Dakota-Rice-Scott League: Season Preview & Hot Stove Radio Show

DRS Baseball begins 70th season Sunday

 — from The New Prague Times

The Dakota-Rice-Scott Baseball League will kick off its 70th season Sunday, April 24, with six games scheduled.

Teams will be competing for the chance to play in the State Amateur Baseball Tournament, which this year will be held at Dassel and Hutchinson over three weekends, concluding on Labor Day.

Each D-R-S team will play a 23-game schedule except for Elko, which will play 12 league games. Elko is the only Class B team in the league, with the other 12 teams competing in Class C.

With the 12 Class C teams all in one region for the post-season (Region 3C), last year the league did away with the its three-division alignment it had used for many years. Again this year, league standings will have all teams included, and the season standings will determine seeding for the regional playoffs.

In an informal poll before the season, New Market, Faribault and St. Patrick were again listed as the top teams for the coming year.

Games this Sunday are all scheduled for 2 p.m. They are: • Union Hill at St. Patrick • New Market at Montgomery • New Prague at Elko • Shakopee at Webster • Faribault at Lonsdale • Prior Lake at Veseli

The league schedule concludes on Sunday, July 24, after which the league/region playoffs will be held to determine the four teams to advance to the state tournament.

The DRS League All-Stars will face the River Valley League All-Stars in a game to be played at Prior Lake’s Memorial Stadium Thursday, July 7.

Here is a brief preview of each of the DRS teams:

Elko Express The Elko Express will play a partial league schedule as the only Class B team in the DRS League. Terry Fredrickson is manager and Mike Christianson is his assistant. Last year, the team went 11-1 in the DRS and 7-3 in Section 1 play. They had an overall record of 36-6. 

Top pitchers include Tyler Brekke, Dylan Thomas, Jordan Jacobson, Glenn Parker, Nick Dorfman and John Hayes. Top hitters include Jason Grimm, TJ Evanson, Nick Altavila and Ben Jenson. Nick Kulla joins the team this season. Will Lundquist will miss the 2016 season due to an arm injury.

Fredrickson expects big things from his team, with most of the squad returning. He said Faribault, New Market and St. Patrick are the teams to beat in the DRS.

Faribault Lakers The Faribault Lakers went 22- 8 last season and won the Region 3C championship, going to state for the second straight year.

Top pitchers returning to the Lakers this year are Matt Lane, Evan Knutson, Matt Stocker and Jack Helgeson. The Lakers’ offense is powered by Joey Grote, Lane, Helgeson, Blake Langerud and Dylan Valentyn.

New to the Faribault team are Porter Sartor, Egan Bonde and Christian Von Ruden. All three are freshmen college players (Sartor and Bonde at Buena Vista and Von Ruden and Southwest State).

“We are very excited to bring back everyone along with some new young faces,” manager Charlie Lechtenberg said. “We hope to build off of the last two years and keep improving. We love playing in the DRS League and we are starting to create some fun rivalries with some of the teams.”

New Market, St. Benedict and St. Patrick are the teams to beat in the league this year, Lechtenberg said.

Lonsdale Aces Darrel Vosejpka returns as manager for the Lonsdale Aces, with Matt Tschida as his assistant. Last year’s team closed strong, winning six of their final seven games to go 12-11 on the season.

On the hill, the Aces are led by Joe Sabal, who led the team in wins, saves and strikeouts and led the league with the lowest earned run average. Ben Lazzari led the team in innings pitched and was second in wins, while Phil Tisdel was second on the team in strikeouts.

At the plate, big hitters are Jason Kirschman (.367 average) and catcher Matt Tschida, who was third on the team in average and led the team in runs scored and stolen bases.

New players for Lonsdale include third baseman Dylon Eisele and pitcher Phil Goedderz.

Veteran infielder Kevin Kalina has retired, while Zach Sirek and Aaron Kes are also gone from last year’s roster.

“The league should have good parity once again,” Vosejpka said. “Our team is looking to build on the run we had at the end of the 2015 season.”

Vosejpka picks Elko, New Market and Faribault as the top teams in the league this year.

Highlights of the Lonsdale home schedule include the June 17 Little League Night against Montgomery and the July 3 game against Veseli, with fireworks following the game.

New Market Muskies The New Market Muskies were one of the dominant teams of the year last year in the DRS. They finished with a 25-16 overall record … FOR REST OF THE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE



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