Ed Olson of Eagan scores the winning run in Metro East’s 4-3 victory over Metro West in the state high school all-star baseball series. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy
When the state high school all-star baseball series ended Saturday evening, players from the winning Metro East team congratulated each other and wished each other well in college.
The majority of those who played in the four-team series will play baseball at a Division I, Division II or Division III school, or at a junior college.
There were a couple of notable exceptions. Mounds View’s Sam Hentges, who pitched his team to the state Class 3A championship last week, signed with the Cleveland Indians and will start his professional career. Hentges had been selected for the Play Ball Minnesota High School All-Star Baseball Series but did not play because he was in Cleveland last weekend.
Then there’s Ed Olson of Eagan, who was named the MVP of the all-star series. He took a little good-natured grief from the public address announcer for his college choice – the University of Wisconsin.
Olson will play baseball at Wisconsin but probably will never appear in a Big Ten Conference game. Wisconsin has not competed in Big Ten baseball since 1991, when the university dropped the program to save money and fall into line with Title IX guidelines.
The baseball void was filled by a club team, and Wisconsin now has one of the nation’s best.
“It’s a really good program,” said Olson, who plans to study engineering at Wisconsin. “They just finished third in the club baseball World Series. I’m going to college for academics, but club baseball is really competitive, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Olson went 4-for-8 over three games in the all-star series and scored four runs. He was 3-for-3 in Metro East’s 4-3 victory over Metro West on Saturday that clinched the series championship. He hit a double in the bottom of the seventh inning and scored the game-winning run.
While Olson was happy to earn the MVP award, “the best part, I think, was being on a team with all these guys and getting to know them.”
Several of Olson’s Metro East teammates were rivals during the high school season at other South Suburban Conference schools.
Olson batted .426 this spring for Eagan High School. He had 12 extra-base hits (nine doubles, three triples) and 17 RBI while playing outfield and catcher. He was a two-year regular on varsity.
“My sophomore year I didn’t play much (on varsity). But I was on the section roster, which was fun,” he said. “We had a really deep, talented group of players in 2012 and 2013.”
Olson also is playing for the Eagan Patriots American Legion team this summer. The Patriots were 9-7 overall after winning three of five games at the Burnsville Snake Pit tournament last weekend. Eagan will hold the state Legion tournament beginning July 31, and the Patriots receive an automatic berth as the host team.
Then it’s on to college for Olson. He hasn’t discussed with the Wisconsin club team coaches where he will play, although he believes middle infield and outfield are the most likely spots.
But not catcher?
“I’m not really the prototypical catcher, big and stocky,” said Olson, who’s 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds. “But I’d be game for it.”
|1990||Travis Galleberg||Forest Lake|
|1992||Brian Mensink||Rochester Mayo|
|1993||Scott Poepard||Forest Lake|
|1997||Jeff Nygren||Coon Rapids|
|1999||Mark Morris||Robbinsdale Cooper|
|2000||Chris Duda||St. Louis Park|
|2002||Pat Theilke||Coon Rapids|
|2003||Dan Lyons||Rochester Century|
|2005||Steve Turnbull||White Bear Lake|
|2009||Jonathon Traetwo||Martin County West|
|2011||Matt Geislinger||Eden Valley-Watkins|
|2013||Christian Rosenow||Rochester Mayo|