Senior-loaded St. Anthony baseball starts season 8-0

With 15 Seniors on the roster and nine returning senior starters, St. Anthony Village High School baseball team members were hoping to get off to a good start this spring, and they certainly have.

The great start — 8-0 — was accomplished in a unique manner. Most games, the Huskies will start nine senior starters, all with experience from playing as sophomores and juniors, while six of those returning seniors also received Tri-Metro all-conference honors last spring. 

This senior group helped win a Tri-Metro championship in 2016 and also played a major role in advancing deep into the Section 6AAA playoffs last season. 

The goal for these seniors is to win another Tri-Metro Conference championship and to get St. Anthony baseball back to the state tournament once again.

With a pair of conference wins over Concordia Academy and St. Agnes April 30 and May 2, St. Anthony sits on top of the Tri-Metro with a 5-0 conference record. 

Key conference wins were a 6-0 shutout over Holy Angels on April 26 and a 4-0 victory over De La Salle on April 21. 

The winner of an important conference game with Fridley played April 7, after press time for this edition of the paper, should play a major factor in who will win the Tri-Metro conference championship this spring.

Going into this season, the Huskies were only going as far as their veteran pitching staff would carry them. So far, the pitching staff of seniors Nick Fredrikson, Sullivan Jahnke, Matt Tappe and junior Christian Ash has far exceeded expectations. Fredrikson and Jahnke are both leaders in the state in ERA and strikeouts. Jahnke also leads a hitting attack, along with Nick Zezulka, who both support batting averages over .400 and are team leaders in RBIs.

The Huskies are batting as a team an amazing .333 after eight games. Defensively, the return of senior Aaron Smith at shortstop and Lucas Roessler-Caram at second base, along with three-year starting catcher Tyler Stopera, makes the Huskies as strong up the middle as any team in the conference. Smith was an all-conference shortstop selection as a sophomore and his return for his senior year has been a major reason for the Huskies’ early success.

Seniors who have and will contribute to the Huskies success this spring are Paul Werni, Jack VanPatter, Nolan Wolf, Adam Lillestol, Chad Myhre, Matt Green, Nathan Runyan and Mac Erdahl. 

The Huskies will face tough competition to finish the season with home games versus Park Center on Wednesday, May 9, Cambridge-Isanti on Tuesday, May 22, and De La Salle on Friday, May 25. Game times at Palm Field are 4 p.m. 

The team will also compete in the Delano Tournament May 17-19. The field, once again, will feature many of the top teams in the state — the Huskies should fit right in.  

 

— submitted by Randy Tappe

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