Baseball preview: MACCRAY aims for a return to state
Wolverines must do it without three All-Area players after finishing fifth in Class A in 2022
CLARA CITY — Long-time MACCRAY head coach Nate Hebrink enters the 2023 season with a handful of returners that will look to step up in replacing three graduated Wolverines who were on the West Central Tribune All-Area Team in 2022.
The three all-area picks were catcher/pitcher Dreyer Homan (first team), pitcher/outfielder Brooks Asche (second team) and shortstop Isaac Strommer (second team). The trio all currently plays in collegiate ball.
Homan plays baseball at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. Asche plays at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Strommer plays at Bethel University.
MACCRAY is coming off a 2022 campaign where it held a 17-7 overall record and made an appearance in the Class A state tournament for the first time in 13 years.
MACCRAY won the Section 3A title by beating Russell-Tyler-Ruthton two out of three, including a 2-1 victory in the final at Milroy. That sent the Wolverines to state, where they lost 10-0 in five innings to Randolph in the Class A quarterfinals at St. Cloud’s Joe Faber Field. MACCRAY then captured the consolation championship with a 5-1 victory over Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, then a dramatic, 8-7 victory over New Ulm Cathedral in the fifth-place final.
The Wolverines will look toward seniors Joe Heidecker and Emery Aker to lead them back to that territory. The two veterans return to MACCRAY’s starting lineup as the only upperclassmen. More returnees to the Wolverines starting lineup are sophomores Grayson Ahrenholz, Ethan Strommer, Xavier Noble and Jase Dirksen.
Other noted players to watch by Hebrink are sophomores Wyatt Swenson, Keegan Rand, Angel Mendoza and Tobyn Dalle.
April 13 at YME, 4:30 p.m.
April 18 vs. Lakeview, 4:30 p.m.
April 20 at Montevideo, 5 p.m.
April 22 vs. St. Clair at Wellcome, TBA
April 22 vs. TBA at Wellcome, TBA
April 25 vs. LQPV, 4:30 p.m.
April 28 at KMS, 4:30 p.m.
May 2 at TMB, 4:30 p.m.
May 4 vs. RCW, 4:30 p.m.
May 8 at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, 4:30 p.m.
May 11 vs. Minneota, 4:30 p.m.
May 15 at Dawson-Boyd, 4:30 p.m.
May 16 vs, Adrian/Ellsworth, 4:30 p.m.
May 18 at Canby, 4:30 p.m.
May 22 vs. CMCS, 4:30 p.m.
May 25 vs. Ortonville, 4:30 p.m.