Players to watch in the Section 1A and 1AA baseball playoffs
A closer look at some of the top players on the top teams to watch during the Section 1A and Section 1AA baseball tournaments.
ROCHESTER — The Section 1AA and Section 1A baseball tournaments begin today and there will be plenty of talented players on display in both sections.
The first round is an elimination round. After that, the final eight teams in Section 1A will play the rest of their games in Austin. Section 1AA moves to Rochester starting with the third round.
Here are some of the top players in each of the two sections to keep an eye on during tournament play.
Luke Carrier, Chatfield
Carrier has excelled at the plate and on the mound for the fifth-seeded Gophers. The senior is batting .479 with 15 RBIs and 18 runs scored. Due to injuries he has also had to step up as a pitcher and he has a 3-1 record with a 1.79 ERA.
Preston Ohm, Zumbrota-Mazeppa
The junior has been a dynamic two-way player for the Cougars. Bound for Division I University of St. Thomas as a pitcher, the left-hander is 5-0 on the mound this spring with a 0.00 ERA and 55 strikeouts in just 28 ⅓ innings. He is also hitting .492 with five doubles, a triple, one homer, 14 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Jack Meyers, Cannon Falls
Meyers has been an ace on the mound for the Bombers as a starter and in relief. He is 5-1 with three saves and a 1.59 ERA He leads the team in wins, ERA and saves. He is tied for second on the Bombers with 16 RBIs and is also batting .362.
Jameson Brinkman, Plainview-Elgin-Millville
The senior has hit for average and some power. He is batting a lusty .517 with two homers, five doubles, five triples, 13 RBIs and 24 runs scored. He has seen limited duty on the mound, but is 1-0 with a 3.73 ERA.
Isaac Wenszell, Lourdes
At the plate the junior is hitting an even .400 and he has a .742 slugging percentage. He has five doubles, two triples, a home run while scoring 13 runs and knocking in 14. As a pitcher, he has a 2-2 record with a save and a 1.26 ERA. He has struck out 41 in 27 ⅔ innings pitched.
Hunter VaDeer, Lyle/Austin Pacelli
The sophomore, who can already throw 90 miles per hour, is a force on the mound and at the plate. As a pitcher he is 6-1 with a 0.66 ERA. He has a whopping 82 strikeouts in just 31 ⅔ innings, which means all but 13 outs he has recorded have been by strikeout. He is also hitting .464 with six doubles, three triples, two homers, and 28 runs scored with 22 RBIs and 16 steals.
Will Van Epps, Kenyon-Wanamingo
Van Epps is hitting close to .400 with five doubles and two home runs. He also has a dozen stolen bases. His on-base percentage was just under .500. As a pitcher he led the conference in strikeouts with 50. He was a first-team All-Gopher Conference selection.
Cayden Tollefsrud, Mabel-Canton
Tollefsrud plays for the No. 12 seed and might not have a long section run. But he is batting .417 with six doubles, seven RBIs, 24 runs scored and 19 stolen bases. He is 2-4 on the mound with one save while averaging 1.4 strikeouts per inning.
Stephan Schultz, Fillmore Central/Lanesboro
The senior is leading the third-seeded Falcons in a number of hitting categories. Schultz packs some punch in the middle of the order as he is batting .373 with seven doubles, two homers, 24 RBIs and 16 runs scored.