It was a season to remember for the Waite Park 9U AAA baseball team. The squad recently wrapped up a trip to the Midwest Plains Regionals in Missouri with a 5-1 record, which earned them the tournament championship.

The team, nicknamed the "Red Machine," beat Fargo by a 10-5 final score to capture the championship.

Head Coach Richard Wildtraut:

To say this group of young athletes is special would be a huge understatement.  We were lucky enough to watch boys turn into mature young men, players turn into leaders, and teammates turn into brothers.  Their growth on the field can only be surpassed by the their sportsmanship, attitudes, and growth as polite young men off the field.  The team found the motivation for their training and development by calling this season, "Road to Regionals" because it was identified as a stretch goal for the team and every player agreed that their efforts would be focused towards earning the trip to Missouri for one another.  Not only did they dominate the State Tournament, but they played their hearts out in the Missouri heat and humidity to bring the title of Midwest Plains Regional Champions back to Central MN.

Richard Wildtraut
Richard Wildtraut

By winning the regional title the team qualifies for the 2023 Cal Ripken baseball national tournament in Indiana next August.


The season began early February in a concrete gym at Clearview Elementary during an open gym with a foot of snow on the ground outside. Our coaching staff looked across a group of distracted baseball players and explained to them that to be successful in anything you need focus and have to love the training aspect of it so you can equip yourselves for the results you desire.  Their skills were raw and wildly unpredictable throw to throw and swing by swing.  The diligence of the players and parents towards this ball team showed through while we continuously practiced inside and battled mother nature to finally step onto a baseball diamond in late April.  The season started and we all began riding the rollercoaster of wins, losses, and lessons that this great game teaches even the most talented of players and coaches.  By July, the team was catching its stride with consistent practice reps, game efforts, and most importantly- teamwork and defensive support.  The squad earned the nickname, "Red Machine," and had their eyes set on their season goal.  Winning the State Championship felt like the team had conquered Everest as they punched their ticket to Missouri.  Our practices immediately intensified by way of the players drive as they seemed motivated to not just show up, but to compete. The rest was a weekend no parent and hopefully no player will forget as we saw the boys play hard with one goal at the highest level of the season.  We hope the community will rally behind these boys to help support their trip to World Series in Indiana, August 2023. These boys now live their team motto: "Hard work, Hustle, Never Give Up!"  Let's do it again next year boys on our "Road to the World Series."  Go get em' Red Machine


#1 Madden Sandstrom
#2 Grayson Savolainen
#6 Evan Hellermann
#7 Luca Ksiazek
#8 Kellan Wildtraut
#10 Zack Longnecker
#16 Parker Prom
#18 Cohen Stine
#24 Ben Ross
#34 Parker Lehner
#50 John Russell
Rick Wildtraut
Dave Russell
Adam Savolainen
Robb Ksiazek
Pete Ross
Jordan Sandstrom

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