Minster Wins Division IV State Baseball Title

Photos by John Zwez
Staff Writer

Minster baseball coach Mike Wiss told Wildcat senior outfielder Jon Niemeyer to sit by junior starting pitcher Jack Heitbrink before Saturday’s Division IV state championship baseball game to play the part of the experienced upperclassman before the biggest game of both players’ high school careers.

A few hours later, Niemeyer sliced a two-out state championship-winning hit the other way down the left field line to back up Heitbrink’s brilliant complete game on the mound in Minster’s 2-1 victory at Huntington Park.

Minster poured out of the first-base dugout onto the infield to celebrate the third-ever state championship in Minster baseball history and the 30th state crown by a Minster team in school history.

Minster proved how much it grew during the season. In the second game of the campaign on March 28, Russia walloped the Wildcats 17-6. A couple months later, Minster held the Raiders to one run on five hits to give the offense enough time to scratch out the winning run in the final inning.

The capitol city is still a charmed one for the Wildcats. The championship is Minster’s third of the decade and first since winning back-to-back state titles in 2011 and 2012. Minster is now 6-0 all-time at Huntington Park.

Heitbrink set the tone. After giving up a run in the second inning, he put up zeroes the rest of the way by forcing Russia to bat the ball into the ground for 10 groundouts along with five strikeouts and just one walk.

Heitbrink’s complete game victory wrapped up a run of pitching that held opponents to just four runs over the entire tournament a day after Aaron Ernst twirled a complete game shutout in the 3-0 win over Toronto in the state semifinals.

Read and see more photos of Minster title victory in this week's Community Post.