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Tigers close out successful season at .500

The MA/C-A Varsity baseball team included (front from left) Nathan Anderson, Brady Jergenson, Joey Dufault, Gage Backman, Isaac Wente, (middle from left) assistant coach Kirby Marquart, Nick Solvie, Jase Wilts, Ethan Stahman, Brett Blom, Bryce Jergenson, head coach Mark Torgerson, (back from left) assistant coach Jim Greenwaldt, Corey Storck, Noah Grove, Riley Biesterfeld, Jason Rinkenberger, and not pictured Danny Tracy. (Photo by Danter’s Photography)

The Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta Tigers finished their season with a 12-12 record after a tough loss to the Marshall Tigers in the Section 3AA playoffs. The Tigers placed fourth in the section.

The record doesn’t look like much, but head coach Mark Torgerson is very pleased with how his team turned out this season.

“With having just one returning player, we did very well. Our confidence wasn’t always there, but that last win over St. James, you could see a change. That was our turning point when we really came together… Our confidence really came out during that game,“ Torgerson said.

The Tigers graduated six seniors, three of which batted above .300 this season. The Tiger graduates include Corey Storck, Gage Backman, Bryce Jergenson, Ethan Stahman, Danny Tracy, and Jason Rinkenberger.

Corey Storck was a co-captain and led the Tigers in doubles with 12 out of 27 hits this season, hitting a .391 at the plate. This season marked his first season as a catcher and coach Torgerson said he had a great year behind the plate. Storck was also named an all-West Central Conference player this season and on the All-Section team.

Gage Backman led in RBIs with 22 on 24 hits. He had a 41-percent on-base percentage with a .343 batting average, leading to an all-conference honorable mention at the end of the season.

Bryce Jergenson was the other captain this season and led the Tigers with 30 hits this season, scoring 25 runs. He batted a mere .337 and had a 40-percent slugger percentage. On the mound, Jergenson was 3-4 and had an ERA of 1.96, pitching 53 innings and striking out 52 batters. He was also named all-conference this season.

“Bryce really solidified the team,” Torgerson said. “Being the only one with varsity experience, he led in hits and was really the glue for varsity squad.”

Ethan Stahman scored eight runs on eight hits, batting a .190 for the Tigers, and got 14 putouts playing left field.

Danny Tracy helped out on the mound this year as well, going 3-1 in 26 innings pitched.

Other notable returning players include third baseman Brady Jergenson and designated hitter Nathan Anderson who both finished the season batting above .300 at the plate. Noah Grove who helped out in the pitchers circle this season, striking out 51 batters in just 39 innings pitched. Other returning players that played regularly include Joey Dufault, Jase Wilts, Riley Biesterfeld, Nick Solvie, Isaac Wente, and Sean Amundson.

Seven of the returning 12 players will be seniors in the 2014-2015 season, and the Tigers have a slew of junior varsity players eager to try to hit varsity pitching including Seth Staples, Trent Marty, and Toby Sayles. Coach Torgerson sees a lot of potential with this group and in the future of the MA/C-A baseball.

Brooke Kern

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