Hammerschmidt and Mikkelson earn All-Conference in baseball

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The Benson baseball team finished the 2014 season with a 6-13 overall record and 4-10 mark within the WCC South.  The Braves finished fourth in the league standings as BOLD won the league title with a 12-1 record, Paynesville was second at 11-2, ACGC was third at 4-8, Benson was fourth, and YME was fifth at 1-11.
The Braves started the season off 2-3 after a 7-2 win over ACGC, but then lost eight of its next nine games to fall to 3-11 overall.  Benson swept a doubleheader from YME to end the regular season and then opened up the section tourney with a 2-0 upset of Montevideo before falling to Morris Area (8-4) and NLS (8-2) in the next two rounds to be eliminated.  Fairmont went on to beat Marshall, 3-0, for the Section 3AA title.
In the WCC North, Minnewaska and Sauk Centre tied for the league title with 9-4 records, and Montevideo was third with a 9-5 league mark.
“With the exception of a few games, I thought we were in the majority of our games,” coach Adam Foslien said.  “With how difficult our conference was this year, it was nice to see us play good baseball against good teams, which helped come playoffs.”
For the season, Benson batted .273 as a team, but only two players batted over .300 -- Cody Hammerschmidt at .547 and Tanner Mikkelson at .339.  The pitching staff meanwhile, had a team ERA of 4.8.  The team gave up 135 total runs, but only 80 were earned.
Earning All-Conference for the Braves during the 2014 season were Cody Hammerschmidt and Tanner Mikkelson, while Aaron Ahrndt earned honorable mention.
“At times, our defense did hurt us,” Foslien said.  “It all starts with pitching and defense.  We did have the highest batting as a team we’ve had the past three seasons, but we gave up too many extra outs.”
Benson loses three seniors to graduate -- Tanner Mikkelson, Cody Hammerschmidt, and Chad Schwarz.

Individual Benson baseball stats
Cody Hammerschmidt led the team in most of the offensive categories as he had a monster season at the plate.  Hammerschmidt batted .547 for the season, collecting 29 hits in 53 official at-bats.  He also had nine walks or hit-by-pitches, giving him a .613 on-base percentage.  Hammerschmidt led the team with 29 hits, 16 RBI, seven doubles, two homeruns, and had just six strikeouts.
Although official Benson baseball records are not known, Hammerschmidt’s .547 batting average could be a school record, and is definitely one of the top batting averages ever for the Benson baseball program.
Tanner Mikkelson also batted over .300, recording 18 hits in 53 at-bats for a .339 batting average.  He tied with Jacob Connelly for the team lead in walks or hbp, and was second on the team in hits (18), RBI (9), and doubles (3).

 

Photo: Cody Hammerschmidt had the best batting average for the Benson baseball team this spring.  He was also both selected to the All-WCC South team for the 2014 season.

 

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