Rohne ready to play

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 23, 2000

This weekend Austin High’s Nick Rohne will be playing in the 26th annual Lions High School All-Star Baseball Tournament.

Friday, June 23, 2000

This weekend Austin High’s Nick Rohne will be playing in the 26th annual Lions High School All-Star Baseball Tournament. It is a four-team, 80-player event with every player getting plenty of playing time.

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Rohne follows a long line of baseball players who have played on head coach Jerry Miller’s Packers teams to earn a spot in the Lions All-Star tournament. Those players in the past few years include Grant Hagen, John Ganser, Troy Schaefer, Mike Wuertz, Mitch Mullenbach, John Frein, Jason Smith and Jason Hall. Miller coached in the 1995 games that included Smith and Hall.

Miller plans to attend today’s games if it doesn’t storm all day.

Rohne is a member of the South team that includes four other Big Nine players: Ryan Kapsner and Jay Nessler of Mankato West, Travis Krahn of Rochester Mayo and Josh Matti of Rochester John Marshall. Mankato West head coach Rick Lund is a member of the North team’s coaching staff.

"This is a kind of nice honor," Rohne said. "It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will get a chance to know some of the guys and get to see some different pitchers."

Rohne was voted on to the squad as a utility player.

"A 12-member committee puts together the South team," coach Miller said. "It is a great honor. He was a three-year starter for us and was the captain of this year’s team. His strength as a player was his consistency. He was very consistent throughout his career. He was an excellent fielder and had a strong arm.

"He didn’t hit that well at the start of this season but came on at the end of the year when he came alive at the plate. He is a very good ball player and helped us at a lot of different positions this year including pitching, playing short stop and second base, and even catching when we needed him."

Rohne looks to play second, third or short in the All-Star series and not doing any pitching.

"I probably won’t pitch," Rohne said. "Which is good because I need a little rest for my arm."

Rohne will be attending Waldorf Junior College in Forest City, Iowa, in the fall. He has earned a partial baseball and partial academic scholarship to attend Waldorf.

College plans for other Austin senior baseball players include Matt Smith going to Gustavus Adolphus to play football, Mark Toov going to St. Thomas and playing baseball, Brent Holck attending Iowa State, Tanner Schieck playing basketball at Carleton College and Joe Huffman and Andy Ryan attending Riverland.

All proceeds of the All-Star tournament go to the Lions Children’s Eye Clinic, which sees more than 4,000 children each year. In the first 25 years of the tournament, more than $165,000 has been raised to help bring state-of-the-art technology into the fight against eye diseases in children.

"On Friday, the players usually visit the eye clinic," Miller said. "It is a good learning experience."

The schedule for the South team is a 4:30 p.m. nine-inning game today against the Metro East team. On Saturday they play a seven-inning game against the Metro West squad at 10 a.m. Then at 4:30 p.m., they square off against the North squad in another seven-inning game. All games are played at the Chaska Athletic Park at the west end of First Street in Chaska.

Admission prices at the gate are $4 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.