by Dennis Dalman
Was it springtime skill or just plain luck?
Trysten Bommersbach pondered that question a few seconds before answering.
“I’d like to think it was skill,” he said with a chuckle. “But luck might have had something to do with it. Still, I think I deserved it because I play a lot of golf and a lot of baseball.”
In one week, Bommersbach, 13, hit a hole-in-one and a homerun. In fact, he was the first player to hit a homerun at the newly opened baseball complex in Pinecone Central Park.
Bommersbach, a student at Sartell Middle School, is still a bit dazed by his skill/luck. He’s also somewhat lionized by friends and acquaintances who ask him, tongue-in-cheek, if he will buy lottery tickets for them or accompany them to a casino.
On Monday, June 3, Bommersbach and friend Blake Webster went golfing at the Oak Hills Golf Course south of Rice. They both started on hole number 10 on the “back 9 course.” On hole number 11, Bommersbach chose a 6-iron. He swung and whacked the ball, sending it 155 yards smack-dab to the center of the green where it plopped into the cup.
“I looked over at Blake, and he started running to me and tackled me to the ground,” Bommersbach recalled. “He kept saying, ‘I’m so jealous, I want to get a hole-in-one too.’ ”
Once he realized he wasn’t imagining things, Bommersbach started screaming – a scream of triumph.
“When I swung at the ball, I wasn’t thinking of trying for a hole-in-one, but I did think as soon as the ball went flying that it would be close,” he said.
Bommersbach said he saved the ball as a souvenir.
On Friday, June 7 at Pinecone Central Park, Bommersbach gathered for a weekend tournament with his Sartell Sabres Travel Teammates. Four games were going simultaneously on the four new, freshly sodded diamonds. On one of them the game was the Sabres vs. Waite Park.
Up at bat, Bommersbach swung at the whizzing ball and whacked it up, up and over the distant fence, almost into the foul zone, but not quite. Spectators cheered loudly for the solo homerun.
Among the cheering crowd in the bleachers were Bommersbach’s parents, Tim and Sheri; and his grandparents, Curt and Lillian Bertelsen of Hankinson, N.D. Some of Bommersbach’s school chums, who had come to watch the game, were also cheering.
“We lost the game to Waite Park, 7 to 8,” Bommersbach noted. “But it sure was nice to hit a homer.”
Will his streak of luck and skill continue?
“I sure hope so,” Bommersbach said with a winning smile.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.