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Softball and baseball’s favorite newspaper since 1987

Minnesota’s best players invited to High School Baseball

All-Star Series


By Elise Henkemeyer



By Elise Henkemeyer


Eighty of Minnesota’s top graduating seniors from the sport of baseball will be recognized at this year’s, 39th annual Play Ball! Minnesota High School All-Star Series. Twenty players were invited, from all three levels of high school play (Class A, Class AA, and Class AAA), to represent their area of the state.

On the first day of the tournament, all participants will help Play Ball! Minnesota instructors run a clinic for Miracle League participants in Minnetonka and another for local youth in Chaska, the tournament’s permanent host. “These clinics not only allow people to know that we care about what we are doing, but they teach the athletes how to be good liaisons for the kids in the clinics,” says Paul Twenge, a Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association (MSHSBCA) Advisory Committee member. “We want enthusiasm from the senior athletes to carry on to the younger athletes in Minnesota.”

The series gives graduating seniors the opportunity to showcase their abilities. College scouts from across the United States will come to watch these young men play.

In 1975, high school baseball coaches throughout Minnesota came together to develop the tournament. For 13 years, the series consisted of only two squads and has expanded up to four teams from Metro East, Metro West, North and South to allow more qualified players to participate in this prestigious event. There are many former tournament participants who have gone on to play in the Major Leagues; former Twins such as Tim Laudner, Kent Hrbek, Terry Steinbach, Brian Raabe, and current Twins such as Glen Perkins, Cole DeVries and Joe Mauer.

For 38 years the tournament has partnered with the Lions Club of Minnesota. This year the series will see some changes, starting with changes in sponsorship. Play Ball! Minnesota will be assuming a much larger role than they have in the past.  Along with sponsorship from Cambria, B.I.G. Athletics, and the MSHSBCA, Play Ball! Minnesota will become the tournament’s primary sponsor.

In 2004, Play Ball! Minnesota was created as a partnership between the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and baseball and softball programs across the state of Minnesota. This relationship will “promote and advance” the sport among the youth. “The involvement of the Minnesota Twins takes this tournament to a whole new level,” states Donald Gawreluk, a vice-president of the MSHSBCA. “The Minnesota Twins have been instrumental in forging a new future for the series.”

“Baseball has enjoyed a very rich history in the state of Minnesota and certainly one of the programs that we should all be proud of is the All-Star series. The Minnesota Twins have been supporters for a very long time,” says Minnesota Twins President, Dave St. Peter. “This is an opportunity to give back and to recognize that baseball has an important part in the community and we would love the chance to partner with other folks that have some of that same mission and some of those same desires.”

In the tournament’s 38 years of existence it has been able to raise almost half a million dollars for the University of Minnesota Lions Eye Clinic.  Revenues from this year’s tournament will continue to be raised for charities in Minnesota.


Play Ball! Minnesota High School Baseball All-Star Series Schedule

June 20-22 • Chaska Athletic Park

Thursday June 20                Metro West Practice                       9 a.m.                                                Chaska

Thursday June 20                Metro East Practice                        11 a.m.                                                Chaska

Thursday June 20                South Practice                                 1 p.m.                                                Chaska

Thursday June 20                North Practice                                 3 p.m.                                                Chaska

Thursday June 20                All-Star Banquet                                7 p.m.                                                Hazeltine

Friday, June 21                    South vs. Metro East                      3 p.m.                                                Chaska

Friday, June 21                    Opening Ceremonies                          5:30 p.m.                                        Chaska

Friday, June 21                    North vs. Metro West                           7 p.m.                                                Chaska

Saturday, June 22               Metro East vs. North                       10 a.m.                                                Chaska

Saturday, June 22               Metro West vs. South                     12:30 p.m.                                        Chaska

Saturday, June 22               North vs. South                                     3 p.m.                                                Chaska

Saturday, June 22               Award Ceremonies                          5 p.m.                                                Chaska

Saturday, June 22               Metro West vs. Metro East            6 p.m.                                                Chaska


Metro East

Name                            School

Ben Buerkle                Roseville

Beau Fandel                Forest Lake

Matt Fiedler                 St. Paul Academy

Jackson Goplen          St. Croix Lutheran

Tyler Hanson                Burnsville

Luc Henke                    Hill-Murray

Jordan Jacobson        Lakeville North

Connor Johnston        Stillwater

Arich Juberian             Kennedy

Nick Lacina                  Cretin-Derham Hall

Josh Loew                    Eagan

Cooper Maas              Burnsville

Rob Mouton                Cretin-Derham Hall

Travis Neubeck           Hill-Murray

Eric Olheiser                Tartan

Cole Peterson             Eagan

John Pryor                    Minnehaha Academy

Joey Silversmith          Highland Park

AJ Stockwell                Eastview

Ryan Winter                 Woodbury


Metro West

Name                            School

Kent Curran                 Eden Prairie

Jacob Dzubay              St. Michael-Albertville

Zach Elder                    Chanhassen

Michael Fecho            Wayzata

Ryan Froom                 St. Louis Park

Matt Hopfner               Edina

Mitch Kirchoff             Chaska

Keller Knoll                  Holy Family

Rollie Lacy                    Holy Family

Max Langheinrich       Minnetonka

Luke Lind                     Eden Prairie

Bryce Marquardt         Champlin Park

Erik Monson                Jefferson

Zach Muckenhirn       Delano

Justus Nelson             Armstrong

Nehwon Norkeh         Cooper

Ben Petersen              Totino-Grace

Logan Shore                Coon Rapids

Matt Smith                   Champlin Park

Ryan Tapani                 Providence Academy



Name                            School

Austin Athmann          Rocori

Beau Backhaus          Alexandria

Jake Bischoff              Grand Rapids

Collin Eckman             Little Falls

Kevin Folman              Hermantown

Derek Graves              Mora

Mitch Heid                   Browerville

Jake Hennen               Rocori

Dylan Hollenkamp      Sartell-St. Stephen

Reid Holum                  Grand Rapids

Alex Kendall                Saint John's Prep

Scott Litchy                  Albany

Brian Minks                 St. Cloud Cathedral

Benjamin Nelson       Proctor

Tony Rathmanner       Big Lake

Jake Samuelson         St Cloud Tech

Justin Smith                 Duluth East

Josh Wenzel                Little Falls

Michael Wiesmann    Moorhead

Hayden Willner            Eden Valley-Watkins



Name                            School

Levi Becker                  Fairmont

Alex Brady                    Rochester JM

Sam Carlson                Saint James

Sam Erickson              Murray Cty Central

Preston Kraft               Lac qui Parle Valley

Collin Lovell                 Windom

Makael Lunning          Albert Lea

Sean Mathiowetz       Sleepy Eye St.Mary's

Danny Pierce               Faribault

Blake Rogers               Worthington

Bryan Rohde                Winona

Sam Roosen                Kenyon-Wanamingo

Christian Rosenow     Rochester Mayo

Jason Samuelson       Rochester Lourdes

Colton Schock             Owatonna

Dylan See-Rockers     Albert Lea

Aaron Simmons          Stewartville

Logan Swann               Redwood Valley

Dylan Valentyn            Bethlehem Academy

Skyler Wenninger       Luverne

Ryan Boldt (injured)   Red Wing