St. Anthony had a dream season last year, going from a fifth-place finish in the talent-packed Camino Real League to a semifinal run in the Division 6 playoffs. This year the Saints are reloaded with talent and hoping to make some more noise. But while coach Kris Jondle is generally a positive guy, it would be hard to blame him for feeling sorry for himself after an unusual rash of injuries.
Jaxon Kraemer, a senior key contributor, will miss the first several weeks with a broken foot, while third baseman JB Quamma broke both bones in his wrist in an outfield collision late in the winter.
“You don’t usually get two of these types of injuries, it’s really flukey,” said Jondle.
“This is my first real injury, it’s pretty annoying,” said Kraemer. “Crutches, all of that, I’m ready to just get back out and play.”
Nonetheless, the Saints are powering on, with catcher Noah Estrem leading the way. Jondle, who coached at Jordan, said Estrom would be a starting catcher in the Moore League, and has signed a scholarship with Sonoma State.
“We would’ve had a great lineup with him, Jaxon, and JB, we would’ve been seven deep,” said Jondle.
The team’s three-hitter is a talented junior, Nick Salcido, who’s 6’3” and has a lot of power.
“He’s got the most upside of any guy I’ve had at St. Anthony, and I mean clearly,” said Jondle. “He’s a D1 guy–strong arm, power, he’s got a high ceiling.”
Star Saints quarterback Lucas Lehmar will be the team’s starting pitcher; Lehmar threw a shutout in the quarterfinals of the playoffs last year. He’ll also play shortstop and bat second in the lineup.
Jacob Fong will play in the infield because of a shoulder injury that’s limiting his time in the outfield, and will also lead off.
Other contributors will be Henry Peacock and Ben Kessler.
“The hard part for us is just making the playoffs in our league, everyone else is in a higher division than us,” said Jondle. “If we can get into the playoffs we can make some noise again.”