Baseball preview: Benson hopes experience pays off in 2023

Braves return eight starters, led by Alex Claussen and Max Nygaard

Baseball roundup
Benson junior shortstop Reece larson comes up with a pop fly for an out during a West Central Conference game against BOLD on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at Benson.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

BENSON — Benson finished with a 1-18 overall record last season and will look to improve in 2023 behind eight returning starters.

Leading the way as players to watch noted by second-year head coach Tom Foley are sophomore pitcher Alex Claussen and freshman shortstop Max Nygaard.

“Alex had some very good innings on the mound last year as a ninth-grader. He has continued to gain some velocity and has become stronger over the summer,” Foley said. “Max was called up to play as an eighth-grader when we had some injuries at shortstop. He has a quick bat and is very quick on the base paths.”

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There are three upperclassmen that return to Benson’s starting lineup: senior infielder/pitcher AJ Klassen and juniors in third baseman/pitcher Garret Lenz and outfielder Mason Moe.

Also returning to the starting lineup are sophomores in catcher Grant Gunlogson, first baseman/pitcher Jack Storlien and second baseman/pitcher Zach Wrobleski.


The Braves were 1-13 in West Central Conference action in 2022. Morris/Chokio-Alberta won the conference, going 13-1 in the WCC and 18-5 overall. Sauk Centre (10-4, 13-7) and Minnewaska (10-4, 13-9) tied for second and Melrose (8-6, 10-10) was third, followed by Montevideo (7-6, 9-9), West Central Area (3-10, 3-12) and BOLD (3-11, 3-15).

Benson hopes to open the season on April 14 against St. John’s Prep at Schneider Field in St. Joseph after having to reschedule its first doubleheaders of the season because of inclement weather.

Benson Braves

April 4 at West Central Area (DH), 4 p.m.

April 11 vs. Melrose (DH), 4 p.m. 

April 14 at St. John’s Prep, 4:30 p.m.

April 18 at BOLD (DH), 4 p.m.

April 20  vs. YME, 5 p.m.

April 24 at Ortonville, 5 p.m.April 25 at Morris/CA, 5 p.m.


April 27 at KMS, 5 p.m.

May 2 at Sauk Centre (DH), 4 p.m.

May 4  vs. Hillcrest Lutheran, 5 p.m.

May 9  vs. Montevideo (DH), 4 p.m.

May 16 at Minnewaska (DH), 4 p.m.

May 18  vs. Morris/CA, 5 p.m.

May 22 vs. Upsala, 5 p.m.

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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