Knoll shines at All-Star Series
Throughout the course of his senior season, Kasson- Mantorville baseball player Brendan Knoll has been a leader on and off the field.
As a four-year starter, he’s been able to help some of the younger players adapt to playing baseball at the varsity level while backing his experience up by becoming one of the top pitchers and outfielders in the state.
Both of those qualities were on display last week as not only did Knoll earn an All- State selection for his work with the KoMets this season, he took part in the Minnesota Coaches All-Star Series in Chaska last weekend.
As part of a South team that would reach the championship game, Knoll represented K-M well going 4-for-7 with three runs batted in at the plate and throwing 2/3 of a scoreless inning on the mound.
Such a performance went a long way to acclimate himself to his new teammates.
“It was kind of awkward at first,” Knoll admitted. “I didn’t know anyone outside of Brady Braaten from Pine Island, but after the first couple of days I really got to know the guys and we did some bonding between the games. It was a fun experience and I really enjoyed it.”
That bonding helped the South team battle against some of the top teams in the Metro area as their enthusiasm quickly became a team strength.
“In my opinion, I thought we had one of the most outgoing and energized groups in the dugout,” Knoll observed.
“When somebody made a play, we were all cheering for each other and everybody had a good time.”
After the series, Knoll was left to reflect on what has been a stellar career at K-M where he became a threesport athlete, but really left his mark on the baseball diamond.
When asked about the reason for his progress, he was quick to mention coaches Logan Cimmoti and Matt Franke as catalysts for an All- State season.
“[Logan] played some ball in Iowa, so he knows what he’s talking about,” Knoll explained. “[Coach] Franke also helped me tweak some things over the season too.
With this being my fourth year on varsity, I knew what to expect and that helped me also be a leader to some of these younger guys.”
As Knoll heads to Century College to play baseball, he reflected on his career by talking about the run to the state tournament during his freshman year and mentioned how much he’ll miss playing with the guys he grew up beside.
“High School baseball is different than any other kind of baseball,” Knoll elaborated. “You play the sport with the buddies you go to school with and you get to play with your friends against rival schools in the area. It’s something that I’m going to miss.”