What dreams are made of: Sauerbrei delivers first victory through injury

“I felt confident with everything I had, with the fractured wrist, I felt a little awkward at first, but I think once I got the hang of it... is when I had more control.”

051823 N DG Worthington Trojans vs Adrian-Ellsworth Dragons Baseball 1.jpg
Worthington Trojans Triston Sauerbrei throws a pitch during a Thursday evening game with the visiting Adrian/Ellsworth Dragons.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

WORTHINGTON — After sustaining a fractured wrist to his non-throwing arm during a baseball practice earlier this week, Worthington senior Triston Sauerbrei gave his all and earned a victory for the ages over Adrian/Ellsworth on Thursday.

“The doctor said it would be my last game, so I talked them into letting me play,” Sauerbrei told The Globe. “I figured the pain was just temporary and I was good enough to go one more.”

Sauerbrei dominated on the mound, and with eight strikeouts and just two hits against — his will, strength and determination helped guide the winless Trojans to their season’s first victory over the Dragons, 3-1.

Sauerbrei said before the game he imagined a victory. And in his mind he would play the superstar pitcher who mowed down batters and kept control of the game in his hand.

He delivered exactly that.


“I felt confident with everything I had,” Sauerbrei said. “With the fractured wrist, I felt a little awkward at first, but I think once I got the hang of it, and once I adjusted a little bit, is when I had more control.”

“He’s been trying his best all year to step up for us,” said WHS coach Skyler Wenninger. “Today he made things happen. It was good to have that senior leader on the mound throwing strikes.”

Sauerbrei throws five pitches — a fastball, a curve ball and a knuckleball, with two sidearm pitches added to his arsenal this year, a sidearm fastball and curveball. Both have deceived batters due to their opposing break in direction.

Sauerbrei has worked on his knuckleball since about the fourth grade. He said the pitch started mostly as a joke.“My dad said, ‘Keep working on it.’ and we worked on it throughout my childhood,” said Sauerbrei. “And now it is a pretty nasty pitch to throw in there.”

In addition to being lights out on the mound, the Trojans offense also gave Sauerbrei an early confidence boost by building him a cushion of three runs in the first inning.

Lead-off batter Tucker Brandner started the game with a single for the Trojans. As did Mathias Noble and cleanup batter Mason Schutz.

All three scored.

Worthington Trojans Cooper McCoy fist bumps Tucker Brandner (1) after a run is scored against  the visiting Adrian-Ellsworth Dragons during a Thursday evening game.
Worthington Trojans Cooper McCoy fist bumps Tucker Brandner (1) after a run is scored against the visiting Adrian/Ellsworth Dragons during a Thursday evening game.
Tim Middagh/The Globe

The Dragons made a pitching change after starting pitcher Reese Morrison recorded just two outs and gave up three hits. He was relieved by Matthew Geister, who pitched four and one-third innings. Travis Weiss faced the minimum in his inning of relief.


The Dragons tagged Sauerbrei for a run in the sixth inning. Weiss — who reached twice by a walk — worked his way around the diamond to end the shut-out.

But Sauerbrei and the Trojans defense held on for the win, and stranded the Dragons’ three other base runners.

“When we had to make the plays — I think we made them,” said Wenninger.

As for the Trojans, they have finally removed the monkey from their back and are no longer a winless team.

The Trojans have been more competitive in their recent string of games than the box score says. Against Marshall, they trailed by just three runs before the Tigers erupted for 11 runs in the top of the seventh.

Against New Ulm, the Trojans were a few strong defensive plays away from winning the nightcap.

Now, some of the fear and nerves that plague a team in pursuit of breaking a losing streak is gone.

“It is always nice to get that first win and see the kids having fun again — I think for a while there they didn’t think baseball was all that fun,” said Wenninger. “Hopefully this brings that energy back and we can carry it into the next couple of games.”


Wenninger is quick to point out the potential this victory means for WHS baseball.

“In high school baseball you get two seasons — your regular season and your post-season,” said Wenninger. “Hopefully we can string a couple wins together here towards the end and get some momentum into the playoffs.”

As for Sauerbrei, the senior playing in what he was told would be his last game of his high school career? Well he hopes to have other plans.

“I am going to see what I can do with my doctors, but I was told it would be my last game,” said a smiling Sauerbrei.

If there is one thing you should know about Sauerbrei, it's his affinity for beating the odds. From a premature baby to being a strong and tall athlete — and after going into cardiac arrest near the end of a summer football practice four years ago , to standing tallest on the mound Thursday night when his Trojans baseball team needed him most — he has and will always be one to beat the odds.

Adrian/Ellsworth 000 001 0 – 1 2 0

Worthington 300 000 X – 3 6 2

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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