After a canceled high school season, a dozen Mounds View baseball players and four from Irondale will take part in the Senior Salute tournament, hosted by the St. Paul Saints.
Senior Salute is an opportunity for players who missed their last prep season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to play one last time together.
This team is called the Norsemen, coached by Mounds View’s Mark Downey.
In a 32-team tournament, their pool play games will be against Eagan/White Bear Lake at CHS Field on Wednesday, 8 p.m.; against Eastview/Burnsville at University of Northwestern on Thursday, 1 p.m.; and against New Prague at CHS Field on Monday, July 27, at 8 p.m.
“The players are excited to be competing at such a wonderful park as CHS Field,” Downey said. “We are very appreciative of the St. Paul Saints to provide this opportunity.”
The Mounds View players are Ben Kettelhut, Brett Bateman, Carter Dooner, Dylan Loucks, Isaac Mezzenga, Jack Hentges, Mateo Cisneros, Matthew Nelson, Robert Hogan, Robert Trapnell, Sean Goldman and Trevor Rankin.
The Irondale players are Jacob Moe, Nate Foley, Nathaniel Cloutier and Nick Haugen. They were teammates of the Mounds View players in Shoreview Area Youth Baseball.
Senior Salute “should be a real fun way to end their summer of baseball,” Downey said.
The group has actually been playing since June 24, after both the high school and American Legion seasons were canceled.
“We call it East Side Baseball,” Downey said. “It's a group of high school coaches that organized to provide summer baseball with everything being cancelled. Woodbury coach Kevin McDermott organized the league.”
Approximately 14 teams participate at varsity and JV levels. Mounds View has three teams: varsity consisting of 2020 and 2021 graduates and JV consisting for 2022 graduates. Other Suburban East schools participating include Stillwater, Irondale, Roseville, Woodbury, Park, East Ridge and Cretin-Derham Hall.
Five of the Mustangs will go on to play college baseball. They are Bateman (Minnesota), Goldman (St. Olaf), Hogan and Mezzenga (North Iowa Area Community College), and Rankin (Bethel).
Mounds View placed fifth in the 2019 state high school tournament and the 2020 Mustangs were expected to be one of the leading contenders, had the season been held.
Tickets can only be obtained online, not at the ball park. The web site is: sp6.glitnirticketing.com/spticket/web/ev_list.php.