ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Fab four: Cubs Logan Huisman, Tyler Linder, Easton Sauerbrei and Eli Gaul are friends for all time

Athletics, and more, has held four Worthington Cubs' friendships together since they were little

2527251+WHS Baseball Redwood Valley 2 rgb.jpg
In a high school baseball game from the past, Worthington's Logan Huisman (16) scoops up the ball and throws to second base to teammate Easton Sauerbrei. Huisman, Sauerbrei, Tyler Linder and Eli Gaul have been fast friends since childhood.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
We are part of The Trust Project.

WORTHINGTON -- Struggles are routine for the Worthington Cubs amateur baseball team in 2022, but four childhood buddies form the nucleus of a summer team that they believe is bound for better days.

“We’re hopeful. We know the tide’s gonna turn, and it’s going to go our way,” said Eli Gaul Sunday afternoon after a 15-1 loss in Worthington to the Jackson Bulls.

The game was reasonably close for eight innings, and it wasn’t until the Bulls scored 10 ninth inning runs that the contest turned into a rout. Eli’s younger brother Tate pitched five scoreless innings.

Fortunately for friends Logan Huisman, Tyler Linder, Easton Sauerbrei and Eli, losing doesn’t dampen their love of the game. They’ve been close friends throughout their lives, and the amount of time they’ve spent together in sports and outside of sports is striking.

“Me and Eli went to daycare together, And so we became best friends right there. Our parents became best friends, too,” said Logan.

ADVERTISEMENT

“When we were babies, he peed on me in the crib,” Eli said.

Easton and Eli were born in 1998. Tyler and Logan were born in 1999. Today, Tyler and Eli are roommates at Minnesota State-Mankato. Before that, Tyler roomed with Easton for a year at the same school. They have played baseball together since their YMCA years.

There seems to be as many stories about Huisman, Linder, Sauerbrei and Gaul as there are sports they played together while growing up in Worthington. Easton’s dad, Stacy, coached them in baseball at Worthington High School. Eli and Tate’s dad, Tim, coached them in American Legion ball.

Stacy was a demanding coach. Once, he spoke to his son while Easton was in a very tough spot on the pitcher’s mound.

“I told him, ‘Your mother’s love is unconditional, but mine is dependent on you getting this next guy out,” Stacy recalled, grinning.

Unfortunately, Easton walked the hitter.

But as Stacy remembers the story, an umpire overheard the conversation, put his arm around Easton, and said to him, “I’m sure your dad loves you, too.”

Today, stories like these evoke smiles.

ADVERTISEMENT

051721 N DG Worthington Cubs Vs Windom Pirates S2.jpg
Worthington Cubs base coach and catcher Eli Gaul (left) yells for brother Tate Gaul to head for home in an amateur baseball game. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

The four friends’ love of sports remains as strong and deep as it ever was. Tim is almost in awe of the way all four of them have aided Worthington baseball on and off the field.

“These four guys are the kind of kids that you’d want -- all of them -- to have your kids be friends with,” he said. “They’re just good guys, and they all like sports. They don’t just like sports, they love it. And they like to give each other a hard time. But if they see somebody outside their group doing that, they’re gonna stand right behind him. They’re gonna stand by each other.”

It’s kind of a family thing.

“Our whole families would hang out together outside of sports. It literally became one big family,” testified Logan. “Tim’s house was where we hung out all the time. Just whatever we did, it was a competition between the four of us. (The Gauls) would make us meals all the time. It got like when we came over to the house, they had food ready for us. We’d help ourselves out. We went right to the fridge.”

Cubs vs Bulls S1.jpg
The Worthington Cubs' Tyler Linder (right) turns to look after reaching second base in an amateur baseball contest. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

Though Tim said the group cost him a lot on food bills, it was worth it. Having them all together was worth it all.

The four buddies were also excellent help in the baseball programs, always willing to work. Stacy used to operate a Sunday clinic for younger kids, and Logan, Tyler, Easton and Eli always volunteered their services.

“I could always count on those four guys to be there to help,” Stacy said. “Sometimes we had to work the concession stand, and they’d help. They’d get the diamonds ready, and when we needed an ump, they’d get in there. Literally, the program ran on those four guys for years, and nobody really knew about it.”

Once they graduated from daycare, it was sports that kept them together. They love playing amateur ball because it’s the one sport, at their age, that allows their friendship to flourish unchanged.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it’s more than that, said Eli.

“Really, it’s just the chemistry of friends. We always wanted to be together,” he said.

Related Topics: BASEBALL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
What To Read Next
FERGUS FALLS -- Carter Drent scored 19 points to lead the Minnesota West Community and Technical College men’s basketball team Wednesday night, but the Bluejays were unable to withstand a deeper and more accurate MState-Fergus Falls squad.
NHL player Ivan Provorov, like many other persons of faith, learned recently that there is a price to pay for dissenting with mainstream culture
Dawson Rieck, a leader with the Southwest Minnesota Christian boys basketball team, is helping the Eagles continue making an impact
Author Shawn Fury, a Janesville native with Fulda roots, has made his love of basketball into a way of life