The Hayfield Vikings and Randolph Rockets are a game away from another trip to the MSHSL State Baseball Tournament.

The Vikings defeated the Lyle-Pacelli Athletics 8-0 in Section 1A Championship Bracket action today at Riverland College in Austin.

The Rockets downed New Life Academy of Woodbury in Randolph 10-0 in 5 innings in Section 4A.

Mayer Lutheran defeated Heritage Christian 7-2,  The Crusaders will now play 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at New Life for the right to go to University of Northwestern in Roseville Thursday and tangle with Randolph. Yes that's the same day the ladies open defense of their State Fastpitch Softball title in Mankato.  We will broadcast the State Tournament game on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, worldwide on the FREE KDHL app.  The Rockets need one win to go back to State.

Lyle-Pacelli saw their season end when Southland edged Rushford-Peterson 2-1 then played the Athletics and won 10-4.  The Rebels play Hayfield 5:00 p.m. Tuesday in Austin.  The VIkings are one win from State.

University of Minnesota recruit Easton Fritcher started the game on the hill today.  Last year's ace pitcher has not been able to throw from the mound much for Hayfield this year due to an injury.

Head Vikings Coach Kasey Krekling told KDHL prior to the game Fritcher said he was feeling able to go so he got the ball.  He went the first 4 innings throwing 68 pitches, 40 for strikes.  Fritcher struck out 8 of 15 batters faced and walked 2 batters while allowing one bloop single.

At times he simply overpowered the Lyle-Pacelli hitters.  Karver Heydt notched a 3 inning save allowing one hit with 3 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit batter. He threw 45 pitches, 24 for strikes with 3 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit batter  It was Heydt's second save of the season and Fritchers third win.

Fritcher came into the game with 15 innings pitched, 6 hits allowed, 27 strikeouts, 9 walks and 3 hit batters.

The pitching for the Vikings has been nothing short of amazing with 4 pitchers logging more innings than the Gophers recruit and three of them with Earned Run Averages below 1.00.  Heydt came into the game with a 0.63 ERA, Fritcher 0.50.

The team ERA for Hayfield going into today was 0.85 and opponents batting average a weak .093.  If Fritcher is back to full strength look out Class A State Tournament field.

Fritcher also entered play today with a .582 batting average.  Jaw dropping statistics like a .692 on base percentage. 39 hits, 19 for extra bases, 31 RBI, 46 runs scored and 1 strikeout at the top of the order.  He did not have a hit but was on base three of the four times at the plate with a pair of walks and was safe on a error.

Fritcher scored twice and added two stolen bases to his season total, now at 25 in 23 games.  In the bottom of the first inning Lyle-Pacelli ace pitcher junior Mac Nelson picked him off.

The play happened just before catcher senior Nolan Klocke hit a 3-1 count stand up triple and scored on a wild pitch.

Fritcher opened the third inning by getting on base due to an error.  He stole second base and went to third on a wild pitch.  Following a pop out Heydt was walked then stole second base placing runners at second and third with one out.

Cleanup hitter senior Isaac Watson stroked a 2 run single, the ball got by the center fielder allowing Watson to gain second base.  I ruled a error in my scorebook but the  scoreborard operator did not give an error on the play.

The Vikings blew the game open with a four run bottom of the fifth inning.  Fritcher again opened the inning with a walk and stole second base.  He was sacrificed over to third by Klocke with a great bunt.  Heydt hammered a RBI double.

Watson hit a single placing runners at the corners with one out.  Sophmore Aiden Nelson hit a sacrifice fly RBI. Junior Ethan Pack cracked a RBI single, sophmore Zander Jacobson had a RBI single and Nelson was knocked out of the game.

The Athletics ace finished his 4 2/3 innings with 104 pitches thrown, 54 for strikes.  He allowed 8 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned, had 3 strikeouts, 4 walks.

Sophmore Jack Klingfus finished the game for Lyle-Pacelli going 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout of six batters faced.  He allowed 2 hits, 1 earned run while throwing 17 pitches, 11 strikes.

The Vikings added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning.  #9 batter senior Kobe Foster opened the inning with a single and stole second base.  Heydt hit a bloop single to right field for his second RBI and second hit of the day.

The Athletics only real scoring opportunity against Fritcher came in the 4th inning when they opened with a walk and bloop single.  Fritcher dropped the ball on the mound resulting in a balk to advance the runners.  Remember the score is Hayfield up 3-0 at this point.

Fritcher fanned the cleanup hitter, got a liner to short and another strikeout to end his final inning of work from the pitching rubber.

The Vikings are 21-2 and will face Southland (17-7) Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.  The game is scheduled for broadcast on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, FREE KDHL app.

  • In the Randolph Rockets (20-1) 10-0 five inning win over New Life Academy of Woodbury senior Nathan Weckop threw a 3 hitter and cranked a 1-0 count triple scoring a run in the first inning.  Weckop would come home on a ground out giving the Rockets all the runs they would need.

Randolph added a run in the second inning, 2 in the third and 5 runs in the 4th.

In the second inning Evan Bennerotte stroked a single, Tayven Geiger hit a infield single.

Following a strikeout Bennerotte tried to steal third base and was thrown out for the second out.

Bray Olsen hammered a line drive RBI single.

In the bottom of the third inning Jacob Weckop walked to start the inning.  Nathan Weckop was walked.  Both Jacobs advanced on a wild pitch.  Mason Lorenzen hammered a RBI single.  Will Baldus added a RBI single.

Bennerotte was walked following a pitching change by New Life.  A double play followed by a strikeout ended the inning.

The bottom of the fourth inning started with a out then Drew Jenkins walked, Jacob Weckop hit a single.  Jenkins scored during the Nathan Weckop at bat which ended in a walk.  There was another pitching change.

Lorenzen was hit by a pitch to load the bases.    Baldus achieved a RBI on a bases loaded walk.  Nathan Weckop stole home during a Bennerotte at bat that ended in a strikeout.  Geiger walked to load the bases.

Olsen hit a RBI single.

Nathan Weckop struck out 7, walked 2 while throwing 66 pitches, 44 strikes in earning his 8th win with no losses.  He improved his ERA to 0.82.  Opponents are hitting .120 against him.

Jacob Weckop is now hitting .455 with a .517 on base percentage he has 35 hits, 28 RBI.  Olsen and Baldus are both hitting over .400 for the season for the top ranked Rockets who have a team batting average of .343.

  • The Northfield Raiders picked a good time to play their best baseball.  In the Section 1AAA Tournament they won their elimination bracket game today 5-2 against Red Wing earning the right to play the Byron Bears for a chance to get to the championship game.

Earlier in the day Winona defeated Byron 6-5 meaning the Winhawks are one win from state.

Byron downed Northfield 5-1 to end the Raiders season.  The top seed Bears will go back to Marcusen Park in Austin Wednesday for a 5:00 p.m. game and must win twice to go to State.

In  the 5-2 victory over Red Wing the Raiders scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th inning to give themselves the insurance they would need to win.  Northfield had a 1-0 lead going into the final inning of the game.  The Wingers would score twice in the bottom of the seventh.

Joey Malecha went the distance on the hill for Northfield, allowing 3 hits and 1 earned run.  Malecha struck out 12, walked 2 while throwing 102 pitches, 70 strikes.

Spencer Mellgren, Jordi Vazquez and Kaed Rauk would each have two hits in the game.

With two outs in the top of the third Mellgren stroked a single and scored on a Vazquez single.  Vazquez was thrown out at second base after the throw was made to home plate.

The top of the seventh opened with an error off a Malecha hit ball.  With one out Zach Morelan singled.  Rauk smacked a RBI single. Charlie Monaghan hit a infield single to load the bases.

Following a strikeout Vazquez hit a ball resulting in an error with two runs scoring on the play.

In the bottom of the 7th, Red Wing opened their half of the inning with a home run. Malecha struck out the next batter before walking a batter.  That was followed by an error and RBI single.

Malecha got another strikeout before the game ended on a fielder's choice.

Northfield 5 runs, 9 hits, 1 error
Red Wing 2 runs, 3 hits, 2 errors

In the nightcap for the Raiders, Tyler Hughes was the starting pitcher.  The right hander allowed 5 runs on 7 hits over 6 innings with 2 strikouts, 92 pitches, 57 strikes.

Senior John Lutzi was the first of three pitchers for the Bears.  He went the first 5 innings with 2 hits allowed, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 69 pitches, 42 strikes.

A Northfield error opened the bottom of the first inning placing Byron's speedy lead off hitter on the bases.  Junior Tyler Fox stole second and third base before scoring on a ground out.

The Raiders tied the game in the top of the third inning.  With two outs Mellgren stroked a single.  Vazquez hit a ground ball that ended in a error.  Mellgren scored on the error and Vazquez went to second base.

The tie was short lived with the Bears plating two runs in the bottom of the inning.

It was 3-1 until the 6th inning when Byron scored 2 runs to secure the victory.

Byron   5 runs, 7 hits, 2 errors
Northfield 1 run, 3 hits, 2 errors

The Raiders finished the season with a 7-17 record winning three of their last four games.

Byron (20-3) must defeat Winona (13-10)  twice Wednesday, June 8, 2022 to go to the State Tournament.  The Winhawks have given the Bears  2 of their 3 losses.

Game time is 5:00 p.m. If Byron wins they will play a second game for a State trip.

Marcusen Park Austin Site for Section 1AAA Baseball Tournament. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Marcusen Park Austin Site for Section 1AAA Baseball Tournament. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
  • Section 1AAAA still has nothing on the MSHSL Bracket but a link has been added giving the results.

Games are being played in Red Wing.  Farmington defeated Lakeville South 2-0 today to put the Tigers in the finals waiting for a team to play them next week and have to defeat the them twice to go to the State Tournanment.

Rochester Mayo downed Rochester John Marshall 6-3 to earn a game with Lakeville South and a shot at getting to the finals.  The Cougars edged the Spartans 3-2.

Lakeville South plays in Red Wing against Farmington at 5:00 p.m. and must win twice to punch their ticket to the big dance.

  • Section 1AA Saturday play had Rochester Lourdes and Plainview-Elgin-Millville competing at Mayo Field in Rochester in the Championship Bracket and Pine Island going up against Chatfield in a Elimination game at John Adams Middle School in Rochester.

Pine Island defeated Chatfield 9-7.  Rochester Lourdes downed Plainview-Elgin-Millville 7-1.

The Bulldogs then ended the Panthers season 6-3 setting up a showdown Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. at Mayo Field.  If the Eagles win they head to state.  Plainview-Elgin-Millville must defeat Rochester Lourdes twice to move on.

  • In Section 2AA Tournament play Gopher Conference member New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva is still alive after a 5-2 Elimination Bracket victory over conference opponent Maple River.

In the Semifinal game earlier in the day at Walsh Field in Gaylord, Sibley East downed New Ulm 13-2 to put themselves in the finals in their home ballpark.

In the other Elimination Bracket game Belle Plaine blanked Minnesota Valley Lutheran 7-0.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Belle Plaine will play NRHEG in Gaylord.  The winner will tangle with New Ulm at 7:30 p.m.

The winner of the late game goes back to Gaylord and must defeat Sibley East twice to get to State.

  • Earning berths into the Section 2AAA Semifinal game were both Mankato East and West after Saturday games in New Ulm.

The Cougars edged Albert Lea 2-1 while Mankato West outscored New Prague 10-8.

Albert Lea and New Prague go back to New Ulm Tuesday to play at 5:00 p.m. in a do or die encounter.  The winner will play the loser of the Mankato East against Mankato West game.  That contest will also be played at 5:00 p.m.

The second game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Section 2AAA title is scheduled to be determined Thursday, June 9, 2022 with a 5:00 p.m. game followed by another contest if necessary.

MSHSL State Class A Baseball Tournament main field will be Joe Faber in St. Cloud with Bob Cross Field the Consolation Bracket site.

MSHSL State Class AA Baseball Tournament main field is Dick Putz in St. Cloud with Orthopedic Sports Field in Sartell the Consolation site.

MSHSL State Class AAA Baseball Tournament main site is Chaska Athletic Park with Mini-Met in Jordan handling Consolation contests.

MSHSL State Class AAAA Baseball Tournament action is at CHS Field St Paul. Consolation Bracket will be played at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis.

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