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Players Only - the ultimate baseball training experience for players 8-18 and beyond. 

Nevers Larkin Baseball and Softball Training (NLB Training) provides the best baseball and softball instruction in Minnesota. Regardless of your present skill set, NLB offers group instruction and individual lessons designed to enhance an athlete's physical and mental abilities.

Tom Nevers and Gene Larkin combine more than 20 years of Major and Minor league baseball experience and provide young men and women with the opportunity to develop the fundamental skills to play the game the "winning way."

Tom and Gene lead a qualified and well rounded team of instructors, each with extensive playing and coaching backgrounds. It is our belief at NLB that every player deserves an opportunity to reach his or her full potential on and off the field. At NLB Training we provide that opportunity.

Tom Nevers - President/Owner

Hitting and Fielding

  • 2-Time Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year for Baseball
  • All-State first team in 1989 and 1990 in Baseball
  • High School All American in Baseball in 1990
  • Member of the 1989 Junior Olympic Gold Medal Baseball Team
  • Member of the Select 16 and 17 USA Junior Olympic Hockey Teams
  • Drafted in 1989 NHL draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins (100th overall pick)
  • Drafted in the 1st round (21st pick) by the Houston Astros in the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft
  • Signed a Professional Contract with the Houston Astros and spent 13 years in Professional Baseball
  • Played for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, Anaheim Angels, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers
  • Went to College after 6 baseball seasons and was a member of the Minnesota Gophers Hockey Team (1995-1997)
  • Letter winner in Hockey as a member of the 1996-1997 Gopher Hockey Team

Tom has been teaching baseball to kids since 2000 and since retiring in 2002 has accumulated a great staff and partnership with Gene Larkin to develop Nevers/Larkin Baseball at Players Only. Tom is married to Stacy Nevers and they have 3 boys named Mason, Jackson, and Chase.

Gene Larkin - Vice President/Owner

Hitting and Fielding

  • Former Minnesota Twin, member of the 1987 and 1991 World Series Champion Teams.
  • Earned the Sherry Robertson Award as a Twins Minor League Player of the Year, 1986
  • Minnesota Twins 20th Round Draft Pick, 1984
  • Converse All American Team Member
  • Voted into the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Broke many of Lou Gehrig's hitting records

As a former Minnesota Twins switch-hitting first baseman, designated hitter, and right-fielder, Coach Gene Larkin brings his major league experience to help train the next generation of players. Coach Larkin has become known as a top trainer, has run fielding and hitting instructional camps for nine years, and coached in Eden Prairie for the last decade.


Tom Quinlan

Hitting and Fielding

Tom is an alum of Hill-Murry High School. He was then drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and continued playing professionally for 16 seasons. He earned a World Series ring with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992. Tom has been instructing since 2007.

Kerry Ligtenberg


After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Ligtenberg spent 12 years playing in the major league for the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. Ligtenberg most recently played in 2009 for the St. Paul Saints. Kerry was a member of the class of '89 from Park-Cottage Grove High School. Kerry is available for ages 14 and up.

Brad Mazer

Hitting, Pitching, & Catching

Brad played high school baseball at Orono High School before moving on to Gustavus Adolphus College. In 2002 he was the MIAC Player of the year and an All-American. After Gustavus, Brad went on to win the Northern League Championship in 2004 playing with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. He received an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas. Brad has been giving instruction since 2005. 

Cass Kreitlow

Pitching, Hitting, & Fielding

Cass graduated from Minnewaska Area High School and went on to play collegiately at Hamline University. In his final year he led the Pipers to their first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship and their first regional tournament berth in school history while setting a school record for wins in a season. In his senior year he was an All-MIAC and Midwest All-Region selection as a starting pitcher. Cass is currently the pitching coach for Hamline University and the Edina Legion Program. Kreitlow has been giving instruction and teaching since 2008 and has been full time as an Instructor and General Manager at Players Only since February of 2012. Cass does individual pitching, hitting, and fielding lessons for players of all ages. 

Nate Hanson

Hitting and Fielding

Nate graduated from Eden Prairie High School where he was a standout 2 sport athlete in both baseball and hockey. He went on to play three seasons at the University if Minnesota where he was a 2-time first team all big ten selection. Nate was drafted in 2008 by the Minnesota Twins and continues to play in the Twins organization. Hanson been giving instruction since 2008.

Rachel Osdoba

Fastpitch Softball Hitting and Fielding

Rachel graduated from Mankato East High School where she was a standout 3 sport athlete. While attending the University of St. Thomas, Rachel was an Academic All-Region and a NFCA Academic Award Winner. She played softball at the University and has coached various softball and strength/conditioning clinics. Rachel has a degree in secondary education and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. Osdoba has been giving private and clinic instruction since 2005.

Nick Denn

Hitting and Fielding

Nick graduated from Edina High School in 2011, after playing four years of legion baseball for Edina. After graduating he went on to Northfield, playing for St. Olaf College for four years, mainly splitting time between catching and playing in the outfield. He received a management degree after graduating in 2015 and is currently working on a masters towards Sport Marketing at the University of Minnesota. Nick has coached with Tom Nevers the past couple summers, mainly working with the Summer Elite League. Primarily working with camps, and individual hitting and fielding lessons. 

Mike Sulava

Hitting and Fielding

Coach Mike Sulava is from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where he played baseball at Geneva College. Sulava was a middle infielder and top of the line up guy. Throughout his career Mike was named to the all conference team as a junior and senior in the PAC conference. After graduating with a marketing degree, Sulava coached at a baseball academy for a year before going to work the oil fields of Pennsylvania. Desiring to use his education, he found a job in Minnesota as a sales rep. Mike's passion for developing youth players brought him to Players Only Inc. Hoping to bring energy, passion, and a drive to get better, Coach Sulava, aka "Spit" is now a part of a team of instructors that can bring out the best in any player and give them the confidence to go be the best with anything they do. Mike does individual hitting and fielding lessons to all ages.

Alex Alvarez

Pitching, Hitting and Fielding

Alvarez was a standout right-handed pitcher at DII Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, playing under current Head Coach Paul Blanchard the Mustangs all-time leader in victories. Alex was named SMSU’s Pitcher of the Year in 2012, which marked his senior season, pitching in eleven total games and starting six. In his three seasons as a Mustang, Alvarez made 24 appearances, pitching 92.1 innings. In the past he coached the St. Thomas Academy Cadets and Minnesota Millers with Pitch 2 Pitch. Alex is currently the pitching coach for the Hopkins Flyers. Alvarez has been giving private and clinical lessons in all facets of the game since 2008.

Mike Kvasnicka


Mike graduated from Lakeville North High School in 2007 where he was an All-Conference and All-State athlete in football, hockey, and baseball. Mike was then selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round of the 2007 MLB Draft, however, he instead elected to attend the University of Minnesota. While at Minnesota Mike was named All-Big Ten in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Following his junior season Mike was selected in the first supplemental round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros (33rd overall). Mike has since spent time with the Minnesota Twins in Class AA New Britain and more recently with the St. Paul Saints. 

Dan Ellefson


Dan was a graduate of Burnsville Senior high school and played baseball at Hamline University. He was a part of the program's first conference tournament championship, NCAA tournament appearance, and Regional win. He was a 4-year player as a 3rd baseman and starting pitcher. Individually, he earned 2 all-MIAC selections, MIAC pitcher of the week honors, and was chosen as the 3rd baseman for the MIAC all-defensive team. 


Casey Benford


Casey was a graduate of Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona and moved to Minnesota in 2009 to continue playing baseball at Hamline University. At Hamline, he pitched all 4 years and was a part of the 2011 MIAC Conference Championship team. He has been instructing all facets of the game since 2009.

Austin Lubinsky

Hitting, Pitching, and Camps

La Crosse, Wisconsin is where Austin began his sports career. He played baseball, hockey, and football for Logan High School and grew into an outstanding three sport athlete. His hard work in academics combined with his athleticism gained the attention of the University of Minnesota Baseball Program; before graduating in 2008, he committed to the Gopher Baseball team allowing him to continue his baseball career.  He played four collegiate seasons with the Gophers from 2008-2012. Austin has many highlights from his career as a Gopher including being named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team during his 2008-2009 year and being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 36th Round after his junior year. In 2012, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management and began work as a Project Supervisor in construction.

Ben Richardson

Catching and Camps

Ben graduated from Ankeny H.S. in Ankeny, IA in 2008. Ben spent two years at DMACC before joining Hamline University's team where he completed his college baseball career. He received a degree in General Business from Hamline. Richardson has trained players at Next Level Baseball, U.S. Baseball Academy, and the Twins Baseball Academy. Since graduating, Richardson has been a bullpen catcher for the Minnesota Twins. 

J.T. Canakes

Hitting and Camps

J.T. has been involved with Players Only Inc. since he was 12, where he took hitting lessons with Tom Nevers. He graduated from Eden Prairie High School in 2008; during which, he played football, basketball, and baseball. After making the All-Tournament team during the 2007 Legion World Series he gained attention from the University of Minnesota. He played 5 years at the U of M as an outfielder and designated hitter. J.T. was a 4-time All-Big Ten All-Academic team award winner. Canakes graduated with a degree in Kinesiology, and recently completed his masters in Applied Exercise Sciences. 

Rannon Arch


Rannon graduated from Rochester Mayo H.S. in 2010 where he placed second on the Minnesota state record for saves in a season. He went on to play baseball at Hamline University where he was a four-year starter out of the bullpen. Rannon was a part of the program's first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship, NCAA tournament appearance, and Regional win. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelors in Psychology from Hamline and received his Masters from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Arch has been instructing baseball since 2010 at Next Level Baseball, U.S. Baseball Academy, and recently was the pitching & hitting coach for the Rochester Redhawks American Legion Baseball team.

Jake Petricka


Petricka graduated High School from Faribault MN in 2006. He started his collegiate career at Iowa Western Community College before transferring to Indiana State University. Jake was drafted three times: '06 by White Sox, '09 by Yankees, and again in the 2nd Round of the 2010 draft where he signed with the Chicago White Sox where he still plays. He made his Major League Debut with the Chicago White Sox August 22nd, 2013. Petricka was the White Sox closer in 2014. Jake trains at Players Only in the off-season and helps with our camps.

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