Knutson and Ebnet earn All-WCC for Benson

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Earning All-Conference for the Braves this year were Jared Knutson (left) and firstbaseman Matt Ebnet.

The Benson baseball team ended the 2019 season with a 6-11 overall record and 4-10 mark within the WCC under the guidance of first-year head coach Mark Grussing.   

 

The Braves were 5-5 at one point in the season before losing six of their final seven games, including a 3-2 loss to Montevideo in the opening round of the Section 3AA Baseball Tournament.

Benson, which beat Montevideo twice during the regular-season (5-3 and 11-6), was seeded fourth in its half of the section while the Thunderhawks were seeded fifth.  Paynesville went on to earn the section title with a 4-0 victory over Luverne in the finals, while Fairmont was third and ACGC fourth.

Minnewaska Area won this year’s WCC title with an 11-3 league record, followed by BOLD (9-5), Melrose and Sauk Centre (both 8-6), ACGC (7-7), Morris Area-CA (5-9), and Benson and Montevideo (both 4-10).

The complete Benson varsity baseball roster for 2019 included seniors Jared Knutson, Matthew Goossen, Matt Lenarz, Matthew Ebnet, and Alex Wrobleski; juniors Will Enderson, Jayden Bailey, Matthew Tolifson, Ross Metz, Jacob Wolter, and Jacob Fath; and sophomores Patrick Minchow, Sam Lenarz, Corbin Holmquist, Josh Norby, Sam Grussing, Cole Hedman, Kellen Schmidt, and Matt Laumeyer.

Benson scored 63 total runs this season, including games of 9, 9, and 11 runs during three of its six wins, but the Braves also scored just 34 runs in its other 14 games combined.  Benson also gave up 73 runs, yielding double-digit runs only one time during a 10-0 loss to Melrose Area.

The Braves lost eight games this season by one or two runs, including losses of 2-1, 5-3, 3-2, and 3-2 again in its last four games.

Seniors lost to graduation from this year’s Benson baseball team are seniors Jared Knutson, Matthew Goossen, Matt Lenarz, Matthew Ebnet, and Alex Wrobleski.  They each received a six-year baseball award for their dedication to the Benson baseball program.

“I am pleased with how our guys competed this year,” coach Mark Grussing said.  “While we finished 6-11, nearly every single one of those games was a low-scoring affair. For the most part, we didn’t beat ourselves with poor pitching or defense; we just struggled to score runs in key situations. 

 

I couldn’t be more proud of our seniors. They were good leaders and great young men. They had a passion for the game of baseball and I feel fortunate to have been able to coach them.”

Earning All-Conference for the Braves this season was Jared Knutson, who batted .234 for the Braves, while also going 2-3 on the mound and playing a vareity of positions.  Selected to the honorable mention team was firstbaseman Matthew Ebnet, who batted .333.

 

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