A Hopkins connection helped the Minneapolis Cobras win their first State Class A Amateur Baseball Tournament title Sunday, Aug. 18, at Red Haddox Field in Bloomington.
Former Hopkins High athlete Sean Borman and Hopkins High assistant baseball coach Mason Reinhart had the biggest hits in the Cobras’ 16-8 win over the Minnetonka Millers in the state-championship game, and as a result, they were named co-tournament MVPs.
In the bottom of the first inning Sunday, the Cobras trailed Minnetonka 4-0, but that changed quickly. Reinhart launched a 370-foot homer over the left-field fence, and then Borman hit a rocket over the center-field fence that traveled 420 feet.
Although the Millers battled gamely, the Cobras’ power was hard to overcome. The Minneapolis team later added home runs by Gabe McDonald and Cole Easley.
Reinhart, who has been a Cobra for 11 years, was thrilled to finally win a state title. He and veteran pitcher Matt Germar, who coaches third base when he’s not on the mound, have been waiting a long time to finish on top.
“Before I joined the Cobras, I played for the Richfield Ramblers and Atomic in St. Louis Park,” said Reinhart, a Richfield High graduate. “We have such a great group of guys on the Cobras - a lot of team guys. People always talk about how we can hit, but we’re a very good defensive team, too. Today, our outfielders made a lot of good plays.”
That outfield includes Easley in left, Brandon Schmal in center and Devin Rodgers in right. Schmal and Rodgers are key catalysts at the top of the batting order.
Borman, who is in his fifth season with the Cobras was All-State in football as a quarterback at Hopkins High and was also a four-year varsity baseball player. He joined the Cobras because that’s the team his older brother Matt played with. Matt didn’t play for the Cobras this summer, but don’t rule out a return in the future.
“The home runs in the first inning today gave us a good momentum push,” Sean Borman said as he held the Kirk Ingram Cup, which goes to the winner of the State Class A Tournament. “It was a slug fest with the Millers. I think we had 13 hits and they had 16. This was our year to take the cup. In the State Tournament we beat three No. 1 seeds [the St. Anthony Hogs, the St. Paul Capitals and Minnetonka]. We’re going to cherish this championship for a long time. A lot of our older guys played like they were young again, and a lot of our younger guys played like veterans.”
Borman supplied the power for the Cobras, hitting either third or fourth in thee order, and playing every inning at third base. He used to take his turn pitching, but hasn’t had to throw much this season since the Cobras are loaded with quality pitching. In addition to Germar, the staff includes Jack Hogan, Max Perrine, Derek Mason, Nate Lutmer, Ben Resnick, Kieran Liming, Seth Pruett, Cole DeVries and, on occasion, the right fielder, Rodgers.
DeVries, a former Major Leaguer, joined the Cobras this season. He had two wins at state - 6-1 over the Hamel Hawks and 4-0 over the St. Paul Capitals. Late relief help held the lead in both contests.
“Cole is a great player, who gave us a boost,” Reinhart said. “I played against Cole in high school and with his brother at Concordia University in St. Paul. He really enjoyed playing for the Cobras, and he was a helpful mentoring some of our younger guys.”
While DeVries won two big decisions at state, the key win was Mason’s 5-4 victory over Minnetonka in the second round at Dunning Field in St. Paul. It was a sweet win for Mason, a former Miller, who had helped them win several state championships.
For the record, the Cobras finished 5-0 in the State Tournament for an overall season mark of 31-12.
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