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Baseball: Patriots hope to defend Mid-State title

The Pequot Lakes Patriots baseball team returns 13 players this spring with hopes of defending their Mid-State Conference title. The Patriots did graduate three seniors from a squad that finished 8-0 in Mid-State games, including team MVP Ethan L...

The 2018 Patriot baseball team. Front row, from left: Erik Larsen, Hunter Wendt, Marcus Klein, Harley Large, Deven Psyck, Cam Anderson and Kevin Atwater. Back row: Daltin Ackerman, Zach Sjoblad, Austin Meister, Luke Schelander, Grant Kotaska, James Brennen, Jakob Olson. Not pictured: Chase Larson, Sam Scheuss, Josh Lelwica, Dylan Messenbrink, Sam Pfeiffer and Kobe Holterman.
The 2018 Patriot baseball team. Front row, from left: Erik Larsen, Hunter Wendt, Marcus Klein, Harley Large, Deven Psyck, Cam Anderson and Kevin Atwater. Back row: Daltin Ackerman, Zach Sjoblad, Austin Meister, Luke Schelander, Grant Kotaska, James Brennen, Jakob Olson. Not pictured: Chase Larson, Sam Scheuss, Josh Lelwica, Dylan Messenbrink, Sam Pfeiffer and Kobe Holterman. Dan Determan / Echo Journal
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The Pequot Lakes Patriots baseball team returns 13 players this spring with hopes of defending their Mid-State Conference title.

The Patriots did graduate three seniors from a squad that finished 8-0 in Mid-State games, including team MVP Ethan Lehman, who was 4-0 on the mound in conference games with a 0.78 earned-run average.

"We are looking to defend our conference championship and hope to make a good run in the section tournament with our team depth," said Pequot Lakes coach Jon Kotaska, who has compiled a 46-35-1 record in five seasons. "We will have a good group of returning players this spring. And we should have a good defensive team with 10 players returning who started a game last season."

One of those players is junior Austin Meister, who compiled a 4-0 record with a 2.22 ERA in Mid-State action last spring.

"Austin Meister may get the bulk of the pitching duties this year as well as Deven Psyck and Marcus Klein," Kotaska said. "Offensively, we should be able to hit the ball well with our experience and take advantage of the good team speed that we have on the base paths."

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Other returning letterwinners from a squad that finished 12-7 overall are seniors Chase Larson, Zach Sjoblad, Psyck, Sam Scheuss, Adam Casanova and Jakob Olson; and juniors Dylan Ackerman, Cam Anderson, Klein, Tyler Manley, Dylan Mesenbrink and Sam Pfeiffer. Meister, Sjoblad, Manley and Klein all earned All-Mid-State while Psyck received honorable mention in 2017.

Others who could contribute are Josh Lelwica, James Brennan and Owen Seidl.

Last year, the Patriots were eliminated from the West Subsection 6-2A playoffs after being upset by Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 2-1.

"This will be our first year in Section 8-2A," Kotaska said. "We will see what the new section brings."

Assistant coaches are Jon Larson, Jason Roepke and Brett Dale.

Pequot Lakes Baseball

APRIL

5 - Pequot Lakes at Pillager, 4:30 p.m.

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6 - Pequot Lakes at New York Mills, 4:30 p.m.

10 - Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at Pequot Lakes, 4:30 p.m.

17 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids (2), 4 p.m.

24 - Detroit Lakes at Pequot Lakes (2), 4 p.m.

26 - Long Prairie/Grey Eagle at Pequot Lakes, 4:30 p.m.

27 - Pequot Lakes at Pine River-Backus, 4:30 p.m.

MAY

1 - Pequot Lakes at Staples-Motley (2), 4 p.m.

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4 - Pequot Lakes at Osakis, 4:30 p.m.

7 - Milaca at Pequot Lakes, 4:30 p.m.

8 - Crosby-Ironton at Pequot Lakes (2), 4 p.m.

10 - Pequot Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek, 4:30 p.m.

14 - Upsla at Pequot Lakes, 4:30 p.m.

22 - Aitkin at Pequot Lakes (2), 4 p.m.

29 - Section playoffs open, TBD

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