Minnesota Blizzard take home 9 championships
in August, four top-four finishes to cap off first month of the Blizzard season.
Part 2 of 2
The Minnesota Blizzard had quite the month of August up and down their age groups winning 9 championships while finishing in top top three four times in the USSSA Summer Select, Prospect Select Twin Cities Classic and the AFBL Series #1.
Blizzard 15u Blue
Coaches: Mike Parker | Nick Novak
Coach Parker led his Stillwater HS team to a Minnesota state championship while Coach Nick Novak led Angelo State to a World Series last year before signing as a free agent with Fargo Moorhead. Lets see if that magic can rub off on this talented squad the remainder of the fall.
Caleb Johnson (Buffalo, MN) is hitting .500 and leads the team with 6 runs scored. Luke Adams (Lake Elmo, MN) is a 2025 Futures Games participant and hitting .357 while Carter Amelse (Blaine, MN) is hitting .455 with 2 2Bs and 4 RBIs in his first two tournaments.
Carter Kurth (Cosmos, MN) has 6 strikeouts in his short 2 inning this past weekend's AFBL Series #1 but shows big promise as a quick-armed lefty.
Blizzard 15u Black (1 3rd Place)
Coaches: Kevin Woebke | Eric Monson
Two coaches who are left-handed pitchers? Is this team destined for domination or will they all be it sitting in the bullpen philosophizing about the DH rule - as lefties tend to do in the bullpen?
Time will tell, but they have already led their team to a 3rd Place finish in this past weekend's AFBL Series #1 losing a tight one against Complete Game 2-1 where Ben Engele (Oakdale, MN) and Brayden Morel (Blaine, MN) threw 3 innings each allowing one earned run while striking out 4.
Tyler Allshouse (White Bear Lake, MN) has led the way this year hitting .471 while Luke Voll (Prior Lake, MN) and Joe Fredkove (Afton, MN) are both hitting .444.
Voll is leading the team with 7 RBI while Carson Timm (Coon Rapids, MN) has 6.
(pictured - Zach Zanettie, Thomas Ohotto, Trent Cornell | 2024)
Blizzard Gold 15u
Coaches: Walker Rogers | Mat Nicklay
The Blizzard Gold 15u squad split their first two games before losing their consolation game in the AFBL Series #1. In a short sample size, Roman Lachenmeyer (White Bear Lake, MN) is crushing at the plate hitting .667 in his first 9 at-bats while Cal Nitti (Bayport, MN) is hitting a nifty .500 through his first three contests.
Karson Foster (Lake Elmo, MN) has struck out 11 in his first 5.2 innings so keep a sharp eye out on his next start which will be the weekend of September 11th/12th in the AFBL Series #2.
pictured: Parker Heubsch (Blizzard 2023)
Blizzard Blue 16u (1 championship, 1 3rd Place)
Coaches: Cole Albers | Ross Indlecoffer
Grizzled veteran coaches and only 23 years old? Albers and Indlecoffer might make a case for the "Montana" Coaches of the Year Award if they keep it up. Their 9-1 record is tops in the Blizzard program earning a 3rd Place finish in the Prospect Select's Twin Cities Classic losing their semi-final game to in-program peer rival 16u Black before finishing August off with a championship in the AFBL Series #1.
Zach Zanetti (St. Michael, MN) and Thomas Ohotto (St. Michael, MN) threw a combined no-hitter in their semi final game while Trent Cornell (Eau Claire, WI) hit a grand slam to lead their team to a championship game where Josh Donna (Mahtomedi, MN) pitched his team to a win striking out 6 in 4 innings of work. He also helped himself in that game going 1-for-2 with 2 RBI.
Ohotto, Donna and Cornell are hitting .429, .429, .417 respectively while Ohotto hasn't issued a walk in his 11 innings of work. Brayden Beznanson (Hudson, WI), Zanetti and Easton Stone (Rice Lake, MN) have struck out a combined 33 would be hitters in 15.1 innings
Blizzard Black 16u (1 Runner-Up)
Coaches: Darren Hansen | Mark West
Underdogs? Don't tell that to the Blizzard Black 16u team as they took down their counterparts in week one during the Prospect Select Twin Cities Classic before losing in the championship in a tight battle against Northwest Elite from Washington.
Ben Johnson (River Falls, WI) is 13-for-18 and has started the season hitting .722. And if those 'Nintendo' numbers aren't good enough, Louis Hertling (Anoka, MN) and Eddie Gray (Mendota Hts, MN) are hitting .467 and .429, respectively. And lets not forget two others in the .400 club including Ryan Steinhilber (Anoka, MN) and Chase McQuade (River Falls, WI) who are hitting .429 and .407.
6'7" Brayden Carlson (Woodbury, MN) has struck 12 in 7 innings of work while Gray has struck out 9 in 7 innings of work
Blizzard Blue 2022 (1 3rd Place)
Coaches: Graig Weber | Eden Cranston
Recent commits include:
Blake Guerin: Iowa
Easton Fritcher: Minnesota
Hayden Mileski: Tulane
Ben Irsfeld: Mankato State
Maddox Mihalakis: Arizona
Jeremy Bingesser: Witchita State
Charlie Jacobson: South Dakota State
Top 2022 Uncommitted:
Jackson Cooke, C
Zak Endres, RHP
Tomas Nelson, OF
Ragan Pinnow, 3B
Sam Schneider, C
Top 2023 Uncommitted:
AJ Rasmussen, RHP
Weston Russel, RHP/INF
Blizzard Black 2022
Coaches: Derrick Pfeffer | Ryan Seleski
Blizzard Black 2022 has thrived when their pitching is on. Caleb Vanderplas (Minnetonka, MN), Boden Strafelda (Sunfish Lake, MN) and Parker Gilchrist (Stillwater, MN) have been standouts on the mound all throwing CGs in their first three starts.
Nate Hammerback (Alexandria, MN), Strafelda, Reese Tripp (Red Wing, MN), Tate Wischnak (Waconia, MN) have all been standouts at plate leading their team
Blizzard Blue 2023
Coaches: Eddie Gerald | Dwight Kotila
There is a deep class of 2023 players that includes some Future's Game standouts including Brayden Olson (St. Croix Falls, WI)Isaac Morton (Spring Lake Park, MN) and AJ Rasmussen (Delano, MN).
While they have played in deep, competitive pools their last two tournaments, their pitching is VERY deep including Nelson Koenig (Plymouth, MN), Peyton Milene (Rochester, MN) and Cole Spitzer (St. Paul, MN) who is could be likened to 1988's Orel Hershiser ... does this kid ever give up a run or lose? Not often.
The offense hasn't hit it's stride yet, but with players such as Matthew Maulik (St. Michael, MN), Joe Merchlewitz (Woodbury, MN), Jake Busson (Hudson, WI) and Andrew Phillips (Hartland, MN)
Oh, and watch out for Ian Regal (Rochester, MN), our newest member of the 90 mph club. This kid can pitch AND hit !
Blizzard Black 2023 (1 3rd Place)
Coaches: Ryan Burmeister | Luther Kangas
Longtime coaches Burmeister and Kangas led their team to a 3rd Place finish in AFBL Series #1 losing a tight semi-final game 11-10 in an offense-filled affair.
Parker Huebesch (Woodbury, MN) is making a case for most improved player in the program. He has been a rock behind the plate and is hitting .476 through his first 8 games of the season.
Aidan Welch (White Bear Lake, MN) and Brayden Kohls (Norwood, MN) are hitting .444 while Jack Setterlund has had an outstanding start to the season.
Isaiah Hasz (Hinkley, MN) has thrown 11 innings and struck out 13 and owns a 2-0 record. Mark Manders (Coon Rapids, MN) has also done the early lifting both throwing 10 innings while owning a 1.40 ERA.
Blizzard Gold 2022 | 2023
Coaches: Kolin Williams | Adam Stockwell
The Blizzard Gold 2022 struck gold in their first two games going 2-0 in the AFBL Series #1 before losing 7-5 in the quarter-finals.
Eli Reeves (White Bear Lake, MN) has collected hits in his first three games while Lincoln Graven went 3-for-3 in his first-ever Blizzard contest helping his team to an opening round 11-4 win.
Bergan Bauman (St. Anthony, MN) and Michael Prosch (Champlin Park) have pitched fantastic throwing a combined 11 innings while allowing 3 earned runs and striking out 6 apiece in their respective starts!
pictured: Blizzard Black - Runner Up Twin Cities Classic