Hermantown baseball coach Mike Zagelmeyer and his players can’t wait for the 2018 season to begin. Even Saturday morning’s spring snow event won’t dampen their enthusiasm, as they continue to prepare in indoor workouts for their season opener at Duluth Denfeld on April 11.
“We’re expecting a bounce-back year, after taking our lumps the last two seasons with young, inexperienced teams,” said Zagelmeyer. “We have a tremendous senior and junior group.”
Indeed, the Hawks will return seven of eight positional starters and top-pitcher Wyatt Sonneson, “Our No. 1 who is getting some looks from next-level coaches,” Zagelmeyer said.
Hermantown is especially strong defensively up the middle with catcher Darian Gotz, shortstop Brady Baker and center fielder Brandon Schmidt. Gotz was sidelined all of last season with a broken finger, Baker has amazing range and hits third in the batting order, and Schmidt is a defensive and offensive weapon who leads off.
“Gotz has a great arm and hits for average,” said Zagelmeyer. “Baker has soft hands, and Schmidt is sneaky-fast.”
More Hawks to watch:
. Austin Hess, who caught last year. “Hess hits for average, and we’ll find a spot for him in the lineup,” Zagelmeyer said.
. Gavin LeGarde, an elite pitcher-infielder. “LeGarde has increased his velocity and pounds the strike zone, hard,” said Zagelmeyer.
. Reese Fish, a returning starter at first base.
. Ben Siljendahl, a returning starter in left field.
. Jayden Isensee, a returning starter in right field who features a bazooka throwing arm.
. Elliott Peterson, a returning starter at third base. “Peterson’s one of our great three-sport athletes,” Zagelmeyer said.
Hermantown lost to top-seeded Chisago Lakes in 15 innings in a Section 7AAA first round game last spring.
Zagelmeyer, on the 2018 season: “Our guys are setting their goals high. As always, we’ll take it one game at a time and hope to improve every day. We expect to be in the mix for the section championship. Grand Rapids, which has stepped down to 3A, Cloquet and Duluth Denfeld should also field strong teams.”
2018 Hermantown Baseball Schedule
Wednesday, April 11 — at Duluth Denfeld, 4:30 p.m. Wade Stadium
Friday, April 13 — Hibbing, 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 14 — at Chisago Lakes, 11 a.m.; at North Branch, 2:30 p.m.
Monday, April 16 — Greenway, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 17 — at Ashland, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 24 — at Hibbing, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 26 — Duluth Denfeld, 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 27 — International Falls, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 1 — Proctor, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 3 — Cloquet, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 7 — at Duluth East, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8 — Grand Rapids, 4:30 p.m.
Friday, May 11 — at Esko, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12 — at Simley, 1 p.m.
Monday, May 14 — at Eveleth-Gilbert, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 15 — Legacy Christian Academy, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 22 — at Superior, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 24 — at Duluth Marshall, 7 p.m. Wade Stadium