by Dennis Dalman
For the second time this season, the Sartell Muskies baseball team won another tournament title – this time from last weekend’s Elite 8 tourney in Elrosa.
The Elite 8 competitors are teams that participated in the State Amateur Baseball Tournament last year. The Muskies have competed in the state tournament each year for the past seven years. They won it twice – in 1992 and in 2013. Randy Beckstrom is the team’s manager.
During the first weekend in June, the team took the title in the Omann Invitational in Sartell. So far, the Muskies have a 17-1 record. There are two dozen guys on the roster. Their only loss so far was to Cold Spring.
During the three-day Elite 8 games, Sartell defeated the New London-Spicer Twins, 5-1; the Fergus Falls Hurricanes, 7-5; and the Crookston Cubs, 4-0.
“They’ve really had a nice run,” said Dean Schellinger, who is proud of the team for several reasons. Two of the reasons are his sons, Adam and Brian, who are longtime players on the team. Another reason is that some of the older players Schellinger coached when they were just wee lads playing T-ball.
Sartell ‘through and through’
Another reason is the team is “Sartell” through and through, unlike many teams in amateur baseball who draw members from wider areas.
“All of the members this season are from Sartell – except for two,” said Schellinger. “Two new members just graduated from Sartell High School just this year.”
Schellinger, 61, has yet another reason to be proud of the Muskies. Son Adam’s wife, Traci, gave birth to a girl, Whitney, just three days prior to the Elite 8 tournament.
“Oh yes, Whitney was at the tournament, just 3 days old,” Schellinger said. “That’s the thing about the Muskies. It’s a family affair. We’re like an extended family. We travel together, some hunt and fish together. And there’s so many players’ children now that sometimes the ball parks are like virtual day-care centers.”
Schellinger said that just a few months ago, longtime pitcher Adam Wenker welcomed his first baby, Everett, into the world.
Schellinger shared the excitement of the plays that led to the victory in Elrosa:
In the first game, against New London-Spicer, Muskies pitcher David Deminsky achieved 11 strikeouts, and there were three hits each from Tim Burns, Ethan Carlson and John Schumer.
In the game versus Fergus Falls, Schumer and Grant Mackenthun combined for the win on the mound and Burns hit a two-run homer.
In the Sunday title game, Adam Wenker fired a two-hitter, and Adam Schellinger’s homerun had two hits each from Andrew Deters and Jace Otto led the offense.
Sartell hosts playoffs
The Muskies, a C team, are part of the Sauk Valley League. Schellinger explained that A teams are those in the Twin Cities area who draw their players from a larger area. B teams also draw many players from a larger, more rural area. C teams, mostly based in smaller towns, draw players from a much smaller radius. The Muskies are unique for a C team because its players have always been, more or less, all Sartell residents raised in that city.
Schellinger noted the regional tournament will take place in Sartell sometime in mid-August, and the Sartell Stone Poneys will also participate. The state tournaments will take place in Maple Lake and Delano, just as it did when the Muskies won it in 2013.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.