Growing up with baseball: Gasner’s embrace the sportPublished 8:09pm Friday, July 26, 2013
Nik Gasner and Dylan Gasner of Austin have grown up together around the sport of baseball and they’re about to take it one step further.
The Gasner’s, who are brothers, recently were given scholarships to play with the Minnesota Mash baseball club through the next year. The Mash, which are based out of Burnsville, Minn., play throughout most of the year and they play in tournaments all over the country.
“You can’t really turn down playing for free with that kind of competition and you get exposure because college scouts will be there,” said Nik, who is the older brother and will be a junior this fall. “It’s exciting. I want to see how I compare to the metro kids and see it how it goes. I want to see what I can do, learn as much as I can and make the best out of the opportunity.”
Dylan, who will be a sophomore this fall, is set to play on the 16U team for the Mash and Nik will play on the varsity team. Dylan is looking forward for a chance to play with and against a new crop of players.
“It’s a good opportunity to get to know a lot of kids from our state who love to play baseball,” he said. “It’ll help us learn the game more.”
Nik and Dylan both played for the Packers this past spring as Nik was an All-Big Nine pitcher and Dylan started at catcher.
Although they’re only a year a part in age, it was one of the first times they’ve played on the same team. But they’ve always practiced together and they’ve often got into competing against each other.
“Sometimes I get really mad it him and sometimes he gets really mad at me,” Nik said. “In the end it helps us because we’re both trying to be better than each other. I know at home mom gets sick of it because we’re always arguing who’s better at what.”
Dylan was able to catch up to Nik this past spring when he caught for his big brother.
“It gave me some bragging rights I guess,” he said.
Nik and Dylan moved to the Austin school district from Blooming Prairie a couple of years ago and it wasn’t long before they were recognizing their teammates from the Austin All-Stars in the hallways.
Now they’re hoping the baseball program will grow as they move up the high school ranks.
“It just seems like there are a lot of kids here that love to play baseball and that’s really helped us,” Dylan said. “We have a pretty good group coming in and a lot of us are really close from playing All-Stars together for a few years. We’ll blend in good with the older group.”
The Gasner’s played on the Austin Post 1216 VFW team this summer and that squad was knocked off in the Sub-Districts by Rochester Century. Nik is hoping that loss will push kids to work harder and put in time in the offseason for baseball.
“Hopefully we can make a run that Austin’s been waiting to see,” he said. “We want to make the city proud.”
The Gasner’s credited their mom, Samantha, for giving them help along the way to go with the motivation that they needed.
“My mom has put in a lot of work to help us get to where we are,” Nik said. “I love her and we definitely wouldn’t have all of these opportunities because she’s here for us.”