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Fritcher gets shot with MoonDogs and he takes advantage

Easton Fritcher, a 2022 Hayfield grad, has batted .400 in his first seven games since joining the Mankato MoonDogs of the Northwoods League.

Hayfield vs. New Ulm Cathedral State Class A Quarterfinal Baseba
Hayfield's Easton Fritcher, left, wanted to get some more experience playing against top competitive before heading to the University of Minnesota to play baseball. He is getting that chance as he recently has been playing with the Mankato MoonDogs of the Northwoods League.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin file photo
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It took a while, but Hayfield’s Easton Fritcher finally got a call from a Northwoods League baseball team and he is making the most of his opportunity.

Fritcher, bound for the University of Minnesota to play baseball, helped guide Hayfield to a Class A state runner-up finish this spring during his senior season. He was looking to get some added experience against better competition before beginning college baseball. He had played some amateur ball with the Rochester Royals this summer and was recently signed by the Mankato MoonDogs for the final few weeks of the Northwoods League season.

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Brevin Goetz, a 2021 Mayo graduate, joined the Mankato MoonDogs late in the season to pitch in relief for the Northwoods League team.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that right away,” he said of playing in the Northwoods League. “So I just trained and challenged myself that way. But I got the call from the MoonDogs and I was able to go and get some reps in with them and it’s been nothing but amazing. I love it.”

Fritcher is off to a solid start with the MoonDogs. In his first seven games he was batting .400 (10-for-25) with three RBIs and five runs scored.

“It’s obviously a cool feeling to go there and not completely suck right away,” Fritcher said. “But it’s definitely a huge step from high school ball. Playing every day, it gets pretty tiring. You really have to grind out at-bats and really pick one pitch that you think is the best one of the at-bat. Fortunately I’ve been able to pick the right one pretty often here recently. But I know I’m going to fail so I have to be prepared for that.”

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The left-handed hitting Fritcher said he has picked up some valuable coaching tips right away regarding his hitting approach. The biggest has been working on his timing in regards to the pitcher’s release, getting set quicker in the box so he has a split second longer to adjust to a pitch.

Easton Fritcher

“It’s probably the best advice I’ve had in a very long time, it’s actually helped me a lot,” he said. “I’m staying back a lot more; I think that’s something I’m going to keep improving on.”

He also says he has to be more disciplined because of the speed and movement of the pitches.

“Some of those curveballs will start real good and end up way in the dirt so I’ve had to focus more on the ball to see laces and stuff,” Fritcher said. “I’ve been pretty disciplined so far and I’d say it’s going well.”

Fritcher will leave for the University of Minnesota on Aug. 29. He did not play in enough games during the regular season to be eligible to play in the Class B state tournament if the Rochester Royals earn a berth. But he is currently cherishing time with his new teammates in Mankato.

“It’s super exciting to go and play with a bunch of college guys who have been there for a while,” he said. “A lot of them are moving on to their third or even fourth year so it’s cool to see their knowledge for the game and see how they go about their business.”

——

Five area baseball players were selected to play in the American Legion Prospects All-Star Series and Showcase that was held this past weekend in Bloomington.

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A total of 60 players were split into four teams and they played two games each. The American Legion players are those still in high school and are in the classes from 2023 to 2025.

Area players chosen to play were Jerry Fletcher (class of 2024) of Rochester A's Post 92, Karsen Behnken (2023) of Eyota Legion Post 551, Stephan Schultz (2023) of Lanesboro Post 40, and from La Crescent Legion Post 595 Brady Grupa (2024) and Eli McCool (2023).

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at glimbeck@postbulletin.com .

Guy N. Limbeck column sig

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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