With the Covid 19 pandemic impacting the 2020 & 2021 baseball seasons, college players were not penalized and awarded an additional season. The uncertainty of 2020 & ’21 has been replaced by optimism with minor adjustments to 2021 for local high school baseball with protocols that helped to ensure player and fan safety at games and full seasons. Below are links to follow players with local ties as college baseball has started for 2022 which are hoped to be back to “normal” as the world emerges from the disruptions and adapts to normality in a Covid world.
Nick Hanson (PL’16 – MLB Draft Cincinnati Reds 2016 – 3rd Round), the 2016 Minnesota Gatorade High School Player of the Year, battled injuries as well had arm surgery since being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. He has signed for 2022 with the Reds having played through his initial contract and extending with them before the canceled 2020 season. In 2021 he had the unique distinction of being 1 of 4 pitchers in a combined no-hitter for Daytona. He posted his career-high in the 2021 season in innings pitched in a season while dropping batting average against and ERA as a Reds farmhand and will be slotted to a Minor League team following Spring Training.
Below includes links for players with local connections participating on college teams for Spring 2022:
Ryan McDonald – PL ’18, PL Jays, South Dakota State
Corbin Cross – PL ’18, PL Mudcats, Iowa Central, Concordia U – Texas
Derek Kay – PL ’18, PL Mudcats, Iowa Central CC, Minot State
Mitch Goodwin – PL ’18, PL Jays, SE Nebraska CC, DCTC, UM Crookston
AJ Lattery – PL ’19, PL Jays, Oregon State
Alex Wattermann – PL ’19, PL Mudcats, UM Duluth
Russ Tanner – PL ’19, PL Jays, UM Duluth
Sam Tanner – PL ’19, PL Jays, UM Duluth
Austin Gordon – PL ’20, PL Jays, UM Duluth
Jake Larson – PL ’20, PL Jays, NIACC
Cooper Schnackenberg – PL ’20, PL Jays, UW LaCrosse
Jonah Hoeg – PL’20, PL Jays, St Thomas (MN)
Sam Emmerich – PL’20, PL Jays, St Johns (MN) (injured ’22)
Sam Shopbell – PL’20, PL Jays, DMACC
Cooper Smith Academy of Holy Angels ’20, PL Jays, IMG Academy ’21, Seton Hill
Beau Rabey – PL’21, PL Jays, Northwestern (MN)
Dustan Green – PL’21, PL Jays, UW Eau Claire
Lance Goeschel – PL ’21, PL Jays, Southeastern Community College (IA)
Levi Iversen – Lakeville South ’21, PL Jays, Southwest Minnesota State (redshirt ’22)
Hunter Sheehan – Chanhassen ’21, PL Jays*, Gustavus Adolphus
Connor Wietgrefe – PL ’21, New Market, Northern Iowa Community College
The Prior Lake Lakers (PLHS-MSHSL/South Suburban Conference) commence their 2022 season Monday, April 11, 2022, with Varsity on the road vs Lakeville South in SSC action and JV hosting the Cougars JV at Veterans Field PL. 2022 Laker varsity home opener is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 vs. Lakeville North. Section Playoffs are slated to commence Memorial Day May 30 at higher seed for Section.
2022 PL Senior commitments: Michael Gabbard-UM Duluth, Ryan Wattermann-UM Duluth, *Troy Lynch (*Academy of Holy Angels ’22, PL Jays) Charles Running-Luther College, Nick Allbee-Augsburg, Ben Anderson-Gustavus Adolphus.
-Former PL Lakers Varsity Coach and PL Post 447 GM Greg Nesbitt has joined the staff at St Thomas for the 2022 season. He previously served as an assistant at Century College.
– Bret Mitchell, former PL Mudcat and current PL Jay, will continue 2022 in his 3rd season as an assistant for Century College baseball.
– Former PL Laker and current Jay Brandt Broderick will be assisting Chanhassen JV baseball in addition to his role with the athletic department for the Storm.
– Josh Threlkeld joins the PL Laker Varsity staff in ’22 after several stops in college coaching including head Coach at Century College. Threlkeld was a standout player for Burnsville and UMD as well served as skipper for the PL Post 447 LakerLegion early in his coaching career.
-Longtime PL Laker assistant and 10th grade Coach Bill Chinn has stepped down following the 2021 season, Good Luck to Bill, and THANKS to him for his contributions to Laker baseball!
-PLABA partnered last Fall with PLAY and added wireless capability to the scoreboard at Veterans Field. The upgrade will allow usage of the scoreboard to teams via a smartphone app to teams not using the pressbox/PA system. PLABA has, since its creation, tried to host games when the schedule has allowed for the 15 & 14 PLAY sponsored teams as well post 447 Junior American Legion.
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