4 Knights named all-conference, Royals land 3
By Rob LaPlante
Crow River News Sports
St. Michael-Albertville pitcher Jacob Dzubay had one final time to represent himself as a high school senior.
In the 39th annual High School All-Star Series held June 21-22 in Chaska, Maple Grove head coach and Metro West co-coach Darby Carlson called upon Dzubay to start the first game of the series against Metro North.
Dzubay finished his senior season leading STMA in nearly all statistical pitching categories. His 5-2
record, 2.16 ERA, 45.1 innings pitched, 33 strikeouts, one shutout and three complete games were all team leading.
“To be honest, I hadn’t had a chance to see Jacob pitch,” said Carlson, who has been the Crimson head coach the past 17 years. Carlson also is an assistant for the STMA football team in the fall. “I talked to (STMA coach) Paul Schumm and he mentioned how Dzubay is their most consistent pitcher. He’s not overpowering, but he throws strikes and keeps hitters off balance with a good changeup.”
Metro West had a star-studded pitching staff with pitchers like Coon Rapids’ Logan Shore – the Star Tribune Metro Player of Year and future Florida Gator. Shore is also a 2013, 29th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins. Also on the staff was Ryan Tapani of Providence Academy. Tapani is the son of former Twins’ starter Kevin Tapani.
Other Metro West Division-I recruited players were Holy Family’s Rollie Lacy (Creighton), Edina’s Matt Hopfner (Northwestern), Delano’s Zach Muckenhirn (North Dakota), Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Justus Nelson (North Dakota) and Totino-Grace’s Ben Petersen (North Dakota State).
Dzubay will walk-on this fall with the hopes of making it at Butler University in Indianapolis. Amazingly, the recent senior graduate not only had a stellar pitching season, but he also led the Knights offense in hits (25), doubles (7), RBI’s (16) and a team-high .333 batting average.
“It’s always been a dream to play Division-I baseball,” said Dzubay, after shutting down Moorhead 5-0 in a section playoff win.
Making his final high school start for Metro West on June 21 at Chaska, Dzubay pitched a perfect 1-2-3 bottom of the first inning. He was touched for two runs in the bottom of the second to give the North a 2-1 advantage, but he rebounded with a scoreless third inning before lightning forced a delay, ultimately cancelling the game in the fourth with the West leading 4-2.
Due to the contest being a 9-inning affair, Dzubay and the West squad failed to go the required five innings to make it an official contest.
“He did a nice job,” said Carlson, who last appeared as a coach in the all-star series in 2002. “It’s fitting that with the spring we had that the game ended up being cancelled due to weather.”
With so many talented pitchers and players on the roster, Carlson and Holy Family head coach Bryan DeLorenzo and Robbinsdale Armstrong head coach Brian Sobiech had planned on scheduling each pitcher to throw two innings to make sure everybody had a chance to pitch.
Metro West would drop Saturday’s first game to Metro South 2-0. South eventually posted a 3-0 record during the 2-day series at Chaska Athletic Park. West rebounded to take the series finale 3-0 over Metro East. Shore started the third game, but wasn’t around long enough to figure in the decision.
“Shore is head and shoulders the most talented of the pitchers,” Carlson said. “We’ve had some top-notch guys play in this all-star series and this year’s group had some real nice pitchers.”
DZUBAY TEAM MVP
After a stellar year from both the pitching rubber and from home plate, Dzubay was recently named the 2013 STMA Most Valuable Player. He also was given the honor as the team’s Mr. Clutch and Silver Slugger.
Other honors went to sophomore Jordan Joseph who earned the Rookie of the Year as well as the Gold Glove honors. Senior Owen Gammell came away with the Mr. Team honor.
The Knights finished the season 12-10-1 overall and finished third in the Mississippi 8 standings behind Big Lake and Monticello with a 5-4-1 record.
Mike Morehead of Big Lake was named the M-8 Coach of Year. The pitching MVP was a tri-split with senior Nathan Soltau of Big Lake, junior Kyle Ellis of Rogers and Dzubay. The Co-Offensive MVP went to senior’s Hayden Laimer of Monticello and Ryan Gelle of Rogers. The Defensive MVP went to Jared Wycoff of Buffalo.
Dzubay, along with senior pitcher Tyler Dallum, senior catcher Jeff Hackenmueller and sophomore outfielder Tyler Berg were named all-conference for the Knights.
Gelle, Ellis and junior pitcher Adam Nauth were named all-conference for Rogers.
Big Lake led the Mississippi 8 with six players named to the team, while Monticello was second with five.