Herauf, Frenzel to meet when NDSU visits Arizona
A few years ago, Ben Herauf and Cole Frenzel were the stars of Dickinson's unprecedented baseball success.
They led the Dickinson Roughriders to back-to-back American Legion state championship in 2008 and 2009.
They both played on the 2007 Dickinson High School team that won a Class A state title. Frenzel set school records en route to the Midgets' championship in 2009.
Today, however, they meet each other for the first time -- at least since the youth leagues -- as opponents.
Frenzel is projected to be the starting first baseman for the Arizona Wildcats when they host North Dakota State in a three-game series that begins today in Tucson, Ariz. Today's game, which begins at 6 p.m., is the season opener for both teams and the first time they have ever met.
"We've always been good friends off the field," said Herauf, a sophomore infielder in his first year playing for the Bison. "It's going to be interesting to see him across the way from us."
The Wildcats are ranked No. 25 in the official NCAA Division I poll coming into the year and are higher in several other national polls. They are picked to finish fifth in the loaded Pac-10.
NDSU is picked to finish sixth in the Summit League, but is coming off its best Division I season.
Frenzel said Herauf informed him last year that NDSU had scheduled its season-opening series against the Wildcats. Since then, he said there has been a lot of lighthearted jabs back and forth about the games.
Nevertheless, Frenzel said he's excited to see Herauf and former high school rival Zach Wentz, a Bismarck Century graduate who has been tabbed as NDSU's top returner.
"It's definitely really cool to be able to play against guys like Benny," Frenzel said. "This will be the first time I've actually played against him. That'll be kind of odd right away. It's going to be a good experience, a lot of fun."
Herauf transferred to NDSU last year and sat out as a redshirt. He spent his freshman season at the University of Mary in 2009. He started every game for the Marauders, batting .259 with one home run and 17 RBI.
Frenzel is coming off an injury-shortened season. He missed more than two months in 2010 with a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He played 26 games, starting the final 19 at first base, and hit .286 with six RBI.
However, he enjoyed a good summer playing for the LaCrosse Loggers summer wood-bat team in the Northwoods League.
"My body is feeling great," Frenzel said.
To Frenzel, today is just the beginning of what he hopes will become a long and successful year.
He has signed a contract to play for the Hyannis (Mass.) Harbor Hawks of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and will report to the Hyannis as soon as Arizona's season ends.
"It's going to be a great experience," Frenzel said. "It's what you're waiting for you're whole life."
Ben Herauf, So., INF, NDSU
North Dakota State: Sat out 2010 season as a redshirt transfer.
University of Mary: Started all 44 games, fifth on team with .259 batting average, 1 HR, 17 RBI.
American Legion: Hit 18 HR in 2009; helped Roughriders win 2008 and 2009 state championships; state tournament most valuable player.
Dickinson High: Hit. 490 with 5 HR as a senior; two-time all-state selection and state tournament most valuable player; helped Midgets win 2007 high school state championship; set school record with 45 RBI as a sophomore.
Cole Frenzel, So., 1B, Arizona
Arizona: Appeared in 26 games as a freshman in 2010, started the final 19 games of the season; hit .286 with 6 RBI and no homers; suffered broken hamate bone in hand on swing attempt on Feb. 27, causing him to miss 32 games.
American Legion: Hit .520 with 29 HR and 104 RBI while helping Roughriders win the second of back-to-back state championships in 2009.
Dickinson High: North Dakota High School Gatorade Player of the Year in 2009; two-time Under Armour All-American; North Dakota state record holder with 23 career HR; three-time all-state selection; helped Midgets win 2007 and 2009 state championships; holds school records for career batting average, home runs and RBI; hit .450 with 4 HR and 32 RBI as a senior; hit .542 with 35 RBI and 5 HR as a junior.
Series: NDSU at Arizona, 6 p.m. today, 1 p.m. Saturday, noon Sunday
Online: Follow the game at www.arizonawildcats.com