MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (KMSP) - Heritage Christian Academy in Maple Grove, Minn. is a small school team with big baseball aspirations as they enter the state tournament for the first time this year.
The Eagles finally pushed through thanks to some help from one of the finest players in the state: Seth Halvorsen.
Halvorsen is the best high school pitcher in Minnesota this season. Seth was selected as this year’s Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year and his 96 strikeouts this year lead the entire state.
“I just go out there and give it my all,” Halvorsen told Fox 9. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, I just make sure that I am all there.”
“This year, I think from a development standpoint and from a mental toughness standpoint is where he’s really broken through,” Heritage Christian head coach Jon Ledeboer said. “I think it’s been big just to raise the level of play of everyone around him.”
Halvorsen’s been an answer all over the diamond when called upon, but while on the practice field last weekend he got an important phone call. One he’s been waiting for since he was a kid.
The Minnesota Twins were on the other line and they drafted him in the 30th round of the MLB Draft to give Halverson the option to go pro.
“It was great being the local guy being picked by them,” Halvorsen said. “I think it’s every kid’s dream.”
Even though it’s an honor to be drafted by his home state team, it’s honestly not what Seth wants at this time.
Most MLB teams see him as a pitcher, but his plan is to go to Missouri to play college ball. The Tigers will give him a chance to pitch and also play shortstop.
“It would definitely feel good to prove a lot of people wrong because a lot of people think that I am just a pitcher,” Halvorsen said. “People haven’t seen me enough as a hitter, but I guess time will tell.”
Before the next step on the path to the pros, there is one final journey to complete in high school: a state championship.
“It would be a great feeling,” Halvorsen said of the Eagles’ chance to win state. “Especially to be able to play at Target Field after you just got drafted by the Twins. That would be pretty sweet.”