Chanhassen Crowned State Champions
June 2015

Single-elimination baseball tournaments frequently result in the teams with the best pitching crowned champions.

Such was the case at the 2015 Minnesota State High School Baseball Tournament, which concluded on June 15. Chanhassen, which seven years ago did not have a high school, captured the AAA division title on the arms of hurlers Jordan Bonk, Logan Graves, and Jack Schnettler. MSHSL rules prevent using a pitcher more than 14 innings in a three-day stretch, so pitching depth on a tourney team is essential. Chanhassen won its three games by the scores of 1-0 (in nine innings), 7-2, and 2-0.

Chanhassen polished off St. Michael-Albertville, Armstrong, and Lakeville North to finish the season with a 26-4 record. Regular-season losses came at the hands of cross-town rival Chaska, St. Louis Park, Cooper, and Waconia. The Storm swept Chaska in the 2AAA tournament.

Chanhassen shortstop Ty Denzer drove in both runs in the championship game against Lakeville North at Target Field. Against Armstrong, he scored three runs and played brilliantly in the field. Denzer has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Kentucky on a baseball scholarship.

The AA and A portions of the tournament featured a pair of repeat champions. New Life Academy defeated Springfield, 6-5, in extra innings for its second straight A division championship. Later, St. Cloud Cathedral defended its AA crown with a 10-1 thumping of Minnehaha Academy. The Crusaders finished their season undefeated in 25 games.

In a recent report, Sports Illustrated pointed out that in the 50 years since the major league draft was instituted, Minnesota produced 445 players. As expected, this is a paltry number when compared with California (15,538) and Florida (7,100). What is surprising, is the total for Iowa draftees (646).

In fact, the so-called Northern Tier of states, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, collectively produced fewer players (643) than did Iowa.

All of this makes John Anderson’s success at the helm of the University of Minnesota’s baseball program remarkable. Nevertheless, Anderson’s teams have never made it to the College World Series in Omaha, nor are any future Gopher teams likely to do so.

Baseball is nurtured in the sunshine on snowless, above-freezing days. Minnesota has less of these and always will. This is why quality players like Ty Denzer head south to hone their skills. As for the state tournament, next year will see the addition of a fourth class (AAAA), thus furthering a more watered-down event.

2015 tournament results:

Chanhassen 1, St. Michael-Albertville 0
Armstrong 2, Mahtomedi 1
Lakeville 3, Anoka 0
Northfield 3, Mounds View 2
Chanhassen 7, Armstrong 2
Lakeville 5, Northfield 3
Chanhassen 2, Lakeville North 0

St. Cloud Cathedral 12, Cloquet 4
Minnehaha Academy 2, Providence Academy 1
Marshall 5, Glencoe-Silver Lake 4
Rochester Lourdes 3, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 2
St. Cloud Cathedral 5, Marshall 2
Minnehaha Academy 6, Rochester Lourdes 2
St. Cloud Cathedral 10, Minnehaha Academy 1

A New Life Academy 4, Red Lake County 3
Brandon-Evansville 5, Lewiston-Altura 0
New Ulm Cathedral 6, Deer River 1
Springfield 7, Kimball 6
New Life Academy 5, Brandon-Evansville 2
Springfield 6, New Ulm Cathedral 5
New Life Academy 6, Springfield 5

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