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Chapter IV: Baseball Continued

-1953 -

The old adage that championships are won on superior pitching proved true in Buster Hiller's third year of coaching. Bill Mosso graduated in 1952 and the two ex-Cretin aces, John O'Donnell and George Bodmer, were drafted into the military service. Fran "Red" Wall was still with the team, and Hiller still had his superb catcher Dick Noterman to handle his freshman pitchers, Ronald "Bucky" May, Robert Kleinschmidt, and David "Lefty" Perl. The hitting was powerful on occasion and at the end of the season the Jays found themselves in second place, the runner up spot behind St. Mary's (11-1), with a record of eight wins, one tie, and four losses. (The Record furnished no explanation of the tied baseball game with Hamline.)

The surprise of the season was the pitching of Ronald "Bucky" May who, until the final double-header with St. Mary's, had pitched four games without a defeat. The choice game of the year was the defeat of St. Thomas (3-2) by Bob Kleinschmidt in an eleven-inning game without relief. Another freshman pitcher, David "Lefty" Perl, performed several brilliant relief jobs when the right-handers got into trouble.

The sluggers performed their part in the success of the season by piling up a total of 89 runs to 53 by the opposition. Top hitters were again, as in 1952, seniors Dick Noterman and "Jiggs" Loonan. Freshman Donald Carlson, Leroy Lilly and Philibert Wartman proved that they could take over the batting leadership in the following year. Although hopes of a championship had been low at the beginning of the season, the team went into the final days of the year with the prospect of tying for the title should they be able to sweep a doubleheader over St. Mary's, the leading team in the conference. To their disappointment they dropped both games by scores of 6-2 and 6-1 and ended the season in second place.

LINE-UP

Dale Hartman (?) 2b
Duwayne Hanson '53 3b
James Loonan '53 cf
Richard Notermann '54 c
Peter Trebtoske '58 rf
James McCord '53 c
Leroy Lilly '55 of
James Schoener '54 1b
Fran Wall '56 1b, p
Robert Kleinschmidt '56 P
Ronald May '56 P

RECORD

8 wins 4 losses

Conference-2nd place

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                  W L

May             4 1

Kleinschmidt  2 1

Perl              1 0

 

Coach-Hiller

Assistant-O'Brien

Captain- Notermann

SCORES

SJU         Opponents

15....Macalester....3

5.....St. Olaf.........8

1.....Gustavus.......0

15....Augsburg......8

6.....Augsburg.......5

17....Hamline.........5

12....St. Thomas....3

3.....St. Thomas.....2

2.....Hamline......2 (tie)

9.....Macalester......1

2.....St. Mary's.......6

2.....St. Mary's.......6

1.....St. Mary's.......6

CONFERENCE STANDING

St. Mary's 11-1

St. John's 8-4

Gustavus 7-5

St. Thomas 5-6

Hamline 4-5

Augsburg 4-8

Macalester 0-11

- 1954 -

William "Bill" Osborne, a St. John's graduate and member of Fr. Dunstan's '43, '47, '48 teams, took over the coaching duties when John "Buster" Hiller resigned in the summer of 1953. From the beginning, Bill was an extraordinarily successful baseball coach, and in six seasons amassed two conference co-championships, one with St. Thomas and one with St. Mary's, and one championship outright. Buster Hiller had left him with a good team-eight lettermen that included the three top pitchers of 1953: Ronald "Bucky" May, Bob Kleinschmidt, and David Perl, the last a left-handed specialist. At shortstop he had Dick "Ditch" Boys, a 1951 shortstop who returned to St. John's after a three-year term of military duty. With his pitching staff, a strong infield and a great catcher in the person of Don "Beezer" Carlson, the team was a formidable defensive club. While it was not particularly strong at the plate-with the exception of Carlson who batted for a .418 average-the hitters were good competitors who generally delivered timely hits and runs in emergencies. They made up for some batting deficiencies with an aggressive base running policy that netted them 41 stolen bases, in contrast to the 12 by the opposing teams.

In a seventeen-game schedule, the Jays dropped three conference games for an MIAC record of ten wins and three losses, thereby tying St. Mary's for the co-championship.

The race for top honors in the MIAC baseball season had been close from the beginning and lasted until the end of the sixteenth inning of the final game of the season. The game was tied at 1-1 until the sixteenth inning when finally Bucky May, the St. John's ace pitcher, yielded three runs. The loss dropped St. John's into a tie with St. Mary's for the co-championship with identical records of ten wins and three losses.

The 1954 infield merits special attention. Carlson, the catcher, was the leader of the team. Smart and strong, he made the infield calls with vigor and authority. On first base was Wayne Hergott, affectionately styled "The Old Pro." Mike O'Connor was at second, Thomas Jaeb at third, and Dick Boys at shortstop. Boys was probably the best shortstop in St. John's history in handling double-play situations. Captain Lilly in left field, Marty Rathmanner in center, and Peter Trebtoske in right made up a winning outfield combination.

LINE-UP

Richard Boys So ss
Donald Carlson So c
Donald Catton Fr 2b
Wayne Hergott Fr 1b
Thomas Jaeb Fr 3b
Leroy Lilly Sr lf
James Muchlinski So 1b
Michael O'Connor Fr 2b
James Pettit Fr c, of
Marty Rathmanner Fr cf
Cyril Schoener Sr 1b, of
William Sexton Jr 3b
Peter Trebtoske So rf
Peter Castner  (?) p
Robert Kleinschmidt So p
Ronald "Bucky" May So p
David "Lefty" Perl So p
John Rian Fr p

Coach-Osborne

Co-captains-Boys and Lilly

Conference-Co-championshi p

(1st place tied with St. Mary's 10-3)

Overall: 13 wins 4 losses

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                  W L

May             6 2

Kleinschmidt  4 1

Perl             2 0

Castner       0 1

Rian            1 0

SJU           Opponents

1....St. Cloud TC....0

9....St. Cloud TC....2

4....St. Olaf..........1

6....Gustavus........7

7....St. Mary's.......6

9....Macalester......3

7....Macalester......1

1....St. Thomas.....0

7....Bemidji...........6

7....St. Thomas.....3

4....Hamline..........2

3....St. Cloud.......8

8....Gustavus.......7

11....Augsburg.....2

5....Augsburg.......7

1....St. Mary's......4

- 1955 -

The 1955 team continued the winning ways of the Bill Osborne regime. In an 18-game schedule the Jays ended the season with an overall record of 14 wins against four losses. Losses were to the following teams: Carleton (3-7); the University of Minnesota (5-10); St. Thomas (1-6); and Hamline (4-5). St. John's won the conference championship with a record of ten victories versus two defeats. St. John's again had in Ron "Bucky" May, George Bodmer, Bob Kleinschmidt and David Perl the best pitching staff in the conference and, undoubtedly, the best catcher in the person of Donald "Beezer" Carlson, the sparkplug and leading hitter of the team. He was a veritable fireball with enough power at the plate to be nicknamed "Grand Slam Carlson" by his teammates.

Despite the superiority of the 1955 team over the rest of the conference opponents, the championship was not easily won. Some games were won by the closest of margins; some ran into extra innings. As has happened many times in the history of Hamline-St. John's athletic competition, the more powerful St. John's was waylaid by the fifth place Pipers for this year that sent the over-confident Jays home defeated by a score of 4-5. The box scores indicate a smart handling of the St. John's offensive by timely hits, cleverly placed bunts, fast base running, and generally the obstinate refusal to accept any other game outcome than victory.

LINE-UP

George Bodmer Sr p
Don Carlson Jr c
Peter Castner Sr p
Albert Eisele Fr p
Leo Eisenzimmer Fr 3b
James Foquette Fr of
William Gries Fr c
Robert Hartinger Fr 2b
Wayne Hergott So 1b
Bob Kleinschmidt Jr p
James Lehman Jr of 5
Mark Lohmann Fr p
Ronald May Jr p
Tom Melchior Fr 3b
James Muchlinski Jr of
Michael O'Connor So 2b
David Perl Jr p
Dick Pettit So of
Marty Rathmanner So 3b
Russ Reiter Fr 3b
John Rian So p
Robert Tschida Fr ss

Coach-Osborne
Captain -Boys

SCORES

SJU        Opponents

3....St. Cloud TC....6

2....St. Cloud TC....2 (tie)

10...St. Olaf.........12

3....Carleton..........7

16...Macalester......2

6....Augsburg.........2

3....St. Mary's........2

27...Augsburg.........8

19...St. Cloud TC....2

5.....U. of Minn. ....10

12....Macalester....3

5.....Gustavus......3

4.....Gustavus......3

4.....Hamline........5

1.....St. Thomas...6

3.....St. Thomas...1

13....Hamline........2

6.....St. Mary's.....4

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                  W L

May             5 3

Bodmer         3 2

Kleinschmidt  2 1

Perl             1 0

 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS

St. John's 10-2

St. Mary's 9-3

St. Thomas 8-4

Augsburg 6-6

Hamline 4-8

Macalester 3-9

Gustavus 2-10

-1956 -

During the 1950's, under the coaching of Max Molock, St. Mary's had become one of the baseball strongholds in the MIAC. The Jays started the 1956 season with three wins against St. Olaf, Carleton, and St. Cloud, but in the fourth game they tested the St. Mary's power and lost their first conference game to the tune of 2-5. The team did not lose hope, however, and bounced back with five straight wins.

All looked rosy again until they met St. Cloud Teachers for a second season loss of 5-7, and it became obvious that they would have to struggle to retain their 1955 championship. Then followed a 6-7 loss to St. Thomas for the second conference defeat. Finally, the Jays lost three games running: to St. Mary's at Winona in a 12-20 slugfest, a loss to the University of Minnesota 4-9, and a 1-2defeat by St. Thomas, the fourth loss in the conference schedule.

The conference season ended with St. Thomas winning the championship, with St. Mary's the runnerup in second place. St. John's was third with a still creditable record of eight wins and four losses. It is true, St. John's still had its three star pitchers, Bucky May, Bob Kleinschmidt, and David Perl, but it was also true that the conference teams came up with stronger pitching and the St. John's bats were not as effective as in the previous year. Onthe other hand, two new pitchers, Al Eisele and Russ Fischer, were gaining experience that made them top performers in the 1957 and 1958 seasons.

At the end of the season catcher Don Carlson was signed to a baseball contract by the Chicago Cubs.

LINE-UP

Wm. McGrann Fr ss .220
James Foquette So cf .297
Marty Rathmanner Jr 2b .190
Donald Carlson Sr c .284
Dick Matchinsky Jr rf .167
Wayne Hergott Jr 1b .348
Tom Melchior So If .218
Russ Reiter So 3b .263
Ronald May Sr p .161
David Perl Sr p .385
Bob Kleinschmidt Sr p .400
John Rian Jr p .286
Leo Eisenzimmer So ss .300
Pat Dolan Fr p .000
Len Kohler Fr c .000
Russ Fischer Fr p .000
Al Eisele So p .000
Jim Muchlinski Sr of .000
Mark Lohmann So p .000

PITCHERS’ RECORDS

                 W L

Kleinschmidt 2 2

May            5 2

Perl             2 0

Rian            1 1

Eisele          0 1

Fischer        0 0

Harrington    0 1

SCORES

SJU        Opponents

4....St. Olaf.........0

8....Carleton........3

1....St. Cloud TC..6

2....St. Mary's.....5

3....Moorhead......0

1....Hamline.........0

8....Gustavus.......3

5....St. Cloud.......7

10...Macalester....2

9....Macalester....4

6....St. Thomas...8

3....Gustavus......2

10...Augsburg.....9

7....Augsburg......0

12...St. Mary's...20

4....U. of Minn. ...9

1....St. Thomas...2

-1957 -

The 1957 Jays suffered only two defeats in the entire season. The first loss came on April 24 by a score of 1-3 at the hands of Hamline, the second a loss to St. Mary's (11-0), the only shut-out of the year. The next eight games were won handily, with pitcher Al Eisele winning the next five games, then clinching the MIAC championship in a one hit performance. The ultimate outcome of the season was that St. John's ended in a tie with St. Mary's, and therefore a co-championship, since both teams had like records, ten conference victories and two defeats.

As is usually the case, a championship team has the advantage of having a star pitching staff that overwhelms the other strong teams in the league. Especially effective in the 1957 year were Al Eisele and Russ Fischer, each belonging among the pitching greats at St. John's. Eisele had a record of five wins and one loss, Fischer four wins and no losses. Eisele won five games straight in the championship drive, in the last two games limiting Gustavus to three hits and clinching the championship with a one-hit shut-out of Macalester, 7-0.

The Record reporter, however, credits each individual of the regulars with contributing his share to the championship-"each regular has his day!" For all-around play, Tom Melchior could be considered a super-star of the offensive as well as of the defensive game. He carried a batting average of .381, hitting two doubles, two triples, and two homeruns. He drove in twelve runs, despite being lead-off man with few men on base when he came up to bat. Close behind him in offensive action was star shortstop Tom "Whizzer" White who hit .297, drove in fourteen runs, and hit two doubles and two homeruns. Bill McGrann at second base committed only one error for the season and batted .326, with three doubles and two homers. Russ Reiter, third base, led in runs-batt ed-in (15), batted .375, with a number of extra base hits: two doubles, three triples, and two homeruns. The team batting average was .311. The number of stolen bases reached 61.

LINE-UP

James Archbold
Mark Lohmann
Leonard Kohler
John Connors
Patrick Dolan
Tom Melchior
Albert Eisele
Frank Moran
Leo Eisenzimmer
M. Rathmanner
Russ Fischer
Russ Reiter
John Getchman
John Rian
Robert Hartinger
Cyril Schoener
Wayne Hergott
Pete Trebtoske
Vernon Hruby
Thomas White
Robert Ilg
Coach-Osborne
Pitching coach-Fr. Dunstan Tucker
Co-captains-Rathmanner, Hergott

SCORES

SJU          Opponents

9....Carleton.........2

9....St. Olaf..........0

5....St. Cloud TC...1

1....Hamline..........3

5....St. Thomas.....4

6....St. Thomas.....4

17...Macalester....13

0....St. Mary's......11

8.....Hamline.........2

19...St. Cloud TC..10

7....Augsburg........3

8....Augsburg........0

6....Gustavus........1

4....Gustavus........3

7....Macalester......0

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                    W L

Pat Dolan        0 0

Al Eisele          6 1

Russ Fischer    4 0

Robert Ilg        3 1

Mark Lohmann  1 0

Bob Hartinger   0 0

John Rian        0 0

Conference-co-championship
Conference: 11 wins 2 losses
Overall: 14 wins 2 losses

-1958 -

Bill Osborne's 1958 team captured the fourth St. John's championship in five years-an unusual feat in the baseball history of any MIAC college. Naturally, hitting played an important part in the outcome of the season, but the main factor was the pitching of Eisele who won the last two games of the conference race by defeating St. Mary's, one a one-hitter, 4-0, and St. Thomas (3-2) by scattering five hits and limiting the Tommie scoring to two runs. Both of these games were crucial and the winning of both a dramatic exhibition of college baseball. St. Mary's had one of its best teams, but forfeited one game through the ineligibility of one player, thereby leaving St. John's only one game behind the leader.

The final standings of the three teams found St. John's tied with St. Mary's with nine victories and three losses. St. Thomas took third place.

It would be no more than justice to attribute the 1958 co-championship to the pitching of Eisele and Dolan, but mainly to Eisele's overall contribution to the team effort. The batting average of the team was .208, 100 points below that of 1957. Eisele himself batted for an average of .296 and five runs batted in. Two other batting leaders for 1958 were Russ Reiter, who hit .280 with four homeruns and thirteen runs batted in, and Tom Melchior .237 with five doubles, one homer, and eight runs batted in.

Should ever a St. John's Hall of Fame be drawn up, Al Eisele will be among the top pitchers in SJU baseball history. Shortly after the 1958 season he joined the Minot, North Dakota, professional club in the Northern League and pitched successfully for several years, in the meantime drifting towards a life-time career in journalism. Later, as Washington correspondent for the St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press, the Duluth Herald, and other Ridder newspapers, he followed closely the careers of Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey in the struggle for the Democratic nomination in the 1968 presidential campaign. Out of it came his outstanding book, Almost to the Presidency, the best and most readable report on the political struggle between these products of two Minnesota private colleges, St. John's University and Macalester College.

LINE-UP

Al Eisele Sr p .296
L. Eisenzimmer Sr rf .219
Patrick Dolan Jr p .200
John Getchman So 2b .143
Bob Hartinger Sr ss .260
Verne Hruby So 2b .182
Len Kohler Jr c .219
Robert Ilg Jr p .100
Patrick Leamy Fr ss .200
Wm. McGrann Jr If .182
Tom Melchior Sr cf .237
Frank Moran So p .000
John Nett So 2b .178
Russ Reiter Sr 3b .280
Richard Sabers So 1b .205
Cyril Schoener So 1b, c .151
Peter Trebtoske Sr rf .050

Coach-Osborne

SCORES

SJU      Opponents

7....St. Olaf.........2

6....Carleton........2

2....Gustavus.......1

5....Augsburg.......4

4....Augsburg.......5

6....St. Cloud TC..7

3....St. Thomas....2

0....St. Mary's......8

8....Hamline.........4

8....Hamline.........3

0....U. of Minn.....2

4....Gustavus......0

2....Macalester....0

0....Macalester....3

4....St. Mary's.....0

4...St. Thomas....2

 

PITCHERS' RECORDS

            W L

Eisele     8 1

Dolan     2 1

Ilg         1 3

Lohmann 0 0

 

CONFERENCE STANDING

St. John's 9-3

St. Mary's 9-3

St. Thomas 8-4

Hamline 6-6

Gustavus 5-7

Augsburg 3-9

Macalester 2-10

Overall: 11 wins 5 losses
Conference: 9 wins 3 losses

-1959 -

The inevitable always happens-star pitchers graduate eventually! Bill Osborne lost Al Eisele through graduation and in 1959 had only Co-captain Pat Dolan and John Ozbun, a freshman, to carry on the winning tradition. Co-captain Bob Ilg had been disappointed with his 1958 pitching record and withdrew from mound duty to play at his favorite position in centerfield. He starred at center and batted a .310 average with six homeruns and 21 runs batted in. But Dolan's pitching and Ilg's batting were insufficient to win the 1959 championship. The team won eight games of its sixteen-game schedule and ended in fourth place in the MIAC with a record of six wins and six losses. The power 'teams of 1959 (St. Thomas, St. Mary's and Augsburg) ended the season in a three-way tie of nine games won and three lost.

The great event of 1959 was the St. John's 9-7 defeat of Dick Siebert's University of Minnesota Big Ten champion in a surprise upset on the Rox field in St. Cloud. Pat Dolan in a super effort held the Big Ten champions to eleven hits and seven runs. He struck out seven batters and issued five bases on balls. The victory not only redeemed the reputation of the team as a winner but raised it up equal in fame with the 1937 team that defeated Minnesota by a score of 5-3.

While 1959 was not one of Bill Osborne's best years, the large number of freshman candidates at his disposal to fill in the gaps left by graduating veterans from 1958 was a handicap, since most of them were approximately of the same ability. Pat Dolan was a proved veteran who pitched brilliantly at times, but he lacked the backing of a strong offensive team. Freshman John Ozbun, an all-state high school hurler from Grand Rapids, had a good record with two wins and three losses. Dick Johnson, also a promising pitcher, had a record of one victory and two losses. Lyle Christie, who was used only sparingly on the mound, turned out to be a strikeout artist in 1960. In fact, the pitching records of 1959 were good, considering that the young Jays were competing against three of the best hitting clubs in the MIAC for several years.

This was Bill Osborne's last year at St. John's. He resigned to go into business in Billings, Montana, leaving behind at St. John's a record of 61 victories against only 21 losses, for a coaching average of .734 and four baseball championships in his six years of coaching. St. John's lost a fine coach and gentleman!

LINE-UP SCORES

Don Anderson Fr If .234
James Boyd Fr c .143

Lyle Christie Fr p --
Pat Dolan Sr p .179
Jerry Foltmer Fr c, of .286
Henry Gallagher Fr of .143
John Getchman Sr 2b
David Halstrom Fr c .179
Robert Ilg Sr cf .310
Dennis Leahy So ss .242
William McGrann Sr 2b .322
Frank Moran Sr p --
John Ozbun Fr p .200
John Nett So 2b --
Richard Sabers Jr 1b .286

Coach-Osborne
Co-captains-Ilg, Dolan

SCORES

SJU                Opponents

2....St. Olaf.............1

13...Macalester.......18

3....Carleton............6

7....Gustavus...........0

2....Gustavus...........0

16...Hamline...........25

5....St. Cloud State..8

3....St. Mary's.........6

2....St. Mary's.........8

12...Macalester.......1

0....Augsburg..........10

8....St. Thomas........4

1....St. Thomas........4

9....U. of Minn. .......7

12...Augsburg..........7

3....Hamline.............4

PITCHERS' RECORDS

               W L

Dolan        5 3

Ozbun       2 3

Johnson     1 2

Christie      0 0

Moran        0 0

Heurung     0 0

RECORD

Overall: 8 wins 8 losses
Conference: 6 wins 6 losses

- 1960 -

The new baseball coach, Dr. Ross Horning, was introduced to the St. John's student body with a Record article (March17,1960), "Meet Colorful, Versatile, 'Doc' Horning." Ross Horning was indeed a versatile coach for the college baseball team-a former professional baseball player, World War II Air Force pilot, specialist in Russian history and international law. He was a member of the St. John's history department.

Dr. Horning's qualifications for baseball coaching were impressive. As a player in the St. Louis Cardinal and Chicago Cub systems, he made the tour of the Nebraska and Western Association Coast leagues, even the Northern League, and once played second base in a Northern League all-star game in St. Cloud. He had coaching experience as player-manager of the Pierre, South Dakota, team in the Basin League.

The 1960 Jays made a fast start by winning the first five games of the schedule before losing the first tilt. But about the time when all looked bright for winning the championship, they dropped a doubleheader to St. Thomas by scores of 1-5 and 1-3. Then came further reverses. Following the St. Thomas fiasco they dropped a game each to St. Mary's, North Dakota State, and Gustavus. They wound up the season with a rousing victory over Concordia by a score of 10-5.

To account for the sudden drop in victories is generally to assume that something happened to the team, some fault that should have been corrected. Actually, it was simply a matter of meeting the strong conference teams with well-developed pitching staffs. St. Thomas and Gustavus were MIAC co-champions in 1960. The Jays ended the season with a record of six wins and five losses and third place in the conference.

Outstanding players for the season were pitchers John Ozbun, Lyle Christie, and catcher Dave Halstrom. Lyle Christie, practically obscured by Pat Dolan and Ozbun in 1959, turned out to be the top pitcher and reliever in 1960.In 36 innings of pitching he allowed only ten hits and struck out 41 batters. His earned run average was 1.48.

Unfortunately, the Record omitted all box scores of the 1960 team and hence the best that can be done is to enumerate ten or eleven of the players with their playing positions.

LINE-UP

Lyle Christie p
John Getchman of
Henry Gallagher of
David Halstrom c
Vernon Hruby 3b
Richard Johnson p
Dennis Leahy ss
John Ozbun p
Dick Sabers 1b
Tony Schreiner of
Richard Thiel 2b

Coach-Dr. Ross Horning

SCORES

4....Macalester....3

9....St. Olaf.........1

3....Augsburg.......2

4....Augsburg.......2

8....Hamline.........3

5....St. Thomas....6

1....St. Thomas....3

1....St. Marys......3

3...N. Dak. State..5

2....Gustavus.......4

10..Concordia.......5

-1961 -

Dr. Ross Horning coached baseball for only one season and was replaced by Edward Hasbrouck, a former member of the 1942, '46, '47, and '48 teams, who was appointed head basketball and baseball coach. An imposing number of baseball players met the new coach, among them several members of the 1960 team: Dave Halstrom, catcher, and two proved pitchers, John Ozbun and Lyle Christie, the latter a fastball pitcher with a good strikeout record. The entire infield had graduated or transferred, however, leaving the new coach with the problem of finding the best men to fill the vacancies.

After an opening loss to St. Olaf the Jays won four straight games, then dropped one to Macalester, defeated Concordia easily, and seemed to be in line for a run at the championship of the MIAC. A "heart rending" defeat by St. Thomas (3-6),followed by a defeat administered by Augsburg, mainly because of pitcher wildness, dimmed the team's hopes. The Record reporter concluded his account of the season as follows: "A marathon victory over St. Mary's, a walk-filled loss to league champion Augsburg, a narrow win over Gustavus, and the walloping of St. Cloud completed the season." The Jays completed the conference play with a record of five wins and three losses for third place in the MIAC.

Leading hitter and all-around star was third baseman John Christopherson, an ex-St. Thomas Academy stand-out, with an average of .381. Jim Boyd, an outfielder, led the team in runs batted in with a batting average of .314. John Ozbun had a 3-2 pitching record. While Lyle Christie had a good season, the find of the year was Mark Sieve with two wins and no losses, and 26 strikeouts in 24 innings of play. Marvin Kaisersatt, shortstop, led in homeruns (two) and hit for a .282 average. Ray Cipriano hit a grand slam homer in a 16-2 rout of Hamline.

Regulars for the year were the following: Dave Halstrom, catcher; Tony Schreiner, first base; Bernie Beckman and Terry Schmid, second base; John Christopherson, third base; outfielders Henry Gallagher, Ray Cipriano, Dennis Lynch, and James Boyd.

LINE-UP

Tony Schreiner
Bernie Beckman Ronald Stueber
Bill Beaupre Mark Sieve
James Boyd Coach-Hasbrouck
Lyle Christie
John Christopherson
Ray Cipriano
Henry Gallagher
Michael Gerbich
Paul Grengs
Dick Grommach
Dave Halstrom
Donald Hazlewood
Dave Hinkemeyer
Wally Hinz
Dick Johnson
Marvin Kaisersatt
Dennis Lynch
John McCormick
John Myler
John Ozbun

SCORES

SJU                  Opponents

3....St. Olaf................5

1....Valley City............0

7....Valley City............4

5....St. Cloud State.....4

15...Carleton..............5

0....Macalester...........5

5....Macalester...........7

8....Concordia............6

16...Hamline..............2

3....St. Thomas.........6

14...St. Mary's.........13

4....Augsburg...........12

6....Gustavus............5

18...St. Cloud State...3

-1962-

Prospects for 1962 had not looked bright from the beginning of the baseball season. Missing particularly was John Christopherson, the batting sparkplug and fielding star of 1961 at third base. Gone also were eight regulars of 1960. Coach Hasbrouck was aware of the situation and made the most of it, devoting his energies to the creation of a comparatively new team.

The team hovered around .500 for the first part of the season by defeating two non-conference opponents, Moorhead State and Carleton. But following a split double-header with Hamline the Jays lost five of the following six games and ended the season with a conference record of two victories and five losses. The overall record was four wins and eight losses. Rains made it necessary to cancel the last two games on the conference schedule.

John Ozbun, pitcher, in five game appearances had two wins and two losses with an earned-run average of 2.67. Close behind him was young freshman Tom Durenberger, ex-St. John's Prep School pitcher, with one win and one loss in six game starts. He had a very creditable earned run average of 1.29, the lowest percentage of the pitching staff. Mark Sieve, however, was the hard luck pitcher of the year. Although he was the high point hurler in the number of strikeouts (33 in 28 frames) and had the highest batting percentage, he failed to win a game.

LINE-UP

Robert Backes 3b, ss .216
Bernie Beckman cf .179
Wm. Beaupre p .000
James Boyd If .189
Dennis Dolan 2b,3b .159
David Hinkemeyer 1b .212
James Hopkins rf, 1b .100
Robert Johnson p .182
Marv Kaisersatt ss, 2b .233
John Kearney c .100
Dennis Lynch c .202
John McCormick If .091
John Ozbun p .000
Mark Sieve p .333
Thomas Durenberger p .000
William Beaupre p .500 (2 at bats)
Robert Johnson p .182

Coach -Hassbrouk

SCORES

SJU     Opponents

4....Carleton.....4

5....Moorhead....0

0...Moorhead.....2

1....St. Cloud.....4

6....Hamline.......4

4....Hamline.......7

3....St. Olaf.......6

1....Concordia...17

3....Macalester...4

4....Augsburg.....3

3....St. Thomas..5

2....St. Mary's....5

(Games with Gustavus and St. Cloud were rained out)

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                 W L   ERA

Ozbun         2 2, 2.67

Sieve           0 4, ----

Durenberger  1 1, 1.29

Beaupre        1 1, 1.86

RECORD

Overall 4 wins 8 losses

Conference 2 wins 5 losses

Staff ERA-2.91

-1963 -

Baseball, 1963, was a year of disaster. The Jays ended the season in the MIAC cellar with a record of ten losses and only one victory. Unfortunately, it is impossible to render an account of the games, the line-ups, the pitchers' records, the team batting, etc., for the reason that the 1963 scorebook has been lost and the Record reports cover only seven games. Apparently only eleven of the fifteen games scheduled were played.

According to the reports of the season, the poor record was due to fielding errors and the lack of consistent hitting. In one instance Mark Sieve struck out ten batters in a seven-inning game and yet lost because of ten fielding errors. In another game a triple was nullified because the batter failed to touch the bag when rounding first base. St. John's first and only win for the season, over Gustavus 3-0, had Sieve pitching. Bob Johnson lost the second game of the doubleheader 0-10, largely on fielding errors and weak hitting. Augsburg won over St. John's 3-4, April 25, Tom Durenberger pitching.

St. Thomas beat St. John's in a double-header 1-7, Bob Johnson pitching, and 3-7, Mark Sieve pitching. Hamline took St. John's 0-7, Durenberger pitching. The scheduled double-header was shortened by rain, resulting in only one of the games being played.

In the Concordia game, Mark Sieve, behind 5-0, was shelled from the mound in the second inning and was relieved by "little" Leonard Tomsich from the Iron Range who allowed only one earned run in seven and two-thirds innings.

Members of the team were the following: Robert Backes, shortstop; James Belisle, outfield; Thomas Brazell, outfield; Bernie Beckman, centerfield; Jeff Dunn, catcher; Thomas Durenberger, pitcher; Randy Halstrom, catcher; James Hopkins; Bob Johnson, pitcher; John Kearney, outfield; Robert Kren, first base; John McCormick, outfield; Rick Neameyer, second base; Mark Sieve, pitcher; Leonard Tomsich, pitcher; Edward Vogt, outfield.

Scores of the games of which records are available are the following:

SJU            Opponents

3....Gustavus.......0

0....Gustavus......10

3....Augsburg.......4

1....St. Thomas....7

3....St. Thomas....7

0...Hamline..........7

0....Concordia......8

-1964 -

Despite the disappointments of 1963, Coach Hasbrouck was optimistic regarding the coming season of 1964. It was a well-substantiated optimism because, from a cellar position in the MIAC with only one win and ten losses, the team jumped to fourth place in the conference with seven wins over against eight losses. Nine of his 1963 lettermen were listed on the 1964 roster and, with the return of John Christopherson after an absence of two seasons, he was looking forward to his best year. He was satisfied with his pitching prospects: Mark Sieve, a three-year veteran who had never had the good luck he deserved, and Tom Durenberger, a junior, who had found himself as a pitcher in his sophomore year and was now a mainstay on the pitching staff. August Stuhldreher, a left-handed freshman, was highly regarded by Coach Hasbrouck and was expected to fill the vacancy caused by the loss of Bob Johnson who on graduation had signed with the Red Sox organization.

Evidence of improvement was soon forthcoming. After splitting a double-header with North Dakota University 1-3 (won) and 1-0 (lost), the team dropped the first game with Gustavus but won the second on Tom Durenberger's three-hit, six strikeouts performance. In the next outing the Jays lost to Augsburg 3-15, then swept a double-header over St. Thomas: 8-4, with Durenberger pitching, and 4-3, with Tomsich and Rademacher on the mound.

The situation deteriorated with an 0-5 defeat by Macalester and the loss of a double-header to St. Mary's, 2-4 and 0-2-evidence sufficient to prove that the Jays had not yet regained their batting power. In the first St. Mary's game, lost 2-4, the effective pitching of Tom Durenberger was nullified by six fielding errors.

The team apparently came into its own again in the latter part of the season. The Jays defeated Augsburg 6-5 and Macalester 5-2. The last three games of the schedule were not reported in the Record, however. It was only in the preview to the 1965 season a year later that the final outcome of the season was reported-a record of seven wins and eight losses and fourth place in the MIAC standings.

1964 was Ed Hasbrouck's last year as coach of basketball and { baseball at St. John's. He was succeeded by Elmer Kohorst.

- 1965 -

Elmer Kohorst, the new baseball coach, first came to St. John's as Director of Athletics in the St. John's Prep School and coach of basketball and baseball. He had an impressive background for the position. A 1957 graduate from the University of Notre Dame, he had the added distinction of being Notre Dame's first All-American for two years as a baseball catcher. Following his graduation he joined the Los Angeles Dodger organization and played with Dodger farm clubs in Green Bay, Pueblo, Colorado, and St. Paul, but decided that he preferred coaching in a school over a career in professional baseball.

When Ed Hasbrouck resigned coaching at St. John's to go into business, Elmer was "loaned" by the Prep School to the college to take over the university baseball team. He was well qualified for the higher position for he had coached the Class A baseball team in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Minnesota Travelers League in Little Falls. It is practically impossible to sketch a complete history of Elmer's first year as coach of the college team. The 1965 score book is lacking and the Record accounts of the season are so meager that it is difficult to make out either the team personnel or the outcome of the games. The main information to be gleaned is that the Jays, after winning the first three games in a row at the beginning of the season, dropped two double-headers (four games), 4-6 and 0-3 to St. Thomas-2-3 and 2-8 to St. Mary's. Subsequently they lost single games to Augsburg and Concordia. The record at this juncture was five games won and eight lost. Since this was the last issue of the Record, the outcome of two games with Hamline was not recorded.

- 1966 -

One of the most spectacular reversals in St. John's baseball history took place in 1966. After a slow start, the Jays found themselves by the middle of the season in the last place in the conference race. The situation looked bad. Then suddenly the team caught fire and won the final six games on the schedule without a loss for a third position in the MIAC with a total of seven wins and four losses. The overall record was nine wins versus four losses. One writer styled the 1966 Jays the Cinderella team of the year.

One of the early problems in 1966 was weak hitting, for the pitching was sufficiently strong to warrant hopes for a winning season. The success of the second half of the schedule was due largely to the brilliant pitching of Jim Trachsel, an outstanding St. John's all-around athlete of this period. Trachsel's pitching was backed up by an enthusiastic group of players who made the team a strong combination of defensive skill and batting power. Mark Plant en berg built up a batting average of .416. Trachsel's batting average was .333. His pitching record overall was seven wins versus two losses. In the conference he was the winning pitcher in six contests, with two losses.

LINE-UP

John Balestri Fr.
Paul Bernabei Fr of
Dennis Coleman Fr. p
Gerry Grochowski Fr. of
Randy Halstrom Sr. c
Lawrence Hergott Jr. 1b
Thomas Klein Fr. ss
Robert Kren Sr. of
James Mohs Fr. ss
John O'Connell Jr. of, 1b
Sidney Outten Fr. c
Mark Plantenberg 2b
Terry Schmid Fr. p
Michael Shea Fr. ss
James Shiely Sr. cf
August Stuhldreher Jr. p
Richard Taafe Sr. 3b
James Trachsel Sr. p
John Wolter Sr. p

Coach-Kohorst

LEADING BATTERS

Plantenberg .416

Trachsel .333

O'Connell .284

Taafe .282

Shiely .277

RECORD

Overall: 9 wins 4 losses

Conference: 7 wins 4 losses

Conference-3rd place

PITCHING RECORD

Trachsel:

Overall: 7 wins 2 losses

Conference: 6 wins 2 losses

SCORES

SJU        Opponents

5....Morris............0

8....Morris............0

4....Macalester.....3

2....Macalester.....8

2....St. Thomas...11

1....Augsburg.......6

1....Augsburg.......4

6....Hamline.........0

5....Gustavus.......1

4....St. Mary's......3

3....St. Mary's......2

9....St. Thomas....4

8....Gustavus.......1

-1967-

The 1967 Jays, though they were a young team, were potential favorites for the MIAC championship. By one of those strange turns of the Wheel of Fortune so characteristic of all competitive sports, but especially of baseball, they dropped the last two games on the schedule, and instead of ending with an 8-4 record and in second or third place, they had a record of six wins against six losses and fifth place in the conference.

It was an interesting season with many dramatic moments, however. Jay Simons, a freshman, guaranteed a win over Augsburg by hitting a grand slam homerun for a 7-3 victory. Mike Shea sparked the Jays to a winning rally by a three-run homer at a moment when Macalester was leading 6-0. In the eleventh inning of a tie game with St. Thomas, Terry Schmitz tired and Dennis Coleman came on for relief and struck out the next five Tommies to save the game. Outten's winning run in the thirteenth was driven in by Suppalla's double.

Baseball-wise, the stars of the season were pitchers Dennis Coleman with a 4-3 record and Terry Schmitz with two wins and one loss. Cocaptain Gus Stuhldreher had an unlucky year and ended with two wins and three losses. Tom Klein, outfielder, led the batters with a .397 average, followed by John O'Connell .302 (son of third base star John O'Connell of 1942 fame).

LINE-UP

John Balestri So. 1b, of
Dennis Coleman So. p
Michael Donovan Fr. of
Scott Froelich Fr. ss, p
Gerry Grochowski So. of
David Haskins So. of
Thomas Klein So. 1b
James Mohs Jr. ss
John O'Connell Sr. 1b
Sidney Outten So. c
Terrence Schmitz So. p
Michael Shea So. 3b
Jerome Simons Fr. cf
Gus Stuhldreher Sr.p
William Supalla Fr.2b

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                 W L

Coleman      4 3

Schmitz       2 1

Stuhldreher  2 3

RECORD

Overall: 8 wins 7 losses

Conference: 6 wins 6 losses

Conference-5th place

LEADING BATTERS

Klein .397
Shea .342
O'Connell .303
Coleman .272
Outten .255
Growchowski .250
Haskins .250
Balestri .218
Simons .204
Stuhldreher .207
Froelich .206
Supalla .202
Mohs .200

Coach- Kohorst

Co-captains-O'ConnelI, Stuhldreher

SCORES

SJU               Opponents

4....Carleton...........3

3....Morris..............4

5...St. Cloud State..2

1....St. Thomas......3

1....Augsburg.........2

2....St. Mary's........5

3....St. Mary's........2

3....St. Thomas......2

11...Macalester......8

3....Macalester.......4

1....Concordia........3

0....Concordia........3

-1968 -

The appearance of Fr. Dunstan Tucker on the baseball coaching staff in 1968 came as a complete surprise both to himself and to his assistant coach Thomas Hamm, a former Georgetown University baseball player and member of the Detroit baseball chain. Fr. Dunstan had retired from coaching in 1950 and devoted the next eighteen years exclusively to university academic duties. Following his retirement as academic dean in 1967 and his return from Europe six months later, he was approached to coach the college baseball team until a new arrangement might be made to settle a problem that had arisen in the University-Prep School athletic relations.

Following the resignation of Ed Hasbrouck in 1964, Elmer Kohorst, at that time the Prep School baseball coach, was appointed to the position of college baseball coach while he was still a full-time member of the Prep School faculty. It was an arrangement which the headmaster of the Prep School, Fr. Gregory Soukup, O.S.B., did not approve. He asked that Mr. Kohorst take over the Prep School baseball team and that the college should provide for its own coach.

The 1968 team inherited by the new coaches was well disciplined and capable. Holdovers from 1967 were two sterling pitchers, Dennis Coleman and Terrence Schmitz, Mike Shea at third base, James Mohs at shortstop, and converted outfielder Tom Klein at first base. "Jay" Simons starred in centerfield and was flanked by Virgil Meyer and Dave Haskins, with back-up support from Mike Donovan and several promising freshmen: James Burrows, Thomas Breen, Michael Backes, Douglas Nachbar, and Roy Glover. Sidney Outten, a catcher with great potential, had not yet reached his peak. Gary Wehrwein, also a catcher, had occasional arm trouble to handicap his best efforts. Lee Harren, a southpaw pitcher, was exceptionally promising, but being uncertain of his educational objectives, he entered the armed services, to return to complete his college work only in 1972.

The overall record for 1968 was ten victories and six losses. The Jays ended the conference season in second place with eight wins and four losses. The conference standings were the following:

LINE-UP

Bernard Bartholomew Fr. p
Thomas Breen Fr. 2b
James Burrows Fr. ss, of
Dennis Coleman Jr. p
Michael Donovan So. of
Roy Glover Fr. 2b
Lee Harren Fr. p
Dave Haskins Jr. of
Thomas Klein Jr. Ib
Virgil Meyer So. of
Douglas Nachbar Fr. p, of
Sidney Outten Jr. c
Terry Schmitz Jr. p
Michael Shea Jr. 3b
Jerome "Jay" Simons So. of
Gary Wehrwein Jr. c
Michael Backes Fr. of
James Mohs Sr., ss

Coach-Fr. Dunstan Tucker
Assistant-Thomas Hamm
Captain-Dennis Coleman

RECORD

Overall: 10 wins 6 losses
Conference: 8 wins 4 losses
Conference-2nd place

PITCHERS' RECORDS

            W L

Coleman  5 3

Schmitz  3 2

Harren    2 1

CONFERENCE STANDING

St. Mary's 8-2

St. John's 8-4

Augsburg 7-4

Hamline 6-6

Concordia 2-3

St. Thomas 4-6

Macalester 3-7

Gustav us- 2 8

SCORES

SJU             Opponents

5....Morris.................7

6....Morris.................1

3....Augsburg.............6

13..Hamline..............12

2....St. Cloud State....4

9...Carleton...............6

0....St. Mary's...........9

1....Macalester..........2

4...Macalester...........0

1....St. Thomas.........0

3....Gustavus............0

8....Gustavus............6

3....Hamline..............1

2....St. Thomas.........1

0....St. Thomas.........5

2....St. Mary's...........1

-1969 -

Despite two pre-conference losses to Morris, the 1969 MIAC race opened with bright hopes for the conference championship. The squad numbered six seniors, five juniors, five sophomores, and five promising freshman candidates. Once the selections for positions had been made, the team blossomed out into a well-balanced organization that eventually captured the MIAC title with a record of eleven wins and three losses.

Highlights of the season, strangely enough, were the final two victories over St. Mary's at Winona by scores of 5-3 and 2-0. St. Mary's had played almost faultless baseball the entire season and any misplay on the part of the Jays could throw the championship to the Redmen. The two games were pitched by veteran seniors Denny Coleman and Terry Schmitz, with Sidney Outten catching the best games of his college career. Over and above the pitchers and catcher, the outstanding players were Michael Shea, third base; Tom Klein, captain and first baseman; and Thomas Breen, second base. In the first St. Mary's game the two teams were tied from the fourth inning to the ninth, when St. John's pulled ahead with a four-run rally, only to have St. Mary's retaliate with two runs. The Jays survived and won 5-3- the winning pitcher was Dennis Coleman.

The second game was still more suspenseful. Terry Schmitz shut out the Redmen 2-0 but got into trouble in the seventh inning by a streak of wildness when he walked two batters and found himself facing a situation with men on first and second and none out. In a brilliant play, catcher Outten threw to second and caught the runner off base for the first out. Then followed a pop-up to the second baseman Breen and a routine ground-out, shortstop to second, for the third out and the championship, the first since 1958.

Dennis Coleman, Terry Schmitz and Tom Klein were named to the 1969 all-conference baseball team.

LINE-UP

Michael Backes Fr. lf
Thomas Breen Fr. 2b
Dennis Coleman Sr. p
Jim Burrows So. cf
Reese Doffing So. ss, 2b
Roy Glover Sr. 2b
Dave Haskins Sr. rf
Bruce Hentges Fr. of
Thomas Klein Sr. 1b
John Linnemann Sr. ss
Virgil Meyer Jr. of
Victor Moore Fr. p
Tom Muchlinski Fr. p
Douglas Nachbar Fr. of
Sidney Outten Sr. c
David Schafer Fr. p
Terry Schmitz Sr. p
Michael Shea Sr. 3b
"Jay" Simons Jr. ss
James Taddei Fr. of
Gary Wehrwein Sr. c
James Winkels Fr. C

Coach-Fr. Dunstan Tucker

Assistant-Thomas Hamm

Captain-Klein

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                W L

Coleman     6 1

Schmitz     3 2

Muchlinski  2 0

Moore       2 1

SCORES

SJU         Opponents

1....Morris.........5

1....Morris.........3

7....Gustavus....1

3....Gustavus....1

10..Carleton.....3

6....Augsburg...7

10...Augsburg...7

6....Concordia...5

0....Concordia...4

3....Macalester..5

7....Macalester..10

6....St. Thomas..3

5....St. Thomas..3

3....Hamline.......1

6....Hamline.......4

5....St. Mary's....3

2....St. Mary's....0

Conference-championship

RECORD

Overall: 13 wins, 4 losses

Conference: 11 wins, 3 losses

LEADING BATTERS

           Ave. RBI
Outten .400, 10
Shea .355, 19
Simmons .288, 4
Klein .237, 11
Meyer .333, 4
Mike Backes .323, 6
Burrows.213, 7

-1971 -

Fr. Dunstan planned to give up coaching at the end of the 1970 baseball season but was deterred by the failure to find a qualified successor who would coach the team for one only season, approximately three months. It was with reluctance that he took over the team in 1971, and especially after a disastrous four-day training trip into Iowa which could have been spent more profitably at St. John's than traveling on a bus.

His fears were amply justified when some of the key members of the team sustained injuries that proved to be crippling. Jim Burrows, star centerfielder, hurt his arm and was unable to throw from his position for the entire season. Reese Doffing, shortstop, also developed a case of tendonitis in his throwing arm and dropped off the team early in the season. The coach was thoroughly dissatisfied with his own handling of the team, and since none would fire him as they would in professional ball, he fired himself by resigning (like writing one's own obituary). He asked Athletic Director George Durenberger to arrange if possible a transfer of Elmer Kohorst from the Prep School baseball team to the college team. Coach Kohorst rallied the squad in the last four games remaining on the schedule to end the season with two losses and two victories. The illness of Terry Haws, from which he died in 1973, opened up a full-time place on the college athletic staff to which Coach Kohorst was appointed in 1972.

The overall record of the 1971 team was four wins and thirteen losses; the conference record was three wins against eleven losses, exclusive of the training trip.

- 1972 -

The 1972 baseball season must be passed over with the briefest of comment. The 1972 scorebook has been lost or misplaced and the Record contains only a preliminary article regarding the prospects for the coming season. The only information regarding the outcome of the 1972 season available is the preview for the year 1973. From the preview of the 1973 season we learn that the year 1'972 ended with an overall record of eight wins and eight losses and a conference record of six victories and eight defeats. The team's final MIAC standing was probably fourth place, according to the usual outcomes at this level in previous years.

The 1972 pitching staff, composed of Lee Harren, Thomas Muchlinski, Brian Vucinovich, John McDonald and Donald Nierengarten, compiled an excellent earned run average of .253 that was counterbalanced by an anemic team batting average of .219-which accounts for the disappointing won-loss record of the season.

Outfielder James Fier hit for an average of .270 and led the squad in the number of runs batted in. Fier was placed on the MIAC all conference baseball team for 1972. Other members of the squad mentioned in the preview were Dick Humphrey, catcher, Don Carlini, first base, Steve Ward, shortstop, Philip Johnson, second base, and Donald Abbott, third base.

- 1973-

The 1973 team commenced spring training with high hopes for the MIAC championship. Though they did not attain their coveted goal, the general quality of play was a decided improvement over that of 1972, mainly through the addition to the squad of a freshman pitcher, Charles "Chuck" Viskocil. Viskocil proved to be the outstanding pitcher of the year with three wins and three losses and a healthy earned run average of 2.59. The overall record for the year was ten wins and thirteen losses, the conference record seven games won and nine lost.

Offensive stars in 1973 were all veterans of 1972: James Fier, Dick Humphrey, Paul Schmit, Donald Geng, Steve Ward, Daniel Abbott, followed closely by freshman Jerry Haugen and Chuck Viskocil, pitcher, who himself carried a batting average of .272. There was no particular reason why the team did not do better in the won-lost column because the batting was above average and the team spirit was high. Coach Elmer Kohorst shortly before the last two games on the schedule expressed his disappointment: "We haven't been able to put things together this season. Our hitting has been better this year, but our pitching has suffered." Though the team had failed to realize its full potential, he nevertheless commended it for its continued effort: "They never threw in the towel. They were never content just to play out the schedule."

LINE-UP

Daniel Abbott Jr. 3b, ss
Donald Carlini Jr. 1b
H. Foehrenbacher Fr. 2b
James Fier Jr. of
Donald Geng So. of, dh
Gary Greenheck Jr. p
John Grunst Fr. c
Jerome Haugen Fr. of
Lee Harren Jr. p Ave. RBI
Dick Humphrey Sr. c
Charles Johnson Fr. 1b
Phil Johnson So. ss, 2b
Bob Kaczrowski Jr. p
John McDonald Jr. p, of
Craig Mauer Jr. 3b
Don Nierengarten Sr. p
David Schirber Fr. Ss
Paul Schmit Jr. of
Doug Spanton So. c
Charles Viskocil Fr. P
Steve Ward So. ss, 3b
Thomas Witt Fr. P

Coach-Elmer Kohorst

LEADING BATTERS

      AVE.  RBI
Fier .347, 9
Ward .326, 10
Schmit .292, 10
Humphrey .292, 8
Viskocil .273, 2
Geng .250, 3
Abbott .239, 7

SCORES

SJU                  Opponents

4....Morris...............6

0....Morris...............3

2....Moorhead..........4

4....Moorhead..........0

2....St. Cloud State..0

4....St. Thomas.......12

7....St. Thomas........4

2....Carleton............3

7....Carleton............5

26...Hamline............1

7....Hamline.............0

3....Duluth..............4

4....Augsburg..........4

3....Duluth..............0

3....Augsburg..........8

4....St. Mary's........12

0....St. Mary's........3

9....Macalester.......0

2....Macalester.......3

3....Gustavus........15

7....Gustavus.........3

0....Concordia........1

4....Concordia........0

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                   W L

Viskocil          3 3

Vucinovich     1 0

Nierengarten  1 3

Harren          1 2

Kaczrowski    0 1

McDonald      1 1

Conference-5th place
Overall: 10 wins, 13 losses
Conference: 7 wins, 9 losses

-1974 -

In 1974 Coach Elmer Kohorst had his banner year, the MIAC baseball championship. It was a great year for the Jays, with tight pitching and clutch hitting climaxed at the end of the season by the play-off games for the NAIA national championship. The Kohorst teams had been gradually growing stronger over a three-year period through the addition each year of new blood and the retention of the core of players of the previous seasons. Finally, by 1974 he had the best balanced team of his coaching career up to this time-seven seniors, eight juniors and eight sophomores. The 1974 team was ready for its great moment with superior pitching and catching, a strong infield and outfield defense, and a strong running attack that had bee!} developed in the new Warner Palaestra. Leading hitters were Steve Ward, .360; Jerry Haugen, .344; and Henry Foehrenbacher, .333.

The Jays came to the play-offs after building up a conference record of twelve wins and two losses with four well-established pitchers: Chuck Viskocil (5-0), Lee Harren (5-0), Bob Kaczrowski (2-1) and Tom Witt (2-1). St. John's won the first of the play-off games with Viskocil limiting Marshall Southwest State University to one run on five hits to St. John's two runs on six hits. The following two games were close with the teams tied 0-0 until the seventh inning. The seventh inning of the second game the South westerners won to score a run on a single, a stolen base that put a man on second, and another hit that scored him. It was Harren's first loss of the year. The third game was won by Southwest in the seventh inning on a two-base hit followed by an infield error that permitted the runner to score from second with the winning run, 1-0. It was a cold, drizzly day that added no cheer to the disappointment of the Jays.

Coach Elmer Kohorst praised his tri-captains, Jim Fier, Paul Schmit and Steve Ward, for the high spirit and never-say-die attitude that animated their teammates throughout the season. Though the team worked as a unit and each player contributed his share to the success of the year, the overall star was Chuck Viskocil, who rang up an imposing record for a total of seven wins and one loss. When not pitching he was generally the designated hitter. He batted a solid .265 and drove in five runs. John Grunst and Brian Vucinovich, catchers, must rank among the top five or six fine catchers of St. John's history.

The 1974 season added four Jays to the all-conference list at the end of the season: Charles Viskocil and Lee Harren, pitchers; Donald Geng, outfield; and Steve Ward, third base.

LINE-UP

Steven Feneis Fr. 3b
James Fier Sr. rf
H. Foehrenbacher So. 2b
Donald Geng Jr. of,dh
Gary Greenheck Sr. p
John Grunst Fr. c
Lee Harren Sr., p
Jerry Haugen Jr. of
Mark Hollenhorst Fr. of
Robert Jajtner Jr.
CharlesJohnson So. Ib
Phil Johnson Jr. ss
John McDonald Sr. of, if
Craig Mauer Sr. Ib
Michael Murn Sr. p
Paul Schmit Sr. If
Douglas Spanton Jr. c
Charles Viskocil So. p
Brian Vucinovich Sr. c
Steven Ward Jr. 3b
Thomas Witt So. p

Coach -Kohorst
Tri-captains, Fier, Schmit, Vucnovich

PITCHERS’ RECRODS

                 W L

Kaczrowski   2 1

Viskocil       5 0

Witt           2 1

Harren        3 0

SCORES

SJU         Opponents

6....Winona State......8

0....WinonaState.......8

4....Concordia...........0

3....Concordia...........2

2....St. Cloud State...3

3....St. Thomas........1

1....St. Thomas........0

4....St. Olaf.............2

3....St. Olaf.............2

5....Hamline.............1

9....Hamline.............1

4....Duluth..............2

0....Duluth..............4

3....Augsburg..........0

6....Augsburg..........2

3....St. Mary's.........0

2....St. Mary's.........4

4...Macalester.........1

7....Macalester........0

Conference-championship

NAIA PLAY-OFFS

2 Southwest State 1

0 Southwest State 1

0 Southwest State 1

LEADING BATTERS

       Ave. RBI

Geng .417, 5
Ward .357, 5
C. Johnson .33, 4
Scmit .310, 6
Viskocil .265, 5
Haugen .255, 6
Foehrenbacher .269, 4

-1975 -

The unfortunate and unlooked for resignation of Coach Elmer Kohorst left the Director of Athletics with the task of finding his successor. After making several inquiries without success, it was decided to transfer the Prep School coach, Jerry Marlow, to the college position. The new coach found himself confronted with the problem of a team greatly depleted by the graduation of eight key members from the 1974 championship aggregation. The problem was made more acute by the failure of Chuck Viskocil, the 1974 ace, to return to St. John's.

On the other hand, there were seven lettermen who had returned, and Coach Marlow was assured of veterans on which to build a representative infield. In the outfield he still had Donald Geng and Jerry Haugen, together with Steve Ward (third base)-three all-conference selections from the previous year. Ace of the pitching staff was Tom Witt who had pitched creditably the year before with a record of two wins and one loss. New candidates for the pitcher vacancies were sophomores Rich Laba and Michael Murn, and senior Matthew Williams.

With the opening of the conference the Johnnies managed to split even with St. Mary's, Concordia and Augsburg, after which they lost six games to St. Olaf, Duluth, Gustavus, and Hamline, while winning only three. At the end of the conference season the team had lost nine games to six won and an MIAC rating, according to the Record reporter, "somewhere below fifth place."

Disappointing as the season was to those who expected a better showing following a championship season, an examination of the scores shows that five of the games were lost by one run and four by two runs, anyone of which could have been won by a timely single here or there. Seen more objectively, 1975 was a rebuilding year.

LINE-UP

Michael Carr So. If
H. Foehrenbacher Jr. 2b
Donald Geng Sr. rf
John Grunst So. c
Dave Hartmann Jr. c
Jerry Haugen Sr. cf
Mark Hollenhorst So. If
Charles Johnson Jr. Ib
Phil Johnson Sr. ss
Mark Kosiek So. ss
Richard Laba So. p
Kelly Mum So. p
Jeffrey Norman Fr. dh
Timothy Talbot So. 1b
Steve Ward Sr. 3b
Thomas Witt Jr. p
Jeff Fadness Fr. Ib

Coach-Jerry Marlow

Conference: 6 wins 9 losses

RECORD

Conference-"below fifth place"

PITCHERS’ RECORD

           W L

Mum     2 2

Laba     2 2

Williams 1 2

Witt      1 3

SCORES

SJU       Opponents

0....St. Mary's....9

6....St. Mary's....0

1....Concordia.....3

5....Concordia.....3

7....Augsburg......6

3....Augsburg......9

6....St. Olaf.......15

4....Duluth..........6

0....Duluth..........2

1....St. Thomas...0

3....St. Thomas...1

2....Gustavus......3

1....Gustavus......2

8....Hamline........9

4....Hamline.......1

-1976-

Coach Dennis Lorsung's first year as head baseball coach at St. John's was in every way a success. His job was to rebuild the team in player personnel and to restore the usual confidence and fighting spirit of what he hoped would be a championship team. His policy was exactly what was needed, the release of tension and the playing of baseball for fun and enjoyment. He did not win the championship, it is true, but he succeeded in creating a "hustlin', hollerin' " team of self confident ball players.

The 1976 year presented its problems in the course of the season, one of which was the failure to beat off the challenge of Gustavus in the last series of the year. As Tom Kozlak, the Recordreporter, wrote: "The thoroughbred Johnnie baseball team started fast out of the gate this year, ran neck and neck with St. Olaf most of the way, but like many a long shot, faded in the home stretch to finish 'show' behind the Oles and St. Thomas." In the last week or so of the season the Johnnies met head-on with St. Thomas and Gustavus, two of the powerhouses in the conference. In the first game of the St. Thomas double-header, the Tommies shelled the Johnnies 12-4. The second game, however, was a classic victory (5-2) for Rich Laba, Cleveland Benedictine Prep School's gift to St. John's. The game was highlighted by right fielder Hollenhorst's homer and a double and triple by centerfielder Jerry Haugen.

St. John's would still have been a contender for the title except that they next faced the surging Gustavus nine and dropped both games of a double-header that landed the Johnnies in third place behind St. Olaf and St. Thomas. Coach Lorsung was disappointed with the ending of the season, but he was also happy to know that the team spirit had been brightened in the way he had planned. He could now look forward to 1977, fairly certain that his team would be among the favorites for the conference title.

LINE-UP,  Ave.

Jerry Haugen cf .254
H. Foehrenbacher 2b .258
Jeff Norman dh .436
Mark Kosiek ss .157
John Grunst c .235
Jeff Fadness 1b .241
Mark Hollenhorst rf .377
Mike Hejny 3b .227
Mike Carr lf .280
Frank Foster 22 .111
Scott Becker of .250
John Mee 3b .000
Joe Schleper 1b .111
Joe Pfannenstein c .000
Tim Fristrom dh .333
Brad Weydert dh .300

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                     W L

Tom Witt         4 3

Rick Laba         3 2

Kevin Hamilton  1 0

Bob Vorisek      1 1

Tom Jensen     1 0

Tom Nimmo      0 2

Keith Kerfeld    0 0

Dan Bergner     0 1

RECORD

Overall: 12 wins 10 losses

Conference 11 wins 7 losses

SCORES

SJU       Opponents

3....Morris..............2

8....Morris.............13

3....Hamline............1

6....Hamline............3

0...Mankato State....8

4....Mankato State..13

4....Augsburg..........7

7....Augsburg..........4

6....St. Mary's.........5

3....St. Mary's.........1

3....Concordia.........0

8....Concordia.........6

2....St. Olaf............4

1....St. Olaf............2

13...Duluth............14

10...Duluth.............7

4....St. Thomas......14

5....St. Thomas.......2

8....Gustavus.........14

3....Gustavus..........7

1....Macalester (forfeit) 0

1....Macalester (forfeit) 0

Conference-3rd place

-1977-

Coach Dennis Lorsung in his second year at St. John's had a great team, both temperamentally and physically. He won not only the MIAC championship but also the coach-of-the-year award. The story of the 1977 season is one of extraordinary happenings-of superb pitching and batting heroics-Pat Christopherson (son of Bill '53) won the conference batting championship; a freshman catcher, John King, who handled pitchers as would a crafty World Series veteran; a pitching staff that kept the opponents' bats silent when occasionally the Johnnie bats were also silent. Then there was the time when, wearied by some thirty games in a period of a month and a half, both the batters and the pitchers began to show the signs of the wear and tear of the season, the team leaders, independently of their coach, then led the hurlers and sluggers to the Warner Palaestra and the batting cage where they solved their problems by practice.

The Johnnies swept the crucial final double-header against Concordia with 21 hits and 44 bases. In the first game the team collected five homeruns: three by Jeff Norman, one by Christopherson, and one by Scott Becker. In the second game, with St. John's trailing 5-3, Kosiek, not ordinarily a slugger, belted a four-bagger. Then Christopherson unloaded another with two men on base for the clinching run and the undisputed championship.

The winning of the championship was a personal victory for Coach Lorsung, and for the players the reward of a united team effort. The season had been a struggle from the beginning. The training trip through Kansas and Arkansas was an ordeal that ended in three wins and nine losses. The games were an example of unequal competition between a northern team just out-of-doors for the first games of the year, and southern teams that had already been playing for a month or more. But once back in Minnesota the Johnnies ran through a schedule of twenty games, fourteen of which were conference contests. They won the championship with only three losses, 11-3, only one game ahead of runner-up St. Olaf. It was a season of superb pitching as well as extra base hitting. Rich Laba pitched two no-hit games; freshmen sensation Randy Sieve hurled one no-hitter and one one-hitter.

In the NAIA play-offs between St. John's and Winona State, champion of the Northern Intercollegiate Conference, to determine which team would represent District 13 in the national tournament, St. John's was not so fortunate. In the first game, pitcher Rich Laba injured his arm and lasted only four innings, to lose 7-0. In the second game, with Randy Sieve on the mound, St. John's won 4-3. The third game was lost by a score of 11-1. Coach Lorsung accepted the decision of fate: "In the last game we just ran out of pitchers."

LINE-UP Ave.
Jeff Norman 1b .330
Pat. Christopherson lf .356
Michael Hejny 3b .297
Tom Foehrenbacher 2b .250
Mark Kosiek ss .279
John King c .190
Scott Becker rf .240
Michael Carr lf .111
Tim Fristrom dh .400
Bradley Weydert dh .161
Frank Foster if .115
Greg Wilkinson of .259
John Hanowski c .182
Joe Schleper 1b .111
John Dziura ss .125
Scott Dressen 3b .000
Charles Degenaar of .000
Chris Braun of 1.000

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                       W L

Randy Sieve       4 3

Rich Laba           4 1

Kevin Hamilton    2 3

Frank Fairbanks   2 1

Dave Rockers      5 1

Tom Jensen        0 2

Tom Petron        1 1

Rod Bailey          0 0

Keith Kerfeld       0 1

SCORES*

SJU             Opponents

6....Morris................2

1....Morris................6

0....Mankato State.....5

1....Mankato State.....3

2....St. Cloud State....5

10...St. Cloud State....5

7....St. Thomas..........0

12...St. Thomas.........0

3....Gustavus.............0

2....Gustavus.............0

5....St. Mary's............6

7....St. Mary's............6

1....Augsburg.............2

2....Augsburg.............0

12...Macalester..........0

8....Macalester..........3

2....Hamline..............0

16...Hamline.............0

14...Concordia..........2

7.....Concordia..........5

*Exclusive of training trip in Kansas and Arkansas

RECORD

Conference: 11 wins 2 losses

Conference-championship

- 1978-

At the conclusion of the 1978 baseball season Coach Lorsung resigned and accepted the baseball coaching position at his alma mater, St. Cloud State University. It was with regret that his players and many friends learned of his departure. He had earned the respect and friendship of all on the St. John's campus. He was succeeded by Jerry Haugen, '76, a four-year football and baseball star who had played college baseball under two excellent students of the game, coaches Elmer Kohorst and Dennis Lorsung.

On taking over the 1978 team Coach Haugen found his squad lacking some of the stellar performers of the 1977 championship team, but he quickly found replacements-Neal Binsfeld behind the plate for all-conference John King; Pat Christopherson in centerfield for himself, Jerry Haugen; Mike Hejny, shortstop for Mark Kosiek; Jeff Norman at first base for Jeff Fadness-and several others of like stature.

They melded quickly into a well-balanced team and by May first had a conference record of eight wins and four losses and could see the possibility, with luck, of winning the title.

It was at this point that a change in fortune took place. St. Olaf, which had steadily grown in power over the spring season, dropped the Johnnies for two losses. Momentarily discouraged, the Johnnies' hopes for a high spot in the conference standing was revived by their double-header victory over Bethel, 5-2 and 4-1. However, St. Thomas had also improved and swept the St. John's series by scores of 2-7 and 3-6.

But all did not end with the defeats in the conference race. The Johnnies had one more chance to rise from the ashes and ended the season by defeating Denny Lorsung's St. Cloud State University champion team in the NIC in two games, 11-10 and 4-3. Both games had their heroes. In the first game, with the Johnnies down by three runs in the seventh inning, the St. John's baseballers launched a seven-run uprising that led them to win the game 11-10. The uprising was climaxed by Neal Binsfeld's homerun with a man on base. In the second game, with everything even at 3-3, Jeff Norman in the fourth inning connected for a homerun to bring to score to 4-3.

Sluggers for the 1978 Johnnies were Pat Christopherson with a batting average of .420 with five homeruns and 21 runs batted in. Neal Binsfeld, though only a freshman, batted for an average of .375 with four doubles and two runs batted in. Jeff Norman's average was .250 with seven doubles and ten runs batted in.

Pat Christopherson and Neal Binsfeld were named to the MIAC all-conference team. Christopherson was singled out for special honors, the All-American baseball team and the Academic All-American team.

LINE-UP

Pat Christopherson cf .420
Tom Foehrenbacher 2b .302
Jeff Norman 1b .250
Neal Binsfield c .375
Pete Rockers ss .279
Chris Braun of .271
Scott Dressen 3b .000
Charles Degenaar If .143
Bradley Weydert .222
Raymond Welsh dh .167
Peter Welle rf .279
Greg Wilkinson If .120
Mark Zallek c .143
John Mee ss .273
Tom Smith .429

PITCHERS' RECORDS

                         W L

Daniel Bergner       3 1

Bob Vorisek           1 3

Frank Fairbanks      2 1

Randy Sieve          0 0

Frank Foster          3 2

Dave Rockers         1 1

SCORES

SJU          Opponents

3....Morris................23

6....Morris................12

5....Mankato..............9

0....Mankato.............11

1....Gustavus.............4

6....Gustavus.............2

4....Hamline...............3

5....Hamline...............0

5....Augsburg.............4

9....Augsburg.............4

8....Macalester...........3

1....Macalester...........3

3....St. Mary's............2

5....St. Mary's............2

3....Concordia............7

0....Concordia............1

2....St. Olaf...............5

3....St. Olaf...............4

5....Bethel.................2

4....Bethel.................1

2....St. Thomas..........7

3....St. Thomas..........6

11...St. Cloud State...10

4....St. Cloud State.....3

RECORD

Overall: 12 wins 12 losses

Conference: 10 wins 8 losses