Caledonia baseball ready for MSHSL state debut

With a 21-2 record, the Caledonia baseball team doesn’t consider themselves an underdog.

“We still have the Caledonia on our chest. In our minds we are still the top dogs,” junior Casey Storlie said.

But Caledonia is in unfamiliar baseball territory. The Warriors are playing in their first MSHSL state tournament appearance in program history.

“We have to prove ourselves. That’s what we’ve been trying to do all year. Just have to keep doing it,” junior Tate Meiners said.

“We are going to see a whole new level and brand of baseball and these guys are really excited to show what they can do,” assistant coach Shawn Bauer said.

That’s not to say these players don’t have big game experience. Many on the roster played at state with the football and/or basketball team.

“We’ve all been playing together for a long time. It’s just working,” Meiners said.

“Coming from state in other sports is going to help us a lot to stay calm and relaxed,” Storlie said.

What also helps is a strong pitching staff. Opposing teams are hitting less than .200 against Caledonia. The ace, junior southpaw Casey Storlie, has an 0.63 ERA on the mound.

“Everyone on our team can pitch, from our catchers to our outfielders. That’s what is going to help us in the state tournament I think,” Storlie said.

If Caledonia wants to be the champs, they first have to beat the champs. The Warriors first game at state is against the two-time defending state champions Minnehaha Academy.

“They are the giants. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Hopefully we can make that happen. These guys will give them everything they got,” Bauer said.

“Them being two time state champs. Try to make a statement and pull off that first one,” Meiners said.