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Teammate Tag: Stetson Helwig, Joe Savelkoul

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Renville County's Stetson Helwig prepares to throw the ball to first base during a practice.

Editor’s note: The teammate tag is a series of eight questions designed to test how well two teammates know each other. Each athlete answers four questions about themselves and then attempts to predict their teammate’s answers to four different questions.

Stetson Helwig and Joe Savelkoul are Renville County Muskrats baseball players.

Q: What is the most memorable summer baseball game from your time as teammates?

Helwig answer: “We played the Grafton Spoilers. They were hosting the (Babe Ruth) tournament, so they had an automatic bid. We came in as the Mohall Mallards. No one knew who we were. It was just so much fun to go in there and prove yourself in a game.”

Savelkoul guess: “I would have to say the game that got us to our first state tournament in my first year of Babe Ruth. That would have to be the most memorable. I’ll never forget that day, the first day I knew I was going to play in the state tournament. We played Velva.”

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Renville County's Joe Savelkoul throws the ball toward home plate during a practice.

Helwig reaction: “That was one of the most fun seasons that we’ve had. It was just an unexplainable adrenaline rush. That really solidified our region as some dominant baseball players.”

Q: Would you rather hit a home run or make a web gem play in the field?

Helwig answer: “Hit a dinger. We were playing Bottineau in the regional tournament last year. I got a high and inside fastball. I turned on it. I knew I smacked it, and I was busting for three (bases) because I didn’t know I would be able to hit a home run. I got to second, and everyone was screaming, ‘It went out!’ I was like, ‘What?'”

Savelkoul guess: “Hit a home run, for sure. There’s no doubt.”

Helwig reaction: “I told you. That’s it. It’s just one of those things that you dream of when you’re a kid. You see all these big leaguers just launching moonshots. It’s like, ‘Man, I want to do that someday.’ When you finally accomplish it, it’s a great feeling.”

Q: Who is your favorite MLB player?

Helwig answer: “It’s got to be Derek Dietrich. That dude hits the longball.”

Savelkoul guess: “I don’t know if it still is, but I know for a fact that at one point it was Yadier Molina.”

Helwig reaction: “Yeah, he got me there. Yadi is the GOAT (greatest of all time). Dang, my boy got me.”

Q: Out of all of your opponents, who is the toughest pitcher to hit?

Helwig answer: “Jacob Johnson from Enderlin. The dude throws gas. He’s got a nasty slider. It is gross. I was not expecting that when I stepped up to the plate.”

Savelkoul guess: “A kid we played two years ago from Winnipeg in a tournament in Devils Lake.”

Helwig reaction: “OK, he was throwing gas. He had a nasty curveball. Yeah, Canadians don’t mess around when it comes to baseball.”

Q: What is your favorite field to play on?

Savelkoul answer: “My favorite field to play on has to be Richardson Field in Lansford, North Dakota. I don’t know, I just love playing at home. It’s a two-minute drive from my house. The field is really nice. Not to brag or anything, but I just think it’s one of the nicer fields in our region. I just love playing there.”

Helwig guess: “Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo. We were in the state tournament in spring ball for high school there. Absolutely beautiful field.”

Savelkoul reaction: “I didn’t even think about that. That field was amazing.”

Q: Who is the most athletic player on the Muskrats?

Savelkoul answer: “I’ll go with Gannon Hall. Gannon can play any position and he’ll do well.”

Helwig guess: “He’s probably going to say Gannon Hall.”

Savelkoul reaction: “Shout-out to Gannon. He’s just an athlete all-around. Kid gets it done.”

Q: Choose one: Big League Chew or sunflower seeds?

Savelkoul answer: “Big League Chew, for sure. I love gum.”

Helwig guess: “He’s a seeds guy. Spitz cracked black pepper seeds.”

Savelkoul reaction: “I love seeds, too. That’s a tough decision, but Big League Chew has to be better. Big League Chew is more rare. I feel like everyone’s always got seeds.”

Q: Which MLB player had the best bat flip of all time?

Savelkoul answer: “It’s got to be Jose Bautista. He rocketed one and looked over to the stands. He stood there and threw his bat.”

Helwig guess: “When Jose Bautista hit that one in Toronto. That was fire.”

Savelkoul reaction: “That one is legendary. I always see that one on the internet. It’s used in so many memes.”

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.

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