Baseball headed to State for first time in 11 years


Bella Szarzynski

The baseball team is headed to State for the first time since 2005, and in their first year with head coach Tony Cicalello

BSM has had a good year in 2015-16 in terms of sports teams throughout the fall, winter, and now spring campaigns.  BSM Varsity Baseball takes the spotlight as the talk of BSM, as after their 3-2 win over Hutchinson on Monday, June 6, they join four other BSM spring sports teams to head to the State Tournament in their respective sport.

BSM may not be known for being a baseball powerhouse, but teams are starting to notice BSM’s skill.  While the team may be looked down on for having a 12-6 record, they have knocked off plenty of good teams, even winning in the 8th inning against Richfield on May 20. Wins like that have really boosted the morale of this team and have propelled them into 2 section wins and now stand of the cusp of their first State appearance in the last 11 years, after two mediocre seasons in ‘13-’14 and ‘14-’15.  

One thing that separates this season’s lineup from those of past years is their resilience: after back-to-back losses to Totino-Grace and Edina, who are known to be baseball powerhouses, the Red Knights went on to take the Metro West Conference title after signature wins against rival Chaska twice, a blow out over Richfield on the road, and the thrashing of a struggling Bloomington Kennedy team.  The BSM baseball team has been not only been beating the teams they should beat, but beating teams with great records as well.

The thing that keeps a team like this going is a great locker room connection, full of leaders willing to take over when the team is just hanging on for dear life and are in need of a rally. “The seniors like Mitch and Cole really pull us through with their play and attitudes off the diamond,” junior Jack Feyereisn said.

Mitch Melquist and Cole Jacob lead the team in batting average and pitching wins respectively.  “Guys like Derek Drees and Peyton James are still juniors but give us boosts in strikeouts and home runs. We have a great, well-rounded team and we have a lot of potential. Our ultimate goal is to win State. Period,” Feyereisn said.

Winning State is a goal that is in reach for this team, especially with their most recent barn-burner win against Waconia on June 1.  “It was an incredible win to be a part of, [with] the atmosphere and everything,” junior outfielder Nathanael Ashton-Piper said.  “This was one of those games where everyone chipped in and did something great.  [Riley] Simonetti had a home run in the third and [Matthew] Brooks had a sacrifice bunt in there too.  The whole team got in on the action.”

This game, the Section 6AAA Semifinal for the Red Knights, ended in walk-off fashion.  “When Simonetti was walked and I was on base, Joey [Corbett] batted both of us in to win it all.  It was one of the best wins of the season against a good Waconia team, but we have an “on to the next one” type of view on things.  With Mitch throwing 125 pitches and 9 strikeouts, with him rested up, we expect no less than State.” says Ashton-Piper.

While the end is still unknown, this team is truly firing on all cylinders and will play at Siebert Field, the home of the Minnesota Gophers baseball team, this June in the State AAA Tournament, and potentially to Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins.  Having beaten Mound-Westonka, Hutchinson twice, and Waconia in the Section 6AAA Playoffs, BSM goes on to the State AAA Tournament to play a “To Be Determined” opponent.  The Tournament starts on Thursday, June 16.