Hayfield and Randolph Baseball Advance at State
The Hayfield Vikings took the fire out of the Dragons of Adrian-Ellsworth 16-1 in five innings. The Randolph Rockets came from behind twice to eliminate the Fosston Greyhounds 9-5 in quarterfinal MSHSL Class A State Tournament action today in St. Cloud.
Top rated and top seed Hayfield used five different pitchers who combined to allow just one hit. That's amazing because this is the State Tournament. Junior Easton Fritcher started the game for the now (24-0) Rockets. The Dragons went up and down in order in the first inning with Fritcher recording a strikeout swinging and a strikeout looking. He threw just 10 pitches.
Fritcher did not return to the mound for the second inning because Hayfield scored 6 runs in the bottom of the first frame with the benefit of just two hits. A 2 run double by junior Karver Heydt, a single from senior shortstop Erik Bungum.
Adrian-Ellsworth had 3 errors in the inning and 3 walked Vikings also contributed to the crooked number. Hayfield had 5 stolen bases in the inning, finished the game with 7 steals.
Coach Kasey Krekling conserves all the team pitchers with the inning by inning strategy. He also sent a message to other teams watching, that his team is loaded with good arms.
Heydt hit the first batter to start the second inning but following a couple fly ball outs got a strike out looking to end his stint. He threw 19 pitches, 12 strikes
After ten batters stepped to the plate in the first inning six more stepped into the batter's box in a 3 run second inning. Senior third baseman Joey Tempel led the inning with a single to left field. The track shoes were on for the Vikings. They had 5 stolen bases in the first inning and Tempel continued the trend to get into scoring position.
After Heydt was hit by a pitch cleanup hitter senior Lucas Hansen bunted attempting to advance the runners which did happen but he also gained first base. Tempel scored on the play due to an error. Seniors Isaiah Tempel and Ethan Slaathaug hit sacrifice flies for RBI. When the second inning concluded it was 9-0 Hayfield.
Junior Nolan Klocke hit the hill in the top of the third for the Vikings with two fly outs and a groundout recorded. Klocke threw 10 pitches, 7 strikes.
In the bottom of the 4th inning after Junior starting pitcher for Adrian-Ellsworth Dawson Krahling starting the inning by getting a couple of outs Fritcher took a 1-1 count pitch over the right centerfield fence to make it 10-0.
Top of the 4th inning first baseman senior Lucas Hansen toed the rubber for the Vikings. The Dragons #3 hitter in the order, Marshall Wagner, s took a 1-2 count fastball and clubbed it to left center for a stand up double to end the no hit bid for Hayfield.
Krahling was walked. His courtesy runner took off for second base to get into a rundown on purpose in hopes of scoring a run which did happen before the third out was recorded to make the score 10-1 in favor of Hayfield.
The Vikings scored 6 more runs in the bottom of the 4th inning after connecting on four hits. Krahling was pulled after three innings. He was replaced by junior Evan Lenz who pitched to six batters in the bottom of the fourth.
Lucas Hansen opened the inning with a single to right. Back to back walks were issued to load the bases. Bumgum stroked a 2 run double.
There were runners at second and third base. The first out of the inning was recorded before Lenz allowed his third walk and exited the contest.
Sophmore Andy Rahe pitched to the last five batters in the game for the Dragons.
Freshman Aiden Nelson came off the bench to stroke a single. Sophmore Kayden Jacobsen clubbed an RBI single. There was an error on a ground ball hit by freshman Isaac Nelson. Freshman Zander Jacobsen hit into a groundout that scored a run.
In the top of the fifth inning senior Cael Becker pitched to five batters. He opened the innings issuing back to back walks. The Vikings turned a double play when the third baseman fielded the ball, stepped on the bag and threw out the runner. Another walk was allowed to load the bases before catcher Isaiah Tempel caught a pop up behind home plate to end the game.
Hayfield had 16 runs , 9 hits, 0 errors with 3 runners left, two in scoring position
Adrian-Ellworth had 1 run, 1 hit, 5 errors with 3 runners left, two in scoring position
The Vikings play Noon Wednesday on KDHL Radio, 920 AM, 97.9 FM, KDHL app against #5 seed Springfield. The Tigers defeated #4 seed South Ridge 8-3 in 10 innings.
South Ridge, Culver (21-4) starting pitcher Jaxson Bennett struck out 14, walked 2 and gave up 3 hits over the first 8 innings of the game. The Section 7A Champion Panthers scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game.
Section 2A Champion Springfield Panthers (19-7) plated 5 runs in the top of the 10th inning to secure the victory and advance to play Hayfield in the semifinals.
The Fosston Greyhounds, Section 8 Champions scored four runs in the second inning of their game with #3 seed Randolph but the lead did not last very long. The #3 seed Rockets matched the 4 runs in the bottom of the inning.
Randolph senior pitcher Brandon Gerster struck out the side in the first inning but started the second frame by hitting the cleanup batter with a 1-2 count pitch. Gerster struck out the next batter but the ball went to the backstop allowing him to gain first base and Fooston was set up for a crooked number inning.
The Greyhounds designated hitter hit the ball to right field and a diving attempt was not successful. The ball rolled to the fence following a two run triple.
Gerster coaxed a strikeout and ground out before the number 9 batter in the order collected a 0-2 count double to plate a run. He was brought home when the next batter stroked a single to right center.
Fosston senior Evan Chalich faced 9 batters in the bottom of the second inning. Drew Jenkins started the inning with a two strike double. Kavin Blonigen was walked. Following a strikeout Jack Roberge was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.
The Rockets #9 batter in the order was struck out. Gerster worked the count full and was walked to score a run. Jacob Weckop cracked an RBI single. Nathan Weckop was walked to score another run. Mason Lorenzen also took a four pitch walk to tie the game and Chalich's day was done.
Junior Noah Mallen came in from first base to pitch and retired Jenkins to end the bottom of the second. He then retired 6 of the next 7 batters he faced and looked like he was in control.
In the top of the 5th inning Fosston took the lead again. The #9 hitter hit a single and was erased at second on a force out. There was another force out. After striking out his first two at bats against Gerster #3 hitter Tommy Simonson hit an RBI single to give the Greyhounds a 5-4 lead. It was short lived again.
The bottom of the fifth inning started with a strikeout passed ball with Mason Lorenzen at the plate. Drew Jenkins started a hit parade with a single. Kaven Blonigen executed a great bunt for a hit to load the bases. Joel Gehrke then hit a 2 run single to give the Rockets a lead they would not relinquish.
Roberge laid down a sacrifice bunt to get runners to second and third base. Collin Otto hit into a fielder's choice to score a run. Gerster singled for his second RBI of the day. Jacob Weckop got a sacrifice fly RBI to complete the 5 run inning. Nine batters stepped into the batter's box in the inning.
Gerster was lifted in the 7th inning when he reached the pitch count. I had him with 116 pitches, 87 strikes. He finished with 15 strikeouts in the game. Equally as important the senior right handed pitcher did not walk any batters.
Randolph (23-0) will face their stiffest test of the season Wednesday when they play the #2 seed New York Mills Eagles (22-2) in a semifinal game scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, KDHL app.
The Eagles lost to BOLD in the Class A State Championship game in 2019. New York Mills played Sebeka a couple of times this year so they knew their quarterfinal round opponent well and did not throw their ace. They saved him for Randolph.
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