Rebels work to continue success with new cast

MCC baseball preview 2024

Photo by the Murray County Wheel Herald The 2024 Murray County Central baseball team includes Aidan Dierks, Carson Lewis, Carter Hanson, Cayden Veldhuisen, Danny Larson, Drew Wajer, Dugan Kluis, Dylan Kluis, Gavin Gillette, Jesse Klein, Krew Schneider, Owen Gillette, Teague Meyer, Torin Thunder Hawk, Tristan Behrends and Wyatt Loosbrock. The team is coached by Paul Counter with assistant coaches Joel Herrig and Tim Cariveau.

SLAYTON — The Murray County Central baseball team graduated a group of key pieces after the 2023 season. Christian Tentinger, Abe Paulzine, Derek Kluis and Carter Benda were all key components of the Rebels’ 15-4 campaign. Yet, the Rebels’ abundance of young talent makes them, once again, a team worth keeping an eye on this season. 

Among the most exciting returning pieces for the Rebels is Krew Schneider. As an eighth grader last year, Schneider put together a .425 batting average and a 1.158 OPS. He also led all returning players with 12 RBIs and 20 runs last season.

In limited action on the mound — nine innings — Schneider also showed potential as a two-way player. He earned a pair of wins in his limited action and registered a respectable 3.11 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He also struck out 13 batters in those nine innings.

The Rebels earned the No. 2 seed in the Section 3A South bracket last year. They defeated Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 7-0 in their postseason opener before they were upset by No. 6 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove in the second round, 8-7.

Still, the Rebels got some redemption in the elimination bracket. They defeated the No. 4S Edgerton/Southwest Christian 12-2 in their elimination opener, took down the North bracket’s No. 2 seed in Central Minnesota Christian by a final score of 15-3, and then got some payback against TMB with a 13-5 win to get within a game of the championship game. Yet, No. 1S RTR ended the Rebels’ season with a 5-4 loss at the Irish Yard.

While Schneider showed flashes on the mound last season, the Rebels will need to develop some new arms. Of the 119 innings the Rebels pitched as a team last year, Paulzine accounted for 56 2/3 of them and Derek Kluis accounted for another 26 1/3.

Among the players expected to step up is Dylan Kluis, who was third on the team with 25 1/3 innings on the mound last year. In eight appearances with four starts, Kluis compiled a 2-1 record with a save. He struck out 35 batters and recorded a 3.59 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.

Teague Meyer has also been a player who has looked like a quality arm in his early-season action this year. He’s pitched 8 1/3 innings already this season, accumulating a 1.20 ERA.

Dylan Kluis also tied Tentinger for a team-high two home runs on the season. While MCC went yard a total of seven times last season, Kluis is the only returning player to hit the long ball.

Owen Gillette didn’t have much opportunity in last year’s loaded roster, but he made the most of his six plate appearances by hitting a pair of singles and a double. While it’s still early in the 2024 campaign, the senior appears to be ready for the added opportunity he’ll have this season. He’s started the year with a .400 batting average through the first five games and his .937 OPS trails only Schneider’s 1.059.

The Rebels have been hot to start the year, winning four of their first five games. They’ve shown an ability to run away with wins, such as Thursday’s 12-4 victory over Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda, and an ability to gut out close games, with their other three wins being decided by two runs or fewer.

This year’s Rebels team includes four seniors: Aidan Dierks, Owen Gillette, Jesse Kline and Wyatt Loosbrock.

MCC will look to keep its momentum rolling when it heads to Lamberton to take on Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove on Saturday at 11 a.m.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today