Roseville baseball is in it to win it


Teddy Broxterman

Michael Jacobson

Teague Bogenholm

Roseville Area High School baseball coach Mike Ponsolle isn’t afraid to aim high and talk about those aspirations. Entering his fourth season as the Raiders’ head coach, Ponsolle makes no bones about what his team’s goal is every single season.

Winning a state championship is what Ponsolle wants his team to accomplish. 

“We have high expectations here,” Ponsolle said. “We want to win the state tournament. I never understand why people are afraid to make that a goal. There is a process it takes to get there but the ultimate goal never changes.”

Part of that process this season for Roseville is to rely on experienced starting pitching and bring along some young players who got their first taste of varsity experience last season. After starting the 2005 season 7-3, the Raiders got derailed by injuries and went only 2-8 in the second half of the year.

“The injury train hit us as hard as it possibly could,” said Ponsolle, whose team lost its entire starting infield prior to the playoffs. “It caused a lot of guys to shorten up their youth and grow up quick.”

Despite the second-half struggles, Roseville won a pair of post-season games. They opened the section playoffs by beating South St. Paul and its University of Minnesota-bound pitcher Sam Bridges and also knocked off Suburban East Conference rival Stillwater.

 

Youth movement

 

“I am hoping that experience from last season is going to help the young guys who will be filling our roster this year,” Ponsolle said.

Young is the key word in that sentence since Roseville was senior-heavy last season. The three players who return with the most experience are a pair of senior pitchers and a sophomore third baseman.

Anchoring the pitching staff this spring are Teddy Broxterman and Michael Jacobson. Broxterman is a 6-foot-3 lefthander who is signed to play at Division II Southwest Minnesota State next season.

“We are very excited that we still have those two gentlemen on our team,” Ponsolle said. “These two are going to help us compete with any team in the state.”

Also returning is sophomore Teague Bogenholm, who was the first freshman starter Roseville has had under Ponsolle. Bogenholm batted clean-up most of last season and played third base.

“Teague is one of the best young players in the state and we look forward to seeing him grow as a sophomore,” said Ponsolle.

After those three, the field is wide open.

“As of right now, we have no idea who’s going to step up for us,” said Ponsolle. “We are going to have eight new starters this season. I’ll just be happy if they work hard and get better every day.”

Ponsolle added that just because the lineup will be inexperienced, he doesn’t consider this a rebuilding year.

“They are going to have to learn quick,” said Ponsolle. “This isn’t going to be a rebuilding year. With the two aces that we have, we are going to compete right away and whoever steps in will have to learn on the fly.”

 

The season ahead

 

Roseville opens the season with three Suburban East Conference games in the first week. The Raiders travel to Cretin-Derham Hall on April 11, host Park-Cottage Grove on April 13 and play in prime time at Forest Lake on April 15.

“The conference is arguably one of the best conferences in the state and top to bottom it’s tough,” said Ponsolle. “I expect Mounds View, Cretin-Derham Hall and East Ridge to be tough but Stillwater, Woodbury and Forest Lake are well-coached and will be tough to beat as usual.”

This is the first year that high school baseball has been separated into four classes for the post-season. Roseville plays in Class AAAA and all of its opponents this season are also Class AAAA teams. In addition to 16 conference games, the Raiders also play non-conference games against Centennial, North St. Paul, St. Francis and St. Paul Highland Park.

Most of Roseville’s games are played at high school fields but there are a couple of exceptions. The Raiders play East Ridge on May 13 and Mounds View on May 21 at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. 

Roseville played a regular-season game last season at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul and this year moves one of its home games (East Ridge) to Northwestern. 

“I always love opening the guys up to new experiences so we are always looking for new places to play,” said Ponsolle. “Most kids don’t get the chance to play college baseball but we can bring that atmosphere to them while they’re in high school. It should be fun for the guys.”

The game against Mounds View at Northwestern is part of a one-day, three-game Suburban East Conference showcase that will allow college scouts to see the type of talent that resides in the conference.

Northwestern upgraded its athletic facilities a couple of years ago. It spent nearly $11 million on synthetic turf for its football, baseball and softball fields in addition to new tennis courts, seating and locker rooms.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

2016 Roseville Area High School baseball schedule

April 11 

April 13

April 15 

April 18 

April 20 

April 22 

April 23

April 25 

April 28

April 29 

May 2

May 4

May 6 

May 9 

May 11

May 13 8

May 14 

May 16 

May 18 

May 21 *

at Cretin-Derham Hall 4:30 p.m.

vs. Park-Cottage Grove 4:30 p.m.

at Forest Lake 6 p.m.

vs. Woodbury 4:30 p.m.

at White Bear Lake 4:30 p.m.

at East Ridge 4:30 p.m.

vs. St. Francis 2 p.m.

vs. Stillwater 4:30 p.m.

at North St. Paul 4:15 p.m.

vs. Mounds View 4:30 p.m.

vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 4:30 p.m.

at Park-Cottage Grove 4:30 p.m.

vs. Forest Lake 4:30 p.m.

at Woodbury 4:30 p.m.

vs. White Bear Lake 4:30 p.m.

vs. East Ridge 6 p.m.

at Centennial 1 p.m.

at Stillwater 4:30 p.m.

vs. St. Paul Highland Park 4:30 p.m.

vs. Mounds View 10 a.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

6 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

2 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

6 p.m.

1 p.m.

 4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

10 a.m.

* At University of Northwestern-St. Paul

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here