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Paynesville Press - June 29, 2005

Dogs rewrite baseball record book this spring

By Michael Jacobson

beierjustinhemingsonpaulPicture from left to right: Chris Beier, Justin Butkofski, John Hemingson, and Jamie Paul

The Bulldogs baseball team - the Class AA state champions - rewrote large portions of the school record book in 2005 and earned a number of post-season honors.

Four players - senior Chris Beier, senior Justin Butkofski, junior John Hemingson, and junior Jamie Paul - earned All Conference honors in the West Central Conference North this spring. Senior Mike Mueller was named honorable mention.

Butkofski, who hit .389 and had an ERA of 1.48, was named the co-MVP in the WCC North with Cathedral pitcher Peter Burg. Paynesville tied with Cathedral for the conference title at 7-3. He became the fifth Dogs player to be named conference MVP in the past 25 years, joining Tim Haines (1981), Ryan Wuertz (1996), Doug Fuchs (2000), and Adam Kampsen (2004).

This year, Butkofski hit .389 and led the team with 14 doubles, six homeruns, 28 runs, and 26 RBIs. He also led the team with an ERA of 1.48 in 52 innings and had a 6-1 pitching record.

Butkofski, a three-year varsity starter who earned All Conference honors for the second time, was a great hitter and pitcher, said coach Brad Skoglund, and made himself into a tremendous defensive first baseman and a good baserunner. "Justin was a great leader," said Skoglund. "He did everything we asked of him."

Beier went 10-2 with a 3.35 ERA on the pitching mound this year and hit .368 with six doubles, 22 runs, and 15 RBIs. He also earned All Conference honors for a second straight year.

Hemingson hit .529 at the plate with eight doubles, four triples, 26 RBIs, and 21 runs. He provided great defense at catcher and also earned All Conference honors for the second straight year, after being named honorable mention for his defense as a freshman.

Paul, a shortstop and pitcher, hit .438 this spring with 28 runs, 16 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. He was 5-1 pitching with an ERA of 2.67. He earned All Conference honors in baseball for the first time, after being named honorable mention last year.

All four - Beier, Butkofski, Paul, and Hemingson - were named to the all-area baseball team by the West Central Tribune, with Beier the only repeat selection.

Butkofski and Hemingson were also named to the all-area baseball team by the St. Cloud Times.

Mueller hit .368 this spring with seven doubles, three homers, 25 runs, and 19 RBIs in being named honorable mention.

The Dogs also set a number of school and state tourney records.

By going 21-6, the Dogs not only won the Class AA state title, but they set a school record for victories, surpassing the record of 19 shared by the 2004 team (19-6) and by the 2000 team (19-3).

Other school records include:

*Beier set a new school record for most pitching wins by going 10-2 this spring. He surpassed Haines' record of nine wins set in 1981. Butkofski, who went 6-1 this spring, is tied for eighth with six wins.

*Paul broke the school record for most hits in a season with 39. The old record was held by Ben Bork with 35 in 2000. Butkofski and Hemingson, with 37 hits each, also broke the old record and now rank second.

*Hemingson ranking second for highest season batting average at .529 (37 for 70). Carl Thelen holds this school record by hitting .583 in 1982. Paul, at .438, ranks 12th on the season batting average list, and the Dogs had five players in the top 38 (Butkofski, .389, 27th; Beier, .368, tie for 36th; Mueller, .368, tie for 36th).

*Butkofski and Paul, who led the team with 28 runs, rank third on the season leaders for runs scored. Ben Bork holds the school record with 34 in 2000. Mueller and junior Trent Hansen, with 25 runs scored this season, are tied for seventh among season leaders for runs scored.

*Butkofski, with six homers, tied for fourth on the season leaders for homeruns. Adam Kampsen set the school record with 12 last year. Butkofski is tied with Doug Fuchs, who also hit six in 2000.

*Butkofski and Hemingson, with 26 RBIs apiece, are tied for fifth on the season leaders for RBIs. Fuchs set the school record with 40 in 2000.

*Butkofski, with an ERA of 1.48, ranks 11th among single-season ERA leaders. Jason Schlecht, with an ERA of 0.55 in 1997, is the school record holder in ERA.

The Dogs also set a state tourney record by hitting two triples in an inning. Beier and Hemingson hit back-to-back triples in the fourth inning against Hermantown to set a new state tourney record. No team had ever had two triples in the same inning before.

In other state tourney records, the Dogs rank:

*Second with four walks in the fourth inning against Albany. Cathedral set the state tourney record with five walks in an inning in 2003.

*Fourth in hits with 33 in three games. The Dogs are tied with Tartan from 2004. Delano set the state tourney record with 41 hits in 2004.

*Fifth in runs scored with 30 in three games. New Ulm scored 37 in 2002 to set the state tourney record. The following players entered the state tourney record book in the following categories:

*Hemingson tied the state tourney record with six runs scored (though sophomores Alex Naujokas and Cory Nietfeld actually scored as courtesy runners for Hemingson). Five other players have scored six runs in the state tourney. Beier and Paul joined an eight-way tie for sixth with five runs scored apiece.

*Hemingson ranks second with a batting average of .857 (six for seven) trailing only Jami Hoffman of New Ulm, who hit .909 (10 for 11) in 2002.

*Hemingson ranks second with two triples. John Haskamp of Sauk Centre set the record with three triples in the 1981 state tourney.

*Butkofski ranks fourth with 12 at bats in the state tourney. Mueller and Paul are tied for fifth with 11 at bats. The record is 13.

*Hemingson ranks fifth with 12 total bases. The record is 14.

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