Baseball preview: Optimism abounds for Minnewaska Lakers

Minnewaska returns a strong nucleus from a 13-9 team in 2022

Baseball roundup
Minnewaska's Dylan Alexander fields a ball in right field in a game against Paynesville on May 20, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

GLENWOOD — With plenty of youthful returning starters coming back for the 2023 season, Minnewaska will look to build on its 13-9 overall record from 2022.

“(We) return a strong nucleus from last year’s very successful season,” Minnewaska head coach Joe Alexander said. “Our ability to fill a few slots in our lineup and in our rotation will determine our level of success in the very tough West Central Conference and in Section 3AA play.”

Leading Minnewaska’s core of returning players is junior Dylan Alexander. The catcher/outfielder/pitcher was a West Central Tribune All-Area First Team selection last season.

Alexander hit .488 with a .577 on-base percentage. He also held a 1.000 fielding percentage.

051022.S.WCT.Minnewaska base PJ Johnson Gavin Radabaugh.JPG
Minnewaska junior catcher PJ Johnson, right, tags out NLS' Gavin Radabaugh at home to end the bottom of the fourth inning during a non-conference game on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“Dylan is a tremendous all-around player,” Joe Alexander said. “He is as good of a hitter as you will see at our level of high school baseball. He also does an excellent job commanding the game from behind the plate, limiting the opponents’ base running with an elite arm and putting our pitchers in great positions to succeed with his ability to call a game.”


PJ Johnson, a pitcher/catcher/infielder and two-time All-West Central Conference honorable mention, also returns to Minnewaska as a senior leader.

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Joe Alexander noted Johnson is a player to watch alongside Jack Majerus, a junior outfielder/infielder/pitcher, who will lead-off for the Lakers this season. Majerus was an All-WCC pick and broke the program record for stolen bases.

051022.S.WCT.Minnewaska base Ryland Martin.JPG
Sloshing through a wet infield, Minnewaska sophomore third baseman Ryland Martin fields a ground ball during a non-conference game against NLS on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Nathan Dell (infield/outfield/pitcher), Alex Panitzke (pitcher/infield/outfield), Ryland Martin (pitcher/infield/outfield), Levi Johnson (pitcher/infield) and Noah Jensen (catcher/infield/outfield/pitcher) also return as starters for the Lakers.

“We will, again, rely on our great team defense and tremendous overall team speed to put us in a strong position to succeed,” Joe Alexander said. “If our hitting and pitching continue to develop at the rate we have seen so far, (the team) should be as complete a team as there is.”

Minnewaska Lakers

April 4 at Melrose (DH), 4 p.m.

April 6 vs. Redwood Valley, 5 p.m.

April 11 vs. BOLD, 4:30 p.m.

April 14 at ACGC, 4:30 p.m.


April 18 at Morris/CA, 5 p.m.

April 21 at BOLD, 5 p.m.

April 25  vs. Sauk Centre (DH), 4 p.m.

April 28 vs. NLS, 4:30 p.m.

May 2 at Montevideo (DH), 4 p.m.

May 4  vs. Osakis, 4:30 p.m.

May 9 at West Central Area (DH), 4 p.m.

May 12 at Fergus Falls, 5 p.m.


May 16  vs. Benson (DH), 4 p.m.

May 19 at Paynesville, 4:30 p.m.

May 22 vs. Morris/CA, 5 p.m.

Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune.

He can be reached via email at: or his office number: 320-214-4332.
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