Adrian's Glen Kruger named all-stateADRIAN — For Adrian’s Glen Kruger, it’s becoming a family tradition. Kruger was named to the 2008 All-State Baseball team in Class A, following in his brother’s footsteps.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
ADRIAN — For Adrian’s Glen Kruger, it’s becoming a family tradition.
Kruger was named to the 2008 All-State Baseball team in Class A, following in his brother’s footsteps.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that Dad got it in Iowa, and my brother got it in Adrian,” Kruger said. “It feels like it’s a tradition, so it feels good.”
Along with Kruger, Murray County Central’s Paul Counter and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton’s David Schmidt were also named all-state.
Dragon teammate Matt Gades was named academic all-state, along with MCC’s Brian Everson.
While Joe Kruger, Glen’s brother, was all-state in 2003, Glen has made a name for himself during his illustrious career.
During his five-year varsity stint, Kruger had a career average of .386 with 117 RBIs, 32 doubles and 10 home runs.
“It’s supposed to be a career award, and if any award was made for a player, I think this would be it,” Adrian head coach Kevin Nowotny said. “He started as an eighth-grader, and his freshman year, he had 43 hits, so it was a cumulative effect of his five years. He definitely deserved to be all-state.”
After a breakout season as a freshman, Kruger continued to improve through his senior season on the diamond.
“It was a good year,” Kruger said of his senior season. “I think I played defense better than I have in the past. I don’t think I hit as well as I used to, but it was a good year overall.”
Despite what he believes was a poor senior season at the plate, Kruger has set various state records during his tenure as a Dragon.
He played in 130 varsity games, which ranks him first all-time in the state, and had 414 career at-bats, which is also tops in Minnesota.
He is fourth all-time with 160 hits, and his 117 career RBIs ranks him fourth. With Kruger’s 230 combined hits, walks and hit by pitches, he ranks second on the all-time list.
While Kruger has been a staple in the batter’s box, it was his defense that continued to improve.
“He’s been our nucleus, and we built around him,” Nowotny said. “We always knew that we had him. This year, it was kind of the opposite. Usually, we depend on his bat, but this year, I thought defensively he played a great second base.”
With Kruger solidifying second base, Gades has become useful as a utility player.
“Matt Gades is a nine-position ball player,” Nowotny said. “He came in and caught for us at the end in the tournaments. He’s been around for four years.”
Gades has a career average of .343 to go along with 32 walks and 15 stolen bases.
Even with a successful senior campaign, Kruger and Gades were unable to make a return trip to the state tournament.
“It was disappointing,” Kruger said. “I thought it would be good icing on my career, but we always have baseball left in the summer. There is a lot of baseball left to be played.”
After splitting time with the Adrian A’s and the Adrian legion team this summer, Kruger and Gades will play baseball next season for Minnesota West in Worthington.
“Hopefully, Gades and I can keep hitting and help the Bluejays next spring and make some plays,” Kruger said.
Playing close to Adrian will allow fans and coaches to follow the two Dragons at the next level.
“They get to play in Worthington, and that will be kind of fun,” Nowotny said. “On an off day, we’ll be able to go and watch them play. I’m happy that they are going on and playing baseball.”
Even with a bright future for the Adrian team, there’s no doubt Kruger and Gades have left their mark on the team.
“He just loves the game of baseball; you don’t ever replace a guy like Glen Kruger,” Nowotny said. “Those two guys are going to be sorely missed.”