NEW ULM – Two years ago Kevin Briggs, head baseball coach of the New Ulm High School, was an assistant coach of the New Ulm Junior Legion.
They had a great left-handed pitcher, Ethan Stade, on the roster that Briggs had on the college roster in sophomore year.
But due to the veterans’ pitching depth, the Stadium saw no college action.
Over the summer, however, Briggs took notice of his future ace as the Stadium posted an impressive 9-1 record this summer.
“I saw a kid who had a good frame – he was a left-hander and he liked competition”, Briggs said. “And all of those things added to the potential to have some success.”
Two years later, and with a year off because of the pandemic, Stade realized the potential Briggs saw. The senior southpaw posted an impressive 7-1 record for New Ulm High School with a tiny 1.18 ERA, winning the 2021 All-Journal Baseball Player of the Year award. Stadium, which will continue its run of baseball at Southwest Minnesota State University next year, struck out 60 batters in 47 1/3 innings.
He was the Eagles horse on the mound. When he took the mound, he changed the image of the Eagles.
“When Ethan was on the mound, we were a great baseball team,” Briggs said.
Last year, due to the pandemic and the absence of baseball, Stade had to do things on their own to stay in baseball shape.
“I ran a lot because I knew my legs, as a pitcher, were one of the most important things for pitching,” said Stade. “I tried to build those leg muscles and tried to eat the best I could.”
Stade said pitching is an art that comes naturally to him.
“So I didn’t have to do much to find a baseball rhythm” he said. “I did my own thing and always kept my focus.”
Stade said he has been training and also received some great advice from teammate Hunter Sehr, also a left-handed pitcher, on developing another pitch.
“He told me about how to make a better change and how to grab it”, Stade said de Sehr.
Stade added that ground to his fastball that opposing hitters struggled to catch, giving him more weapons.
And Stade said he had also gained in consistency over the past two years.
“During the Legion’s junior year, I had a few starts where I was all over the place,” he said. “But this year I definitely saw an improvement in my control and consistency. I’m not a walker, I don’t give up hits, and I don’t let anyone get on base. “
Stade knows that as his baseball journey continues, he must continue to improve as a pitcher next season for the Mustangs.
“I have to keep getting bigger and adding more muscle” he said. “I need to have more power and speed behind the ball. And I just want to be a player who helps the team. I don’t want to be there for myself, I want to be there for the team and help them the best I can.
All-Journal Baseball 2021
1. Ethan Stade, Sr., NUHS, P – 44 (2)
2. Mason Leonard, Sr., Springfield, P / CF – 41
3. Carter Benz, Sr., Wabasso, CP – 40 (1)
4. Sam Knowles, Jr., Cathedral, IF / P – 35
5. Carter Lang, Jr., NUHS, 2B / P – 28
T6. Tori Helget, Sr., Springfield, SS / P – 26
T6. Cole Ranweiler, Sr., NUHS, SS / OF – 26
8. Will Carlson, Sr., Wabasso, SS – 20
9. Hunter Sehr, Jr., NUHS, OF / P – 12
T10. Caleb Carlovsky, Sr., MVL, P / IF – 11
T10. Kadon Strong, Sr., Sleepy Eye, OF – 11
12. Carson Domeier, Jr., St. Mary’s, P / OF / IF – 10
13. Brendon Buerkle, Jr., Springfield, 1B – 8
14. Evan Wiltscheck, Sr., NUHS, C – 7
T15. Leyton Brau, Sr., MVL, IF / P – 6
T15. Jakob Nachreiner, Fr., Springfield, P / 2B – 6
T15. Isaiah Rieser, Jr., Cathedral, IF / P – 6
T15. Josh Giefer, Jr., MVL, P / IF – 6
Ty Altermatt, Sr., Wabasso, P / 3B
Noah Wilmes, Sr., Cathedral, OF / P
Jaden Drill, Jr., NUHS, 1B
Dylan Batzlaff, Sr., Springfield, 3B / P
Spencer Hoffman, Sr., St. Mary’s, OF / IF / P
* EDITOR’S NOTE: Only coach-nominated players were eligible for All-Journal honors. No nominations were received from Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, Madelia or Nicollet.
* First place votes are in parentheses.