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June 13, 2018 // News & Events
On Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Target Field, the #1 seed Heritage Christian Academy baseball team defeated the #2 seed Sleepy Eye Indians 8-0 to claim the MSHSL State Class A Baseball Championship. It is the first team state championship in the history of the school. The celebration on the field after the game will be a memory that will stay with the players, coaches and fans for the rest of their lives.
The original 10:00 a.m. start time was delayed 4 hours and 20 minutes due to a thunderstorm and lingering rain. Once the game began the sun came out and the heat was sweltering. Yet on this historic day, nothing was going to slow down the Eagles and their date with destiny.
Heritage was in control from the start as senior (and Twins draftee) Seth Halvorsen blasted the first pitch into the left field bleachers for an early 1-0 lead. The Eagles stayed on the offensive with a balanced hitting attack and steadily increased the lead in the early innings. Halvorsen shut down the strong Sleepy Eye bats and held the Indians to 6 hits while recording 14 strikeouts to earn the complete game shutout! Halvorsen put the game out of reach with a 3 run  towering home run to left center in the 5th inning. He became only the 5th player in MSHSL history to hit 2 home runs in a state championship game.
However, as has been the case all season, this was a real team victory. Junior catcher Taylor Broderson, senior 1B Sam Fredrickson, sophomore 2B TJ Guggenberger and freshman CF Steph Sawtelle all contributed key hits as Heritage put runners on base in almost every inning and kept the Indians under pressure all game. The Eagles have been outstanding in the field all season and their defense was sharp again on Saturday. Senior 3B Zach Richards and sophomore shortstop Jonny Flynn were stellar on the left side of the infield. Corner outfielders, senior LF Dawson Penshorn and senior RF Wyatt Juelich-Lysne covered the vast Target Field outfield and limited extra base hits with their exceptional throwing arms.
It goes without saying that a team does not become state champions without a great coaching staff. Veteran assistant coaches Chad RichardsManny Walkand first year coach (Heritage alum) Timmy Thurston provided skilled coaching and guidance throughout the season. Head coach Jon Ledeboerhas been the driving force behind HCA’s outstanding program over the past several seasons. His knowledge, passion and creativity was evident all season and post-season as the Eagles over came many challenges to finish this championship season with a best ever record of 22-3.
For their outstanding performance throughout the state tournament…Seth Halvorsen, Taylor Broderson and Jonny Flynn were named to the Wells-Fargo all-tournament team.
It was an incredible 3 days of tournament play. It was a long and hot day at majestic Target Field. It was a complete team effort highlighted with beautiful baseball…and it ended with a joyful hog pile on the pitchers mound. Conratulations to Coach Ledeboer and the Heritage “boys of summer” …They are the 2018 MSHSL State Class A Baseball Champions!!! 
How sweet it is…