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Boys baseball out on the diamond

By Staff | Mar 30, 2015

Front row (left to right): Dalton Potter, Chandler Pettit, Logan Jahnke, Chris Sanders, Jesus Quintero and Nathan Meyer. Middle row (left to right); Zach Schonrock, Collin Bell, Charlie Allis, Kayan Legred, Kolt Gorg, cole Henrickson and Luke Schavey. Back row (left to right); Jack Kennedy, Chris Jenkins, Mathew Bell, Kellen Jacobs, Blake Peterson and Jarod Armon. Not pictured; Allan Davids and Michael Mack.

The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers are playing in the “big league” this season.

No, the Bucs have not joined professional baseball, but never-the-less, they are going to play in the “bigs.”

Buccaneer coach Todd Schmidtke explains what that means.

“Our Big South Conference is divided into big schools and small schools for baseball and softball,” he says. “And even though we are one of the smallest schools in the conference, we got put in with the “bigs” and will be playing some tough competition.”

In other sports the conference is divided into East and West Divisions, not big and small schools.

The Bucs posted an 8-11 record last season, and hope to improve on that number. But, they will have to knock off some larger schools in order to do it.

They will play Worthington, New Ulm, Fairmont, Waseca and St. Peter, twice each once at home and once on the road. They will also play Marshall twice, but that will be in a home double-header.

The Buc baseball team will be missing some power from last year, with the graduation of last year’s seniors; Seth Anderson, moreDavid Franta, Jose Rios, Alex Stewart, Alec Huber, Austin Gustafson and Quinn Huisman.

But, that does not mean the cupboard is bare, Schmidtke adds.

“We have some solid senior ball players to lead us,” the coach points out. “They will help anchor our infield and pitching staff.”

Mathew Bell will be playing first base and pitching. Luke Schavey will be playing shortstop and pitching and Jack Kennedy will be at third base, and also pitching.

Two other seniors are Blake Peterson and Charlie Allis who will contribute. Peterson will also pitch and play in the outfield.

A talented junior will complete the starting infield.

“Allan Davids will play second base and he will also be one of our pitchers,” Schmidtke says. “Allan can play any position he is a talented ball player.”

The Bucs also have several other juniors who will help out during the season, including Michael Mack, Cole Henrickson and Kolt Gorg. Gorg will be limited to possible designated hitter duties as he continues to recover from an injury that kept him from wrestling this past season.

From there on, Schmidtke is going to have to fill in with some of his 12 sophomores that are on the roster.

Tops among those will be Kaylan Legred, who will be the Bucs’ starting catcher this season.

The other sophomores are Dalton Potter, Chandler Pettit, Logan Jahnke, Chris Sanders, Jesus Quintero, Nathan Meyer, Zack Schoenrock, Collin Bell Kaylin Legred, Chris Jenkins and Jared Armon.

The Bucs start their season on the road, with a game on Tuesday, April 7, against New Ulm. They will follow it up with one on Friday, April 10, at Worthington and Monday, April 13, at United South Central in Wells.

The first home game is Tuesday, April 14, against St. Peter.

This will be Coach Schmidtke’s 23rd year of coaching the Buccaneers.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” Schmidtke says. “I have either played baseball or coached it all my life.

He stepped down as Blue Earth Pirates coach last season, and says it was the first time he had time for an actual family summer vacation.

“Even when I was a kid, we always played baseball instead of taking a family vacation,” he says.

The long-time coach hopes to hang in there for a couple more years so that he can coach his seventh grade grandson.

“We have 14 or 15 seventh graders out this year and they look pretty good,” Schmidtke says.

The coach is assisted by Lee Hodges and Roger Schoenfelder, who coach the ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams.

There are two new coaches for the middle school teams this season. John Franta will be the seventh grade coach and Steve Sonnicksen will take on the eighth grade team.

Coach Schmidtke is optimistic for the season, despite the tough competition.

“This is a good group of kids, some very nice boys,” Schmidtke says. “They all like baseball and they play as a cohesive unit they cheer each other on and help each other out.”