BOLD Warriors: 'Thanks for all the memories!'
Baseball team reflects on a dream 2019 season that ended with a state championship at Target Field
OLIVIA — Seven days after the Minnesota State High School League opted to cancel the spring sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian Kingery ventured down memory lane.
The BOLD head baseball coach took to social media to post a photo from the team’s welcoming celebration after the Warriors captured the 2019 Class A state title.
The photo featured Kingery and his seniors: Peyton Riley, Blake Flann, Jordan Sagedahl, Matt Moorse and Andrew Sheehan, with each player wearing their gold medals and Sagedahl holding the championship trophy.
Kingery’s post read, “It’s been a week since they cancelled the season, and it is impossible to say goodbye to this senior group. They have done so much for my program, BOLD, and my family. Thanks for all the memories!”
The coronavirus robbed the Warriors of their chance to repeat and the pain of not only missing out on that golden opportunity, but simply being together playing the sport that they love will take a long time to subside.
However, the players will go out as champions and those memories never die.
Looking back at a 12-month journey, Sagedahl, Moorse and Sheehan each reflected on BOLD’s second state baseball crown in program history.
Shaking off disappointment
The Warriors breezed through an undefeated 2018 regular season, but were on the wrong side of a 3-2 result to Sleepy Eye during the Section 2A championship. A premature end to a promising season served as fuel for the 2019 campaign.
Matt Moorse - Outfield/Pitcher: “That loss in Mankato in the section finals was a heartbreaker. At the start of legion baseball that year, we started working because we knew our goal was to make it to state and win the state championship. ... We really set our minds as a team to get better.”
Jordan Sagedahl - Catcher/Pitcher: “I know the year before that, we graduated three good seniors. We made it to the section championship, but coming back, we had a chip on our shoulder. We knew we had the guys to do it, we just needed to show everyone.”
Scoring a tick less eight runs a game while allowing less then three, BOLD finished the regular season with a 13-5 record. The Warriors dropped four games by one run, including each game of a home doubleheader against Minnewaska. The team’s final defeat of the year came during the first of a two-game set against Melrose on the last day of the regular season.
Andrew Sheehan - Third Baseman: “In the regular season, we did lose a little bit of confidence because we did lose five games and we started to have questions. But once we lost twice to Minnewaska, I think that hit us.and we decided that we needed to make something change.”
Moorse: “If we could stop making errors, then it’s going to be hard for anyone to really beat us. Hitting was there every game, and we knew we could hit, but the problem was we were having untimely errors. .. Our coaches helped us focus on the field and that’s what helped us in the playoffs and state.”
Opening the Section 2A playoffs as the top seed, the Warriors made quick work of Cleveland before next grinding their way to a 2-1 home victory over New Ulm Cathedral. At the scene of their 2018 nightmares, BOLD doubled up Springfield 8-4 before punching its ticket to state by defeating the Tigers again five days later.
Sagedahl: “The New Ulm Cathedral game, that was tough the whole way. We beat them by one and then we had Springfield back-to-back. Those were three of the top 10 teams in the state. So we just knew coming in that it was going to be a grind for the whole team and we came out on top.”
Top-seeded BOLD faced a 2-0 deficit through five innings in its state opener against unseeded Sebeka before first baseman Riley Weis cranked a three-run home run to propel the Warriors to victory. The next day, the Warriors again stared down a two-run deficit, but had less outs to come up with a rally. Aided by three hit-batters and a walk in what was the team’s most memorable game of the season, BOLD scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 7-6 in the state semifinals. Zeke Walton scored the game-tying tally before Tim Peppel dashed home on a wild pitch to send the Warriors to the championship game.
Sheehan: “You just thought to yourself, ‘What if this is the end?’”
Moorse: “We had a good senior class with good leaders, like Hayden (Tersteeg), Riley and Luke that really kept us encouraged and said that we’re not out of this game. We knew that we’ve scored more than two runs in an inning before. ... We never got down as a team, we always just stayed positive; I think that’s because we enjoyed playing with each other so much. When Tim scored, I think we all rushed onto the field. I know I was screaming, my voice was hurting afterwards talking to my parents. Everyone felt the emotion of that.”
Sagedahl: “That game was up and down, constantly. We had the lead, and then we lost it, and then we got it back. It was crazy how resilient we were, and it was pretty lucky as well. We didn’t really expect what happened in the last inning. .... It was insane, it was all just a fairy tale to get to the championship game.”
Following a six-day wait, the Warriors had a date with New York Mills for the Class A championship at Target Field. In the fall, the BOLD football team challenged for the state title with a pair of games at U.S. Bank Stadium. Seven months later, many of the same players found themselves in another heightened stage.
Moorse: “We were the first game of the day, so we sat in the dugout for a long time. Coach Kingery, I saw him talking and looking at the retired jerseys and the numbers hanging on the walls. He would go through them and it was a cool moment to think that they all played here. Joe Mauer’s No. 7 was hanging there and that helped us get our nerves out, just talking about that and not thinking about the game.
“I’ve been watching the Twins since probably the second grade and I know Target Field and have been to a bunch of games. Actually on the grass with how smooth it was, there were no bumps and seeing how great a field it is, it really was cool.”
Sagedahl: “It was incredible. Going out and running to their bullpen before the game, it was just like, “this is where the Twins play.’ It was really cool from that standpoint. Looking around you, seeing the skyscrapers in the background and how big the stadium was, it was a really cool experience for me and my team. I wouldn’t change it.”
Sheehan: “I just thought this place is huge. It’s so nice down there, there’s no lips at third, it was amazing. You just look around and see all the people and you just think that we could win it here today, that would be awesome.”
Sagedahl was untouchable on the bump, holding the Eagles hitless through the first six innings before allowing NYM’s only hit in the seventh. He was impactful at the plate, too, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and an inside-the-park home run. The Warriors broke the game open with a six-run sixth. Sagedahl finished off his complete-game gem with a strikeout, as the Warriors rushed toward the mound in celebration.
Sagedahl: “I was mixing my pitchers. I felt really confident going in. I felt good on my velocity and mixing it up, throwing my curveball and changeup at pretty much anytime to keep them off balance. I’m not sure if they saw a pitcher with that velocity to my caliber, but I knew they were a good team and I had to bring my best in order to beat them. That’s what we all did.”
Moorse: “If we made a few errors at that time, it wouldn’t affect the game because we were up by I think six runs or something. But we knew that we could relax. I really decided to enjoy the moment at that time. ... Just looking around, seeing where we were playing and all the fans that we had, it was a really cool moment.”
Sheehan: “I was the third one into the pile. I was on the bottom and we all were just going crazy. It was a crazy experience. Everyone was just screaming and yelling, then you look up in the crowd and everyone is just jumping around.”
Sagedahl: “The moment ranks right at the top, It’s hard to beat that. I know playing at the Vikings stadium four times was pretty great, but to ultimately win the whole thing, you can’t beat that.”