Saints Usher in New Era with New Manager Carlson
The DC Saints begin a new era this season with a new manager.
Drew Carlson will replace Mark “Whitey” Forsman this season, after 32 seasons at the helm for Forsman. Whitey led the Saints to 621 wins and 12 state tournament appearances in his career and led a tireless effort to turn the Dassel Ball Park into one of the top fields in the state to watch amateur baseball.
Team: Dassel-Cokato Saints
Manager: Drew Carlson
Year coaching this team: 1st
Assistant coaches: Jeff Neutzling
Division: North Star League Central— Howard Lake, Rockford, Maple Lake, Delano, Hutchinson, Loretto, Mound, Maple Plain, Buffalo, Cokato, and Montrose.
State Tournaments: 22 — 1968-B Champion, 1970, 1972, 1973-2nd, 1974-3rd, 1975, 1976-2nd, 1978, 1991, 1992-C 3rd, 1993-C 2nd, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011.
Hall of Famers: NSL — Joe Harmala (1993); Art Hagen (1996); Bob Erickson (1998); Robert Regal (2000); Paul Servin (2002); Dean Gayner (2005); Dale Isaacson (2007); Dave Burns and Brian “Bookie” Larson (2009); Mark Forsman (2010); Kevin Nelson (2011); Jeff Neutzling (2012); John Riewer (2013). Posthumous: Clay Calgren, Stuart Brodin, Lem Norden, Fisk Peterson. MN Amateur Baseball – Joe Harmala (2002); Brian “Bookie” Larson (2005); Mark Forsman (2014).
2017 finish: Last season, the Saints finished one game short of advancing to the state tournament, going 1-2 in the double-elimination Region 12C tournament.The Saints lost the opening game to Buffalo, 9-1; defeated Cokato 3-2, and fell 6-2 to Howard Lake, ending their season.
Teams to beat: [From NorthStarLeague.org] After winning the title in 2017, Hutchinson returns as the favorite to repeat in the Manager’s poll. Buffalo finished strong last year, and with a young core that now is experienced in the playoffs and state tournament, they should be a strong contender.
Maple Lake is chosen third. The Lakers recent history shows they can win a lot of games by scoring a lot of runs and their pitching staff is gaining experience to make them competitive in tight games too. Howard Lake is picked fourth and as usual will rely on pitcing and defense to win enough games to contend for the top spot.
Key returning players: Jordan Flick, Tyler Zweibhomer and Mike Leffler return to anchor the staff. Top returners in the batting line up are John Hohenstein, Brendon Opsahl, Andy Haataja, and Trent Thinesen, along with Brice Berggren, Carson Lindell, Tyler Brandel, Holton Miller, Ben Lindquist, Cy Flick, Gus Flick, James Howell and Michael Howell.
Key additions: Infielder Jeff Janckila will provide a key bat and glove in the infield. Alex Terning (P, INF) and Collin Krick (P) also make their Saints debut.
Key losses: not returning this season are Mitch Kurtzweg, Kyle Johnson, Mason Marelic, and coach Brett Johnson.
Outlook: The outlook for 2018 is much more of the same as it was in 2017– continuing to compete for the top spots and expecting to be up high in the standings.