Mudhens mature into 10th campaign

Posted May 15, 2019


Mudhens mature into 10th campaign

By Byron Higgin, Minneota Mascot Sports Editor

 

Ten years ago a group of Marshall baseball players were playing for the Canby Knights amateur baseball team.

“They had to drive right through Minneota anyway so we talked about and decided to start a team in Minneota,” said one of the four current players who help get the team started, Tyson Sonnenburg.

Now the team manager, Sonnenburg is managing Jesse Drager, who was the first Mudhen Manager in 2009. So far, the role reversal is working well.

“I didn’t realize it was 10 years ago already, until I read about it on the website,” said Drager.

“But I can believe we’re 5-0,” he laughed.

The Mudhens beat Granite Falls, 5-2 on Thursday and won their Land O’Ducks season opener over Clinton, 12-6 on Sunday.

Drager, who was off the team for a couple years is catching for the undefeated Mudhens in his third season back on the team. “It has gone so fast,” he said.

The other two original Mudhens still on the team are pitcher Danny Hennen, who was Sunday’s winner over Clinton and Aaron Sanow.

After retiring several years ago, Sanow re-joined the team this spring — more as a coaches helper, bench coach and team cheerleader.

“Jesse and I were playing for Canby and they were having trouble getting enough players. We talked with Tyson and decided to give it a try — and it worked out,” said Sanow.

At the time the team was loaded with pitching and Danny Hennen didn’t get much of a chance to play.

“Now he’s our pitching leader,” said Sanow.

Also instrumental in getting the Mudhens started was Justin “Buddah” Greenwood, now the manager of the Marshall A’s. 

“At the time we didn’t have enough Minneota players so we had Marshall players. Now, it’s mostly Minneota players and that’s the way it should be,” said Sanow.

As for re-joining the team, Sanow said, “I just want to be part of baseball again. I’m here to make sure the boys are having fun, give advice and help ‘em out,” said Sanow.

“After we talked about it, we decided, why not do it here (in Minneota),” Sonnenburg said.

They joined the Gopher League originally and “We had a lot of Marshall guys,” Sonnenburg said.

The original Mudhens were:  Jesse Drager, Tony Ufkin, Chris Ulrich, Tyson Sonnenburg, Tony Shaikoski, Danny Hennen, Pat O’Brien, Aaron Sanow, Nick Marks, Matt Buysse, Josh Williams, Charlie Opdahl, Adam Trollman, Cory Buysse, Justin Greenwood and Al Christensen. 

Instrumental in the following couple of years was Adam Trollman, who helped manage and organize the team.

“Trollman took care of the logistics,” said Sonnenburg. He also helped get sponsors to help ma,e the team feasible. With O’Brien, Marks and Shaikoski doing the pitching, the Mudhens were instant contenders.

But through 10 years with the team, including the leadership of Drager, Trollman, Jason Myhre and now Sonnenburg with Assistants Beau Buysse and Austin Buysse, the team has not made a single trip to the state tournament.

“That’s the goal,” said Sonnenburg..SUNDAY SONNENBURG showed the way with three hits, including a 323-foot home run to centerfield in the first inning to lead a 12-6 win over Clinton in the Land O’Ducks opener.

“We know the 4-0 start was great. But it didn’t matter. Today the league season started and this was the big game,” said Sonnenburg.

“It was great to get it (the league season) going,” the manager added.

While Sonnenburg admits there has been no love lost between Minneota and Clinton — and the team did want retribution after a tough loss in Clinton last year, “We tried to treat it like a normal game,” he said.

After banging out 17 hits, Sonneburg said, “It was everyone, one through nine. Our goal is to have that kind of balance.”

His friend and outfielder Jake Leighton had three hits and so did new Mudhen Alex Pohlen. Preston Nuy and Austin Buysse added two each to the potent Mudhen hitting attack.

“When everyone is hitting it takes the pressure off the guys at the top (of the lineup). It takes time to figure out the hitting in amateur baseball and our guys have really picked it up this year,” Sonnenburg said.

He credited Sanow in the dugout with, “Keeping us loose. He knows the game and keeps it vocal,” the manager added.

“I feel like I was born here, but I wasn’t,” laughed Sanow.

The Mudhens coasted behind the pitching of Danny Hennen, who got his third win.

 

Minneota Mudhens 12, Clinton Cards 6

MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, 2b 4 2 0 0; Jake Leighton, rf 5 1 3 2; Adam Durfee, ss 5 0 1 1; Tyson Sonnenburg, cf 4 3 3 2; Mike Luke, ph 1 0 1 0; Austin Buysse, 1b 4 2 2 1; Brant Buysse, ph 1 0 0 0; Preston Nuy, 3b 4 1 2 0; Noah Scott, ph 1 0 1 0; Alex Pohlen, lf 4 1 3 1; Drew Fadness, ph 1 0 0 0; Danny Hennen, p 3 0 1 1; Bryce Gorder, p 0 0 0 0; Austin DeVlaeminck, dh 4 1 1 1; Jesse Drager, c 0 0 0 0. Totals 40 12 17 9.

CLINTON (AB-R-H-RBI) Sam Adelman, cf 3 1 1 2; Zack Adelman, ss 4 2 2 0; Kean Turner, lf-p 4 1 4 3; Mike Adelman,1b, 5 0 1 1; Nate Moberg, 3b 3 0 0 0; Arnie Fuentes, ph, 1 0 0 0; Ryan Toelle, p-lf 4 1 2 0; Josh Haag, ph 0 0 0 0; Felix DeValle, 2b 4 0 0 0; Rene Pizzaro, ph 1 0 0 0; Bryce Hoffman, rf 4 0 1 1; Tanner Teske, dh 4 0 0 0. Jakob Adelman, c 0 0 0 0. Totals 37 6 11 6.

Score by Innings:

Clinton           001 203 000 — 6   11 5

Minneota        241 302 00x — 12 17 0

E-Clinton: M. Adelman, Z. Adelman 2, Turner, J. Adelman. SB-Minneota: Leighton, Sonnenburg, DeVlaeminck. SAC-Minneota: Hennen 2; Clinton: Z. Adelman. 2B-Minneota: Sonnenburg; Clinton: Turner 2. HR-Minneota: Sonnenburg.

Pitching                    IP    R    ER    H    BB    K

Minneota

Hennen (W)             8      6     6      10    3      6

Gorder                     1      0     0      1      0      3

Clinton

Toelle (L)                 4      10   4      12    2      3

Turner                     3      2     2      4      0      1

Zach Adelman        1      0     0      2      0      2

HP-Turner (by Hennen); Haag (by Gorder). WP-Hennen 2

.

 

Celebrate at Granite Falls

To the day, Friday was the 10th Anniversary of the first Minneota Mudhen game. They won that one 10 years ago — and they won again 10 years later, beating Granite Falls, 5-2.

“This was the 10th Anniversary of our first game, which was a win over Tracy,” said Manager Tyson Sonnenburg. 

“We’re proud to have so many Minneota kids playing on the team,” said Sonnenburg.

Friday night the Kilowatts, who united with Montevideo a couple of years ago, are supported by Montevideo players. In fact, of this year’s roster of  22 players, seven are from Montevideo, 10 from Granite Falls, with players from Hanley Falls, Hazel Run, Milan and Cottownood (2).

Former Montevideo Spartan Kolton Vien held the Mudhens hitless for three innings, then Manager Mike Richter replaced him with Jordan Odegard.

Using a couple of Granite Falls errors, the Mudhens picked up two runs in the fourth with a base hit by Danny Hennen.

They got another in the fifth after an Adam Durfee double and run-producing single by Preston Nuy. Granite Falls rallied for two runs in the seventh after Beau Buysse took over the pitching duties from Zach Nuy, who gave up just two hits andfanned six.

But Bryce Gorder came on to put out the fire with Minneota ahead 3-2.

In the eighth Austin DeVlaeminck ripped a triple to right-center field, then scampered home on a wild pitch. The Mudhens scored an insurance run in the ninth after Preston Nuy’s second hit and a run-scoring single by Noah Scott, who relieved Buysse at catcher.

“It’s crazy how much confidence I have in the bottom of our order. They could be hitting at the top,” said Sonnenburg.

DeVlaeminck now has four hits in the last two games, causing Sonnenburg to say, “We’re going to have to find a spot for him in the lineup. Fortunately, he’s someone you can put anywhere.”

 

Mudhens 5, Granite Falls 2

MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, c-p 3 0 0 0; Bryce Gorder, p 1 0 0 0; Jake Leighton, rf 4 0 0 0; Adam Durfee, ss 5 1 1 0; Tyson Sonnenburg, cf 5 1 2 0; Austin Buysse, 1b 3 2 1 0; Preston Nuy, 3b 5 0 2 1; Alex Pohlen, lf 3 0 0 0; Danny Hennen, dh 3 1 1 1; Zach Nuy, p 0 0 0 0; Noah Scott, c 1 0 1 1; Brant Buysse, 2b 1 0 0 0; Austin DeVlaeminck, 2b 2 1 1 1. Totals 36 5 9 3.

GRANITE FALLS (AB-R-H-RBI) Jordan Odegard, ss-p 4 1 0 0l Kolton Vien p-ss 5 1 1 0; Cam Vien, 1b 3 0 1 2; Craig Listul, cf 4 0 1 0; Marcus Kranz, 3b 4 0 1 0; Brandon Grund, c 4 0 1 0; Christian Kanten, 2b 3 0 0 0; Kyle TeBeest, lf 4 0 0 0; Kevin Lindstrom, rf 1 0 0 0; Reid Raddatz, rf 1 0 0 0. Totals 33 2 5 2.

Score by Innings

Minneota            000 210 011 — 5 9 1

Granite Falls      000 002 000 — 2 5 2

E-Minneota: Brant Buysse; GF: Marcus Kranz, Christian Kranz. LOB-Minneota 13; Granite Falls 11. SB-Minneota: Beau Buysse, Sonnenburg, Pohlen; GF: C. Kanten.  2B-Minneota: Durfee; GF: Cam Vien, Marcus Kranz. 3B-Minneota: DeVlaeminck.

Pitching                         IP    R    ER    H    BB     K

Minneota

Z. Nuy (W)                     5     0    0       2     2       6

Beau Buysse                 1.1  2    2       3     2       1

Gorder (S)                     2.2  0    0       0     1       4

Granite Falls

K. Vien                          3     0     0      0     1       5

Odegard (L)                  3     3     1      4     4       0

C. Vien                          3     2      2     4     1        2

HP-Austin Buysse (2) (by Odegaard); Raddatz (by Buysse). WP-Cam Vien.

 



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