Prep baseball: 2012 All-Area Team
In a season when the area had two teams reach the state tournament, it's no surprise the 2012 All-Area Team is dominated by players from those squads.
Lac qui Parle Valley, which lost to St. Agnes in the Class A title game Monday, led the way with four selections.
The BOLD Warriors, who lost to Blackduck in the opening round of the Class A tournament, had three players selected, as did Morris/Chokio-Alberta.
LQPV's four selections included Sam Haas, a repeat selection from 2010 and the 2012 Hengstler-Ranweiler Award winner, and three first-timers: Senior pitcher Brandon Bornhorst and juniors Preston Kraft and Colby Siegert.
The Section 2A champion Warriors had repeat selections from 2011 in Kyle Athmann and Jake Marcus, while sophomore Logan Sandgren made his first team.
MCA had three first-timers in senior Sam Mattson and juniors Tom Holland and Tanner Picht, though the Tigers were eliminated by Fairmont in the Section 3AA semifinals.
There were eight repeat selections in all, including Paynesville senior Jason Kampsen who was selected for the fourth straight year.
Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart's Ben Maiers (2011), Montevideo's Colton Vien (2011, 2010), Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg's Jonah Johnson (2011, 2010), Willmar's Dean Stier (2011, 2010), Athmann (2011), Marcus (2011) and Haas (2010) were also repeats.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's Brandon Roelike, Benson's Luke Schwarz, Renville County West's Ryan Fransen, BLHS' Austin Ludowese and Paynesville's Josh Bungum rounded out the team.
The leadoff hitter for the Warriors, Athmann batted .360 with 28 runs scored and 24 stolen bases, while driving in 12. He also threw 21 innings, going 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA. He played centerfield the rest of the time, and BOLD head coach Brian Kingery said he is a defensive playmaker. "I haven't seen a centerfielder who is better than Kyle in my
years of watching high school baseball," Kingery said.
Lac qui Parle Valley
Bornhorst emerged as the ace of the Eagles' staff when Sam Haas was unable to pitch. He led the team with a 9-3 record and 64 innings pitched with 1.09 ERA and 82 strikeouts, while walking just 11 batters all season.
Bungum hit .379 with eight doubles, one home run and 15 stolen bases. He also pitched 44 innings with a 0.95 ERA and 57 strikeouts, and was named the West Central North Conference MVP. "He's an extremely quick, very smart baserunner," Paynesville head coach Brad Skoglund said. "He's a good hitter for a little guy and has very good power and a good eye at the plate." Bungum will play football at St. John's next season.
Renville County West
Fransen was a workhorse for the Jaguars on the mound, tossing 62-1/3 innings with a 2.25 ERA and 86 strikeouts. He went 4-6, and his four wins were the only games the Jaguars won. He also batted .308. "We were competitive in most games because of him," RCW head coach Randy Schaub.
Lac qui Parle Valley
Haas combined with Eagles teammate Preston Kraft for a lethal combination in the middle of the order, batting .432 with five home runs, nine doubles and 27 RBIs. He also stole 14 bases. Arm trouble limited Haas to 19 innings pitched, but he went 2-1 with a 0.37 ERA and 26 strikeouts on the mound. Haas will be attending Southwest Minnesota State University for baseball next season.
Holland batted .429 with a .500 on-base percentage and 15 stolen bases as the Tigers leadoff hitter. He committed just one error all year in centerfield.
Johnson was a four-year starter at KMS, amassing 120 hits in his career with a .496 average, 74 stolen bases and 105 runs scored. This season, he batted .415 with one home run, 12 RBIs and 24 runs. He was even better on the mound, tossing 50 innings with a 1.68 ERA and 69 strikeouts. He was a three-time all-conference selection including being named Camden Conference MVP this season. Johnson will be playing baseball at Dakota Wesleyan next season.
A four-year starter for the Bulldogs and three-time all-conference selection, Kampsen batted .429 and only struck out twice all season. He pitched 38 innings, racking up 42 strikeouts and a 1.85 ERA. "He's a tremendous player," Paynesville head coach Brad Skoglund said. "Smart player, great baseball IQ. He's one of the best players I've ever coached." Kampsen will attend St. Cloud State for baseball next season.
Lac qui Parle Valley
Kraft batted cleanup for the Class A runner-up Eagles and drove in a team-leading 34 runs. He batted .438 with five home runs and 12 doubles. Behind the plate, he only made two errors all season.
Ludowese batted .375 with 10 doubles, three triples and one home run. He scored 23 runs, drove in 11 and was 17-for-17 in stolen bases.
Maiers was a force at the plate with a .522 average and 22 RBIs for the Mustangs. He had one home run, nine doubles, five triples and was 20-for-21 in stolen base attempts while playing a very good defensive shortstop. On the mound, he had a 4-1 record with a 1.91 ERA.
Marcus was 9-2 with a 1.35 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 78 innings for the Section 2A champion Warriors. He batted .288 with 17 RBIs and was named West Central South Co-MVP.
Mattson was the ace of the Tigers' staff with a 2.16 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 74-2/3 innings. He tossed eight complete games and had a 9-2 record. His nine wins were second all-time in school history.
Picht hit a team-leading .473 with nine extra-base hits, 15 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.
Roelike was an on-base machine for the Jaguars, getting on base at a .592 clip while batting .491 with one home run, eight doubles and 14 RBIs. He was a four-year starter at catcher and an All-Conference selection this season. He has played amateur ball for the Elrosa Saints since 2010 and will attend Ridgewater College next season.
Sandgren threw 18 scoreless innings in the Section 2A playoffs to cap an outstanding year on the mound where he went 5-3 with a 2.14 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 52-1/3 innings. At the plate, he hit .345 with four doubles, five triples and one home run with 25 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
Schwarz was a four-year starter for the Braves and the ace of the pitching staff this season. He tossed 40-2/3 innings with a 1.54 ERA and 41 strikeouts. At the plate, he batted .384, stole 11 bases and knocked in 17 runs. "Luke was a hard worker and a great leader for our baseball team," Benson head coach Adam Foslien said. "He often times faced the top teams in the area and was never afraid to take the ball." Schwarz will attend Fergus Falls Community College next season.
Lac qui Parle Valley
Siegert batted leadoff for the Eagles and batted .333 with 26 runs scored and eight stolen bases. He had one home run and five doubles, and also drove in 11 runs. He saw some time on the mound too, tossing 28-1/3 innings with a 2.47 ERA and 24 strikeouts.
Stier batted in the three-hole for the Cardinals and put up a .322 average with nine RBIs, eight stolen bases and a .424 slugging percentage. He was the ace of the pitching staff with a 2.37 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 44-1/3 innings. "He is one of the smartest baseball players I have coached," head coach Mark Stier said. "He was our team's MVP, silver slugger and Cy Young. To perform as Dean has in the Central Lakes Conference and Section 2AAA is a testament to how good he is."
Vien was one of Montevideo's best players on both sides of the ball. He batted .411 with a .556 on-base percentage, 15 RBIs and 13 stolen bases, while striking out only three times in 81 plate appearances. He also threw 52 innings for the Thunder Hawks with a 1.35 ERA and 62 strikeouts. He will play baseball at Century College next season for former Ridgewater College coach Dwight Kotila.