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Sports briefs: Trojans baseball team has something to build on

After an inspiring doubleheader sweep of St. Peter, the Worthington High School baseball team is looking to take the next step

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WHS baseball: Attitude is key

Worthington public school students were still on the Easter break Monday, but the Trojans baseball team practiced anyway.

Bad spring weather continues to wreak havoc on the regular season, but head coach Skyler Wenninger’s unit had several days to contemplate a promising performance since their last outing on April 12 -- a doubleheader sweep of St. Peter 4-3 and 14-13 at the middle school field.

Worthington Trojans shortstop Triston Sauerbrei touches second base for an out as St Peter runner Jake Moelter (23) advances.
In a recent high school baseball game, Worthington Trojans shortstop Triston Sauerbrei touches second base for an out as St Peter runner Jake Moelter (23) advances.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

The two victories came one day after WHS lost 12-1 in five innings to Redwood Valley after giving up 11 runs in the last inning (Worthington was scheduled to play again at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, at home against Marshall).

On Monday, Wenninger said he was pleased at the resiliency showed by his team against St. Peter. The Trojans won the first game 4-3 on a two-run home run by Jake Brandner, who pitched very well in a complete game. They could have folded in the second game after falling behind 8-2 in the fourth and 13-9 after six, but then they scored five runs to take the lead. They almost gave the game away in the seventh, but didn’t. Relief pitcher Cade Grimmius struck out the last batter with the bases loaded.

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Wenninger preaches “attitude” to his players, and it seemed like their attitudes were in a good place in that second St. Peter game.

“You always act like you’re the best player in the room,” said Wenninger, who himself was an outstanding high school and college ballplayer.

Even if you’re not the best, he said, exude confidence. “Be a bulldog,” Wenninger said again on Monday.

It’s a long season ahead, of course (if the weather ever comes around), so Worthington’s baseball season is still uncertain. The coach still wants more consistent hitting out of his troops. He says they sometimes seem “almost too relaxed,” leading to too many pitches taken instead of swung at.

But he now knows they’re capable of getting some big hits. Brandner’s home run put a charge into the team, and Coy Turner homered, too, in the second St. Peter game.

“The St. Peter games, they obviously went well. But we’ve got to get a little better in getting ahead of hitters (with our pitchers), and not giving them big hits,” said the coach.

Grimmius’ pitching performance was interesting, yet finally highly satisfying. The hard-throwing right-handed sophomore was wild in spots in both of the two innings he threw. But he retired the last batter with a strikeout.

Resiliency. Attitude. That’s what Wenninger is talking about.

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What’s happening

The Worthington High School baseball team has a busy week ahead, weather permitting. Besides Tuesday’s game with Marshall, the Trojans are at Fairmont on Thursday (5:30 p.m.) at at home Saturday in a doubleheader with New Ulm beginning at 11 a.m.

Today (Wednesday) the Minnesota West softball team hosts St. Cloud Tech in a twinbill starting at 3 p.m.

On Thursday, the WHS golf team hosts Pipestone Area at 4:15 p.m., the boys tennis team is at Pipestone Area at 4:30 and the softball team hosts Fairmont at 5:30. The Trojans’ track and field squad is at Windom for a meet also featuring Windom Area, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda, Redwood Valley and Southwest Christian/Edgerton with the first event beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The Minnesota West baseball team hosts MPG on Friday at 1 p.m., and the West softball team plays St. Cloud Tech in a home doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.

On Saturday, the WHS boys golf team competes at its own Worthington Boys Invitational with 13 other schools starting at 9 a.m. The Minnesota West softball squad is at Anoka-Ramsey for two games beginning at noon.

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
Friday night high school sports roundup:
WORTHINGTON – Injuries and fouls plagued the Worthington Trojans girl’s basketball team in a Big South Conference contest against stalwart St. Peter on Friday night. The Saints defeated the Trojans 74-53.
WORTHINGTON – The top 10 teams in Minnesota Class A high school gymnastics will be in Worthington on Saturday (Jan. 28) for the state True Team meet. Participating teams are Becker, Benson, Big Lake, Byron, Detroit Lakes, Mankato West, Melrose, New London-Spicer, St. Peter, and Worthington.
Tom Goehle, son of legendary coach Hugo Goehle, was once a star athlete at Hills-Beaver Creek High School. Now he gives back through coaching and his involvement in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.