Baseball preview: New coach, fresh faces dot LQPV roster

Alumnus Darby Bjorgan takes over Eagles for long-time head coach Bart Hill, who retired

Baseball roundup
Kit Grode / Tribune graphic

MADISON — Lac qui Parle Valley enters the 2023 season with plenty of fresh faces.

Darby Bjorgan enters his first season as the LQPV head coach. He replaces long-time head coach Bart Hill, who coached the Eagles for 27 seasons and had a 378-211 record. Bjorgan also was a former player and played under Hill in 1998 and ‘99.

Coming off a 14-7 season in 2022, the Eagles return one starter to their lineup in junior pitcher/outfielder T.J. Mitchell. Mitchell batted .220 his sophomore year with six RBIs and six runs scored.

“Our team will be young and inexperienced,” Bjorgan said, “But that can be just as much a positive as it is a negative.”

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

Dyllon Geiser returns for the Eagles after missing his sophomore season due to a knee injury.


Other players to watch according to Bjorgan include: seniors Ethan Schommer and Joseph Ramsbacher and juniors Kaden Molden, Peyton Rademacher, Kaden Mortenson, Cael Benson and Bradyn Danzeisen.

“With little returning experience, everything will be wide open for us,” Bjorgan said. “These players have logged significant innings the last two years at the JV level and should bring good baseball IQ to the varsity level this year.”

LQPV went 7-4 in the Camden Conference last season, tying for second place. The Eagles made a long run through the Section 3A playoffs, opening with wins over Lakeview (9-1) and Yellow Medicine East (7-0). After falling to Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (3-2), LQPV moved into the losers’ bracket at Milroy. They beat Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 15-2, then saw their season end with a 12-1 loss to Murray County Central.

LQPV Eagles

April 13 at RCW, 4:30 p.m.

April 14 vs. Ortonville, 5 p.m.

April 18  vs. TMB, 4:30 p.m.

April 20  vs. Hancock, 4:30 p.m.

April 25 at MACCRAY, 4:30 p.m.


April 28 at YME, 4:30 p.m.

May 2  vs. Dawson-Boyd, 4:30 p.m.

May 4  vs. Lakeview, 4:30 p.m.

May 8 at Canby, 4:30 p.m.

May 9 vs. Morris/CA, 5 p.m.

May 11  vs. CMCS, 4:30 p.m.

May 13 vs. TBA, 10:30 a.m. at Madison

May 13  vs. TBA, 1 p.m. at Madison


May 15 at KMS, 4:30 p.m.

May 16 at Pipestone, 4:30 p.m.

May 18 vs. Minneota, 4:30 p.m.

May 23  vs. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, 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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