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In Touch 6/14/24

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Northern State baseball signs six to letters of intent

Northern State University head coach Dean Berry announced six additions to the Northern State baseball program today.  Kolby Culbertson (Coon Rapids, Iowa), Brody Henderson (Lake Mills, Wis.), Jordan Hull (Mahtomedi, Minn.), Dalton Kesti (Farmington, Minn.), Braxton Kusler (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and Maddox Plack (Harrisburg, S.D.) will join the Wolves in the fall of 2024.

“We are very excited about the six signees we have in this current class,” noted Berry. “We have a balanced mix with three pitchers and three position players and have hit on some needs with what we will lose in this year’s graduating class. We are proud of the work we have done so far but will look to add a few more players for the 2025 roster over the next few months. The makeup of this particular class will add a lot of athleticism to our team.  We targeted the Midwest area heavily this fall, with our commits reigning from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. We have a lot of confidence that each one of these six players will provide an impact on our program during their time at NSU!”

Kolby Culbertson – Pitcher, Coon Rapids, Iowa / Coon Rapids-Bayard

Kolby Culbertson is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound left handed pitcher out of Coon Rapids-Bayard HS. He is a 3-year starter and team captain for the Crusaders under the direction of head coach John Waddle. Culbertson held an ERA under a 2.00 the last two seasons, racking up 196 strikeouts in his prep career. He is a 3-time all-conference selection, 3-time all-area team member, and 2-time all-district honoree. He is the son of Brandi and Kevin Culbertson.

Berry’s Thoughts: “We have been in contact with Kolby for awhile, as his older brother Quentin is currently a junior in our program. Kolby has had a ton of success on the mound in high school and is a guy that can be mid to upper 80s. Throwing from the left side, he has a good off-speed to compliment his fastball.  You can never have enough left-handed pitching and we are really looking forward to getting Kolby here next fall.”

Brody Henderson – Infield, Lake Mills, Wis. / Lake Mills HS

Brody Henderson is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound infielder out of Lake Mills High School. He is a 4-year starter and team captain for the L-Cats under the direction of head coach Adam Hosey. In 2023, Henderson recorded a .370 average. He is a 2-time Capital North All-Conference selection named to the honorable mention team in 2022 and second team in 2023. He is also a member of the Silver Sluggers club program. He is the son of John Henderson and Rebecca Haerter.

Berry’s Thoughts: “Brody Henderson is an athletic shortstop out of Wisconsin that we identified early in the process. He has good range defensively and we have seen him up to 86 across the infield.  Brody has hit well against all levels of competition in his high school career and we are excited to see how he adjusts to the college game. Brody will bring versatility and athleticism to our infield group right away.”

Jordan Hull – outfield, Mahtomedi, Minn. / Mahtomedi HS / Dakota County TC

Jordan Hull is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound outfielder out of Mahtomedi High School and Dakota County Technical College. As a prep, Hull was a 2-year starter hitting .422 with 20 RBIs and 21 runs scored his senior season. He racked up 29 career stolen bases and was named to the all-conference team. Hull appeared in 17 games last season for DCTC, hitting .333 with 16 hits including two doubles and two triples, as well as 14 RBI and 14 runs scored. He is the son of Lisa and Dan Hull.

Berry’s Thoughts: “Jordan is an athletic outfielder who has been up to 94 from the outfield and is an above average runner. Jordan also has some juice at the plate and should be a middle of the order guy for his junior college this spring. Jordan will join his former DCTC teammate, Nick Friedges, when he arrives at NSU next fall. Jordan is our lone junior college transfer in the class at this point and we expect him to do great things in his time at NSU.”

Dalton Kesti – Outfield, Farmington, Minn. / Farmington HS

Dalton Kesti is a 5-foot-8, 175-pound outfielder out of Farmington High School. He is a starter for the Tigers under the direction of head coach Jon Graff. As a sophomore, Kesti hit .424. Kesti also plays for the Mash National Cardinal out of Eagan, Minnesota, where he held an average above .300 for the last three seasons. He is the son of Tanya and Jason Kesti.

Berry’s Thoughts: “Dalton Kesti is a kid that we really liked when we were on the road this summer. He has good range in the outfield, has a strong/accurate arm and runs well.  Dalton handles the bat well offensively and is a spark plug to any lineup. We think Dalton’s speed and versatility to play all three outfield spots will help him make a smooth transition to college baseball and we are excited for his career at NSU.”

Braxton Kusler – Pitcher, Sioux Falls, S.D. / Harrisburg HS

Braxton Kusler is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound left handed pitcher out of Harrisburg High School. He is a 3-year starter for the Tigers under the direction of head coach Mark Abrahamson. In the spring of 2023, Kusler threw 22.1 innings, notching a 4-1 record. He tallied a 1.25 ERA, 35 strikeouts, and a .224 opponent batting average. Kusler was honored on the all-state team, following a runner-up finish by Harrisburg in 2023. In addition, he is a member of the 2023 Class A State Legion Champions Harrisburg Post 45. A 2-time all-state performer, Kusler notched a 2.41 ERA, 4-1 record, 44 strikeouts, and .211 opponent batting average in the summer of 2023. He is the son of alumni Jay and Connie Kusler and the brother to NSU women’s basketball and baseball alumni Brianna Kusler and Brandon Kusler.

Berry’s Thoughts: “We have seen a lot of Braxton and have a unique connection with him as one of our assistant coaches, Brandon Kusler, is his older brother. Every time we watched Braxton, we came away impressed with his composure, command of multiple pitches, and his knowledge of the game. Braxton is a low 80s guy with good command of his off-speed, and we see the potential for a velocity jump in there when we get him to campus next fall. Left-handed pitching is a premium in college baseball, and we are excited to see what Braxton can do at NSU.”

Maddox Plack – Pitcher, Harrisburg, S.D. / Harrisburg HS

Maddox Plack is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound right handed pitcher out of Harrisburg High School. He is a 3-year starter for the Tigers under the direction of head coach Mark Abrahamson. Through 23.1 innings pitched, Plack holds a 3.00 ERA, .200 opponent batting average, and 35 strikeouts. Harrisburg finished as the South Dakota Class A Runner-up in the spring of 2023. In addition, he is a 4-year member of the Harrisburg Post 45. In legion play, Plack tallied a 5-2 record, 2.13 ERA, .234 opponent batting average, and 47 strikeouts. The Tigers won the South Dakota State Legion Championship in the summer of 2023. He is the son of Kristi Plack.

Berry’s Thoughts: “We highlighted Maddox as a South Dakota high school arm that we really liked this summer and are excited to get him into the program next fall Maddox had an outstanding summer for the Harrisburg Gold Legion team and is a guy that has a lot of projectability. He is a mid 80s guy right now and commands his off-speed well. He has a long, lanky frame that has more velocity in the tank.  Maddox is our second commit from a Harrisburg program that has had a lot of success, and we are thrilled to have him joining our program.”

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