Baseball preview: Big summer gives Thunder Hawks hope for a big year

Montevideo won the state Junior Legion Division II state title last August

Baseball roundup
Montevideo junior Brady Snell connects with the ball, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly during a West Central Conference game against Melrose on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Montevideo.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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.


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Montevideo sophomore Cooper Dack fires off a pitch during a West Central Conference game against Melrose on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Montevideo.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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.

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Montevideo junior second baseman Ethan Moravetz, middle, gets the force out at second and throws to first to complete the double play during a West Central Conference game against Melrose on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Montevideo.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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.

More Baseball:
Recent baseball coverage from the West Central Tribune.
Kevin Fitzer, Jake Hjelle connect in a 9-2 victory over the MoonDogs at Mankato
Post 1639 defeats Grand Rapids and Cold Spring to advance to the championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday
Raymond scores 5 times in the bottom of the 8th to beat the Saints in a Corn Belt League game
New London-Spicer grabs a 7-0 lead through 4 innings to earn the road victory. Meanwhile, Cottonwood beats the Prinsburg Orioles
Eighth-seeded Dragons lose in the Section 5AA championship to Holy Family Catholic
Willmar uses 7 stolen bases and 6 hits to beat Mankato 5-2
Yellow Medicine East rallies for 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th to beat RTR and earn its first state berth
Willmar beats St. Cloud 8-6, scoring twice after a rain delay, to remain tied for first place
Wabasso lashes out 12 hits to beat Willmar in a Corn Belt League game

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.

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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