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

Baseball roundup
MACCRAY head baseball coach Nate Hebrink addresses his team prior to the start of Game 1 of the Section 3A championship against R-T-R on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Yankee Field in Milroy.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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.

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MACCRAY first baseman Joe Heidecker reaches out to grab the ball for the final out of Game 2 of the Section 3A championship against R-T-R on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Yankee Field in Milroy.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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.

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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.


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MACCRAY freshman Ethan Strommer takes a lead off of first base during a Class A state quarterfinal game against Randolph on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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.

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MACCRAY freshman Xavier Noble snags a fly ball for an out during a Camden Conference game against Dawson-Boyd on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at Lilleberg Field in Raymond.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

MACCRAY Wolverines

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.

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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