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2024 Duluth News Tribune All-Area Baseball Team – Duluth News Tribune

ESKO – It's hard to call a baseball season disappointing when two area teams finished third in their division and another finished fourth, but — at least for Esko — it was a matter of the state title or elimination in 2024.

Esko started the season undefeated and was ranked No. 1 for most of it, but late losses to Duluth Marshall and Grand Rapids left the Class AA bogeyman looking vulnerable.

Ben Haugen’s team lived up to the word “Sisu” embroidered on their hats, especially All-Area team members Finn Furcht and Bryce Hipp.

Fear delivered a masterful performance in the decisive section win against Duluth Marshall at Wade Stadium and Hipp's direct hit over the outfield wall made the difference in the 4-2 victory.

Furcht delivered another brilliant performance in the victory over Montevideo in the quarterfinals of the state championship and was named the 2024 All-Area Player of the Year by the News Tribune for his efforts.

Joining Fear on the All-Area team is Grand Rapids pitcher Easton Sjostrand, who earned a victory over second-seeded Mankato East in the Class AAA quarterfinals. Cherry dethroned South Ridge as Section 7A kings thanks to the arm of Noah Sundquist and the bat of Noah Asuma.

Perhaps the most talented player on the list is Proctor's Nick Terhaar. He is one of the most promising players in Minnesota and will likely be selected in next season's Major League Baseball Draft.

“He is absolutely dominant,” said Rails coach Adam Shykes.

Other players on the team include Duluth East's Bjorn Lind, a freshman from Augustana, Duluth Marshall's Max Berrisford, who recently joined St. Thomas, and Superior Telegram All-Area Player of the Year Abe Ahlberg.

2024 ALL-AREA BASEBALL TEAM

Finn Fear by Esko

Jed Carlson / Duluth Media Group

Esko
Experienced pitcher

  • With Esko's season on the line, Furcht, a Class AA all-state player, delivered his best performance of the season against Duluth Marshall in the Section 7AA championship and carried the team “on his shoulders” in the state championship quarterfinals against Montevideo, coach Ben Haugen said.
  • The News Tribune's 2024 All-Area Player of the Year was a workhorse for Esko in its return to the state tournament, recording 97 strikeouts in 54 ⅔ innings and a 2.17 ERA.
  • At bat, Furcht's .386 average was second on the team behind Sam Haugen, and his six home runs were the second-best of any Esko player this season. He was also a reliable glove in left field when he wasn't on the mound.
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Bryce Hipp from Esko

Contribution

Esko
Experienced catcher

  • Hipp was a reliable figure on defense, had a .984 fielding percentage and was Esko's “quarterback behind the plate,” according to coach Ben Haugen.
  • Hipp's two-run hit from Wade Stadium ultimately made the difference in Esko's 4-2 victory over Duluth Marshall in the Section 7AA championship.

Duluth East

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Dylan Cole from Duluth East

Contribution

Experienced first baseman

  • Cole, a recruit from Minnesota Duluth, led the Greyhounds this season with a .442 batting average, 16 RBIs and just five strikeouts.
  • Cole, who is normally a first baseman, pitched 21 ⅓ innings in 2024, throwing over 70% strikes and allowing only three batters to walks.
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Björn Lind from Duluth East

Contribution by Derek Montgomery

Duluth East
Experienced pitcher/shortstop

  • Lind, the Greyhounds' best pitcher and fielder, posted a 2.27 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 22 innings and was also involved in eight double plays as a shortstop and had a fielding percentage of .831.
  • Lind, a freshman from Augustana, had a .417 batting average with 13 RBIs, 17 runs scored and 11 stolen bases this season.
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Max Berrisford of Duluth Marshall

Kim Kosmatka / Contributor

Duluth Marshall
Junior Pitcher/Shortstop/Catcher

  • Berrisford, who was selected to the All-Lake Superior Conference first team, had a 1.14 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 43 innings for the Hilltoppers.
  • Berrisford played in the infield and played as a pitcher, catcher and shortstop, among other roles. He made only one error all season and had a fielding percentage of .993.
  • Berrisford, who recently joined St. Thomas, posted a .373 batting average with 10 extra-base hits and a team-high 29 RBIs.
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Carter Boos of Duluth Marshall

Article by Kim Kosmatka

Duluth Marshall
Junior Pitcher/Shortstop

  • Boos, who was selected to the All-Lake Superior Conference first team, had a .463 batting average as the Hilltoppers' first hitter and scored 36 runs, twice as many as any other player on the team.
  • Boos was reliable in the field and on the mound for Hilltoppers coach Nick Garramone, posting a 3.11 ERA with 27 strikeouts, including a five-hit, eight-strikeout performance in a 3-1 win over then-undefeated Esko.
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Noah Sundquist from Cherry

Jamey Malcomb / Duluth Media Group

cherry
Junior Thrower

  • Sundquist, a Minnesota Class A all-state player, has “unbelievable” pitching numbers, manager Brian Kemp said. Sundquist had a 0.92 ERA and struck out 92 players in 53 ⅓ innings this season.
  • Sundquist was also a threat at bat, hitting .392 with 18 RBIs and 28 runs scored in the Tigers' run to the Class A semifinals.
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Noah Asuma by Cherry

Contribution

cherry
Second-year shortstop/pitcher

  • Asuma, a freshman from Iowa, posted a .524 batting average with 19 extra-base hits, four home runs and 47 runs scored, all team highs.
  • The Tigers' shortstop, a Class A all-state pick, had a .961 fielding percentage and was involved in six double plays this season.
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Easton Sjöstrand from Grand Rapids

Contribution

large rapids
Experienced pitcher

  • Sjostrand, a first-team All-Lake Superior Conference selection, had an overall record of 7-2 with a 1.65 ERA, 63 strikeouts and a 4-3 win over second-place Mankato East in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
  • Sjostrand also went a complete game without conceding a goal, defeating Duluth Denfeld and earning Grand Rapids its fourth consecutive berth in the Class AAA tournament.
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The Freeman River in Hermantown

Contribution by Crystal Holden

Hermanntown
Junior Thrower

  • Freeman established himself as one of the region's best pitchers, striking out 68 batters in 45 innings and posting a 0.47 ERA. He was the winning pitcher in seven of the Hawks' nine victories.
  • Freeman was selected to the All-Lake Superior Conference first team and had a .333 batting average with seven RBIs, 18 walks and just five strikeouts all season.
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Nick Terhaar from Proctor

Contribution

proctor
Junior Thrower

  • Terhaar, perhaps the region's most talented pitcher and player and a Class AA all-state selection, “didn't have a single appearance all year where he wasn't electric and the best player on the field,” Rails coach Adam Shykes said.
  • Terhaar, also an All-Lake Superior Conference first-team selection, had a 16-strikeout no-hitter against Greenway/Nashwauk Keewatin and a 15-strikeout, one-hit win against Aitkin. His 94 strikeouts led a Proctor team that had 223 strikeouts, 26 more than the previous record set in 1982.
  • Terhaar also had a .352 batting average with three home runs and 19 RBIs. When Proctor needed him most, Terhaar came in and pitched 3 ⅔ innings with one hit against Mora and had a home run in the sixth inning that put the Rails in the Section 7AA semifinals.
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Vinny Udd from Duluth Denfeld

Jed Carlson / Duluth Media Group

Duluth Denfeld
Freshman pitcher/third base

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Northwood/Solon Springs Abe Ahlberg

Jed Carlson / Duluth Media Group

Northwood/Solon Springs
Experienced pitcher

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Christian Pretasky from South Ridge

Contribution

South Ridge
Experienced pitcher

  • Pretasky is “one of the best players in the history of the program,” according to coach Aaron Weber, who posted a 2.17 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 40 innings on a very young Panthers team.
  • Pretasky was voted a Polar League All-Star and also batted .370 with three home runs and a team-high 25 RBIs. He plans to play college baseball at Wisconsin-Superior next season.
Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. For the previous six years, he covered news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary education English from George Mason University.