Area athletes to play in Senior Salute Baseball Tournament

Deb Moldaschel
Editor
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The St. Paul Saints, along with high school baseball coaches, teamed up to give 2020 graduates a final chance to put on the uniform with the Senior Class Salute Tournament.

The Saints explained the reason for the tournament this way: It was over. Their season taken away from them. No games played in 2020. A sport they grew up playing since they could hold a bat or grip a ball was gone in the blink of an eye. High school seniors in the state of Minnesota wanted just one more opportunity to put on the uniform and play their final games. For some, it may be the final time they would get the chance to play competitively.

So, thanks to the Saints, this week a 24-team World Cup style tournament started at CHS Field, the home of the St. Paul Saints and at Reynolds Field, home of the University of Northwestern. The two-week tournament, ending on Aug. 2, with each game scheduled for seven innings, will guarentee teams at least three games.

Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer said, “While we can't give them their senior seasons back, we can provide these players with an opportunity to put on the uniform, take the field, and play one last time with their high school teammates. We’re proud to team up with so many passionate coaches to salute and create lasting memories for this great senior class.”

St. Mary’s coach, Bruce Woitas, said when this opportunity came up he thought it would be neat to see if they could get a Tomahawk Conference team together.

“I emailed all the coaches to see if they would have players that wanted to play,” said Woitas. “We thought that we wanted to get the players we thought would have been All-Conference or Honorable Mention players, as there was no way to invite all seniors from the conference. That is how we came up with the team. We have seven of the eight schools represented as the player from Wabasso decided not to play.”

Players on the Tomahawk Conference team include the following.

From Sleepy Eye: Nick Labat, St.Mary's and Matt Sellner, Public.

From New Ulm Cathedral: Chris Knowles, Tony Geiger and Will Schabert.

From Springfield: Decker Scheffler, Mason Rummel, Henry Scheitel, Ivan Hovland, Nolan Hovland and Brody Sturm.

From MVL: Jace Marotz, Teddy Geifer and Mason Cox.

Kaden Zanoth from BLHS.

Devon Schwarzrock from GFW.

Coaches are: Bruce Woitas, St. Mary's; Aaron Nesvold, Sleepy Eye Public, Alan Woitas, NUC and John Geifer, MVL.

The tournament is made up of a total of six groups of four teams. Each group will play a round-robin style pool play.

The Tomahawk Conference team played Tuesday, July 21, 1 p.m. at Reynolds Field and 5 p.m. at CHS Field and won both games. On Monday, July 27, they play at 2 p.m. at CHS Field.

The top team in each group, and two wild cards, will advance to a final bracketed round, with the quarterfinals on Friday, July 31 and semifinals on Aug. 1. The finals take place Sunday, Aug. 2.

Tickets for all games are $10 and can only be purchased at saintsbaseball.com (the ticket booth will not open). Tickets will be limited to 250 per game to follow social distancing guidelines. Additionally, all games will be streamed online at prepspotlight.tv/mshsl.