Johnson will take over duties as skipper for the team, which had a 25-10 record last year and qualified for the state tournament.
Besides Hennen, several other familiar faces are gone from the Irish roster, including Jeff Bjerke, Craig Boser and John Jeness, who retired. Jake Malz has signed with the New Prague Orioles.
Austin Isaacson will play with the Irish this season.
Top players for St. Patrick include Matthew Pexa, Josh Simon, Matt Ambroz, Seth Ambroz, Wade Schuknecht and Bill Dunker, who will also be assistant coach.
Dunker, Simon, and Seth Ambroz are the top pitchers on staff, and Derek Hahn will handle the catching duties.
Top infielders are Schuknecht, Colton Borwege and Pexa, with Dunker, Simon and Matt Ambroz in the outfield.
Top hitters are Pexa, Matt and Seth Ambroz and Simon.
Johnson says top teams are Union Hill, Montgomery and Faribault in the Red Division, St. Benedict in the White and St. Patrick and New Market in the Blue.
“We will have a very young team (average age 24), the youngest in many years,” Johnson said. “It will give us a different look with a lot of the young guns getting playing time. I look for a good year, with our goal to qualify for the state tournament.”
New Market Muskies Todd Bergstrom returns for his fifth year as manager of the New Market Muskies, and the team is looking forward to a banner season.
Last year, on the field, New Market put together one of their best seasons in years. Officially, though, the team had a record of 5-18. That’s because the team had to forfeit a number of games due to use of an ineligible player last season.
Nate Rost has joined the team this year, while Dusty Beckius is no longer on the roster.
The Muskies have an impressive pitching staff, featuing Derek Bergstrom, Bryce Rippentropp and Nate Rost. Jay Chlan will handle much of the catching duties.
At the plate, look for Kyle Bergstrom, Nick Rost, Nate Rost and Rippentrop to lead the team. Top infielders are Scott Lyden, Tyler Bergstrom, Nick Rost and Mike Carpentier. Outfielders include David Stewart and Tom Carpentier.
“We have great team chemistry and hope to improve on last year’s record,” manager Bergstrom said. “We should play solid defense and pitch well.”
Bergstrom rates St. Patrick Union Hill, New Prague, Prior Lake, Lonsdale and St. Benedict as the top teams in the league.
The Muskies will play in the Freeport Tournament May 18 and 19, and they will co-host a tournament June 7-9 along with Elko.
New Prague Orioles Jerry Plambeck returns for his fourth year as manager of the New Prague Orioles after a 23-9 overall record last year. The season’s success was muted, however, following losses to St. Patrick and Prior Lake in the region tournament.
Nick Schoenecker is assistant coach for the Orioles.
“We have solid defense and hitting and a young pitching staff,” Plambeck said when asked to assess his team.
The team says goodbye to players Dan Meger, Dustin Steinhoff and Zach Sirek. They picked up Jake Malz and Dusty Beckius.
Top players for the Orioles include Justin Novak, Dan Novak, Austin Bachman, Tyler Seurer, Ross Skluzacek, Chase Buthe, Aaron Shetka, Dan Shetka and Teddy Nytes.
Pitchers returning are Buthe, Bryan Schmitz and Dan Novak, with Dan Novak and Dan Ring handling catching duties.
At the plate, look for players like Justin Novak, Tyler Seurer and Dan Novak to spark the Orioles.
Infielders back include Aaron Shetka, Seurer, Justin Novak, Dan Shetka and Dan Novak, while Ross Skluzacek, Bachman and Teddy Nytes will be in the outfield.
The Orioles will again host (and play) in the New Prague Invitational tourney May 31-June 2, and play in the Green Isle/Hamburg tourney, June 20- 23.
Shakopee Coyotes Josh Gregor returns as manager and Chris Lazzari will again be the assistant.
Last year the team had a 13- 22 record, but finished strong and advanced to the state tournament.
Matt Janssen has retired, but the team has picked up two new players in Andy Zellman and Tanner Graff.
Top returning players include Zak Hoffman, Josh Gregor and Andy Lazzari. The pitching staff will be led by Jordan Triestram, Ben Lazzari, Andy Lazzari, and Cody Pamperin. Top hitters are Josh Gregor, Hoffman, Andrew Boyce, Cord Harguth and Scott Bode.
In the field, Nate Roberts, Andy Zellman, Bode and Sam Pond will be behind the plate, infielders include Andy Lazzari, Josh Gregor, Hoffman and Boyce. Graff, Alex Gregor, Ben Lazzari and Mike Moll will be in the outfield.
Josh Gregor says Union Hill, St. Patrick and Prior Lake will be among the top teams in the league this year.
“We are looking to build on last year’s late-season success,” Gregor said.
The team will play in the Hinckley Tournament, June 28- 30.