On the Bench with Byron Higgin
It’s taken 10 years — but this just could be the year for the Minneota Mudhens. They first set foot on baseball fields in the area and at the “Komp”, Minneota’s baseball field,10 years ago.
Since then, players have come and gone. But never in those 10 years have the Mudhens put together a season like this one. With just two Land O’Ducks League games to go against also undefeated Dumont and nemesis Cottonwood, the Hens are 9-0 in the league and have a 16-4 overall record.
“It’s been a magical season,” says Manager Tyson Sonnenburg. “It’s been an awful lot of fun,” he added. Nobody’s pressing the success button just yet. “There’s still an awful lot of work to be done,” said Assistant Manager Beau Buysse.
But they’ve been knocking off competition as fast as Byron Buxton rounds the diamond. The Mudhens’ biggest problem in the playoffs past hasn’t been good pitching. They’ve always gotten that. It has been, timely hitting. While we can’t predict how they’ll fare in the playoffs, this season they’ve been averaging about 11 hits per game and almost as many runs.
Get a load of these statistics after 20 games: Player Avg. Runs RBI Tyson Sonnenburg .440 22 19; Jake Leighton .416 14 21; Austin DeVlaeminck .364 14 7; Austin Buysse .354 17 15; Alex Pohlen .350 16 11; Preston Nuy .319 9 9; Beau Buysse .313 21 4; Jesse Drager .298 5 6; Danny Hennen .292 15 13; Noah Scott .194 3 3
Sonnenburg leads the team with three home runs.
Beau Buysse, the leadoff man, has 17 walks and 11 stolen bases to lead the team in both categories. Leighton and DeVlaeminck each had eight doubles.
As a team, they are hitting .335, scoring 232 runs with 110 runs batted in. These are lofty numbers for any team.
In the pitching department: Pitcher W-L ERA K/BB Danny Hennen 8-0 2.79 42/15; Zach Nuy 2-1 1.86 36/9; Peyton Nuy 5-1 1.80 28/10; Beau Buysse 1-0 4.74 17/10; Bryce Gorder 0-1 9.43 18/11
The top six teams in the league are “seeded” into the playoffs. The rest play off for two spots to make it an eight-team playoffs.
Last weekend with the win over Morris, the Mudhens qualified for the top six. Now, they’ve got a chance to get the No. 1 seed, depending how the final two games against Dumont and Cottonwood come out.