Quantcast
skip navigation

Eden Prairie finds motivation in shortcomings

By Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune, 06/15/11, 9:11PM CDT

Share

Return of Adam Bray helps spark 2010 Class 3A champion Eagles

Eden Prairie, made up mostly of seniors, was coming off a dominant 2010 season and state championship, so this year’s Eagles held lofty expectations: They were older, wiser, stronger and more experienced.

But when the players limped off the field after their section playoff loss to Prior Lake — the last straw in a disappointing second half of the season — there was a temptation to stop and wonder what had gone wrong. Then, however, they remembered the stakes.

“I think that really put a spark plug in us,” pitcher Adam Bray said. “We came together and we said, ‘We’ve been playing together all of our lives, and we just don’t want this to be our last day.’”

It wasn’t, as the Eagles rallied through the losers’ bracket by playing what coach Mike Halloran called their best four games of the season to gain a state tournament berth. So what changed?

“That’s a good question,” Halloran said with a chuckle, of the team he had expected to be even stronger offensively than the previous year but lacked consistency most of the season. “I’m still trying to figure that one out. It’s amazing how that happens when your back is against the wall.”

One of the tangible things that changed was the return of Bray, who was out much of the year because of a high ankle sprain, which he rolled the day after the first game of the season. Bray, who recently signed with South Dakota State, was a major part of the Eagles’ rotation and has gone 5-1 with a 2.39 ERA while batting .409.

“I was really tough to just sit on the bench and think about what you could do to help the team out,” Bray said. “I wanted to get out there so bad … but it was worth sitting out because now I’m healthy and ready to go.”

Halloran said that was the physical lift the team needed to boost it psychologically.

“There was definitely a sense of urgency,” he said. “It was so great to have him; you just need that guy. And hitting is contagious. Our guys responded at the perfect time.”

NAME HIGH SCHOOL YEAR POS. COLLEGE VERBAL COMMIT
Sam Alt Centennial Senior OF North Dakota Yes
Adam Bray Eden Prairie Senior P South Dakota State Yes
Ryan Bull Eden Prairie Senior C Notre Dame Yes
Ryan Busch Roseville Senior SS Georgetown Yes
Ben Clark White Bear Lake Senior LHP North Dakota Yes
Brett Degagne Sauk Rapids-Rice Senior RHP North Dakota Yes
Padric Getchell Stillwater Senior -- North Dakota Yes
Kris Goodman Apple Valley Senior SS Iowa Yes
Aaron Gretz Apple Valley Senior C Ohio State Yes
Trevor Jaunich Delano Senior SS North Dakota State Yes
Tom Jerle Eastview Senior LHP Niagara University Yes
Pat Kelly Red Wing Senior 2B Nebraska Yes
Aaron Klatt Albert Lea Senior RHP South Dakota State Yes
Chris Knoll Holy Family Senior LHP North Dakota Yes
David Koll Stillwater Senior LHP Bradley Yes
Geno Larkin Eden Prairie Senior 1B Wagner College Yes
Lucas Long Holy Angels Senior P Arizona Yes
Austin Malinowski Centennial Senior LHP Arizona Yes
Ty McDevitt Eastview Senior LHP Minnesota Yes
Ben Meyer Totino-Grace Senior RHP Minnesota Yes
Max Murphy Robbinsdale Cooper Senior OF Bradley Yes
Tyler Ruemmele Eden Prairie Senior RHP North Dakota Yes
Toney Skjefte Eden Prairie Senior 2B Minnesota Yes
Andrew Thome St. Cloud Cathedral Senior RHP North Dakota Yes
Lance Thonvold Eden Prairie Senior RHP Minnesota Yes
Alex Twenge Minnetonka Senior RHP North Dakota Yes
Graig Weber Fridley Senior LHP Bradley Yes
Robert Youngdahl Hill-Murray Senior LHP Kansas State Yes

Related Stories

  • 2019 all-tournament teams unveiled

  • By Paul Patane, SportsEngine 06/24/2019, 12:00pm CDT
  • Three Duluth Marshall players received honors after helping the Hilltoppers win their first state championship since 1950.
  • Read More
  • Class 2A and 1A baseball championship previews

  • By Jim Paulsen and Ron Haggstrom, Star Tribune 06/20/2019, 1:38am CDT
  • Both 2A teams, Minnehaha Academy and Duluth Marshall, have made it this far in recent years; in 1A, BOLD looks for a second title while New York Mills seeks its first.
  • Read More

Most Popular Stories

  • 2019 all-tournament teams unveiled

  • By Paul Patane, SportsEngine 06/24/2019, 12:00pm CDT
  • Three Duluth Marshall players received honors after helping the Hilltoppers win their first state championship since 1950.
  • Read More