Baseball preview: Big summer gives Thunder Hawks hope for a big year
Montevideo won the state Junior Legion Division II state title last August
MONTEVIDEO — The Montevideo Thunder Hawks enter the 2023 season with confidence.
Montevideo returns six starters and many of its players won the Division II Junior Legion state championship last summer 2022.
These factors have the Thunder Hawks feeling optimistic after a 9-10 season in 2022.
“(We feel we) will be in the hunt for a conference title and could also contend for a Section 3AA title,” said Montevideo head coach Tim Epema, who enters his 17th season at the helm.
Montevideo senior Brady Snell highlights the list of returners.
Snell, a 6–foot-1 pitcher/first baseman, won the 2022 West Central Conference Most Valuable Player award and was a West Central Tribune All-Area Second Team selection. He held a .444 batting average and a 4-4 record with a 1.25 earned-run average. He struck out 62 in 44-2/3 innings on the mound, holding opponents to a .179 batting average.
Montevideo also returns a pair of all-conference seniors in left fielder/designated hitter Grayson Eisenlohr and utility player Ethan Moravetz.
Seniors Mason Jerve and Luke Kuno and junior Cooper Dack also return as starters for Montevideo.
The Junior Legion Division II State Tournament was played Aug. 4-6 in Ely. Montevideo opened with a 4-3 victory over Ely. It then beat Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 8-2 in the semifinals. Montevideo then beat Le Sueur-Henderson 2-1 in the championship game to claim the title. This year’s Junior Legion Division II State Tournament is in Granite Falls.
Montevideo Thunder Hawks
April 4 vs. BOLD, 5 p.m.
April 18 at Sauk Centre (DH), 4 p.m.
April 20 vs. MACCRAY, 5 p.m.
April 21 at NLS, 4:30 p.m.
April 25 vs. West Central Area (DH), 4 p.m.
April 27 at BOLD, 5 p.m.
May 1 vs. YME, 5 p.m.
May 2 vs. Minnewaska (DH), 4 p.m.
May 5 at Paynesville, 6:30 p.m.
May 9 at Benson (DH), 4 p.m.
May 12 at Redwood Valley, 5 p.m.
May 16 vs. Melrose, 4 p.m.
May 23 at ACGC, 4:30 p.m.