By Melissa Marohl, Sports Writer
After the 2010-11 season came up short, Dave Lane and the Mayer Lutheran baseball team had their sights set high for 2012.
But after beginning the season 0-5 with losses to Tri-City United, LeSueur-Henderson, Sibley East, West Lutheran, and Watertown-Mayer, things weren’t shaping up the way the team had hoped.
But momentum began to gather with the team’s first win of the season, a 4-1 victory over Tri-City on April 19.
The Crusaders continued, collecting wins over Jordan (10-5 on April 26), Sibley East (4-3 on May 3) and Belle Plaine (9-4 on May 10).
Mayer Lutheran’s season peaked May 11-29 with a six game win streak. The Crusaders finished out the regular season with four wins over Norwood Young America, Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity, Bethany Academy, and Southwest Christian as well as two additional wins in the first rounds of the section tournament.
The section tournament began well for the Mayer Lutheran team, defeating the Academy for Sciences and Agriculture 13-0 on May 25. The Crusaders continued with a 7-2 win over Legacy Christian on May 29.
The Crusaders met opposition against St. Agnes on May 31, losing 10-5. St. Agnes went on to win the Class A state baseball title by defeating Lac qui Parle Valley 6-0 in the title game.
Mayer Lutheran was eliminated from the tournament by Southwest Christian in a 6-0 shutout on June 2. The Stars were subsequently eliminated in their next game.
The Crusaders finished the season 10-12 overall with a 5-9 Minnesota River Conference record. The team will be full of fresh faces for 2012-13, as the Crusaders graduated 11 seniors including William Janke, Sam Koch, Adam Kohls, Ehren Kuphal, Devin Lilienthal, Grant Noennig, Logan Radde, Erich Strehlke, Mark Struble, Luke Zacharias, and Stephen Zahrte.
Noennig was named an all-conference selection for the Crusaders this season, and Tanner Luebke was an honorable mention selection.