For the second consecutive season, an Ahern represented the Holy Angels baseball team at the Play Ball MN! All-Star Series.
After his older brother, Shannon, played in the weekend-long tournament following the 2016 season, Riley Ahern was named to the Metro South team this year.
“This has just been really cool,” Ahern said. “I have played against a lot of these guys growing up and there were a couple I played with in Rosemount, so it has been cool playing against the best kids in the state.
“It is definitely an eye-opener. Everybody is a top-notch talent.”
Holy Angels head baseball coach Mike Rothstein said he was proud of Ahern for his hard work in helping him earn a spot on the All-Star Series roster.
“It’s a tribute to our program to get at least one kid in, because it’s the cream of the crop for seniors,” Rothstein said. “If you make one of those teams you’re one of the top 100 seniors in the state.
“I played in it 20-something years ago, Coach [Kevin] Kirkwald, one of my varsity assistants, played in it, and it’s an awesome experience for those kids. They get pampered, put up in hotels and get all these activities and get fed like you wouldn’t believe. They’re treated like pros for four days.”
In three games Ahern went 0-for-5 at the plate and pitched four innings and allowed nine hits, five runs (three earned) and struck out one batter.
“I have had to up my game, but I haven’t played very well,” Ahern said. “It has still been cool.
“It’s not relaxed, you’re still playing hard, but you don’t have your whole high school team on the line. It’s still just fun to play and see everybody.”
No matter how he fared, Ahern was simply pleased to be able to join in om the festivities.
“I’m really grateful to be able to do this,” Ahern said. “It’s a cool experience, I’m happy my coach nominated me.
“I will probably keep this with me my entire life.”
With Ahern set to join St. Cloud State in the fall, he knows the type of quality hitters and pitchers he faced all the All-Star Series will be the same type of talent he will face while playing for the Huskies.
“I was talking to my dad last night and we said this was a precursor,” Ahern said. “During the regular season I could blow the ball past a few people, but here you can’t blow a fastball past anyone.
“They’re going to catch up to you, so you have to mix up your pitches. This is good to see now, so during the summer I can work on things a little more.”
Follow Richfield sports editor Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris and on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.