Hayfield Vikings are Class A Baseball Consolation Champions
It was an all southeast Minnesota Consolation Championship at Chaska Athletic Park today. The #3 seed Hayfield Vikings defeated the #4 seed Randolph Rockets 16-5 in six innings. The Vikings held on to win their contest against South Ridge of Culver 6-5 and the Rockets rolled to an 11-1 win over Sebeka in six innings to get to the title game.
In the Randolph game, junior Matt Weber started the game on the hill and cruised through the first three innings allowing one base runner with a one out walk in the third. Weber fanned 4 of the first 9 batters faced. The Trojans took the lead in the top of the 4th inning when junior catcher Kolby Kiser started the inning with a walk. #3 hitter senior third baseman Noah Stevens cracked a double to place runners at second and third with no outs. Cleanup hitter shortstop senior Mason Stevens worked the count full before a RBI single. Stevens tried to score from second and Randolph junior left fielder Isaac Stoez uncorked a perfect throw home to get him out. That would prove to be use later in the one run game.
Weber got two pop outs to get out of the inning with just the one run scored thanks to the Stoez throw. Randolph led the third inning with a walk and a bunt single and did not score. They led the fourth inning with a single by junior catcher A.J. Weidner. His courtesy runner sophomore Kaven Blonigan was thrown out trying to steal second.
Finally in the 10th inning of State Tournament play the Rockets broke through with a run to tie the game in the bottom of the 5th inning. Stoesz led the inning off with a single down the right field line that the right fielder had kick off his glove allowing Stoesz to gain second base. The right fielder had to run a long way for this ball and to be able to get to it was impressive. The official scorer gave the right fielder an error on the play and no hit. I don't think a major league player gets an error on the play. I put a hit and error in my scorebook. Senior Andrew Wenstrom would smack a two out RBI single to bring Stoesz home for the tie.
Randolph erupted for 10 runs in the 6th for the victory. Weber pitched the first 4 2/3 innings with 81 pitches, 47 strikes. 5 strikeouts, 3 walks and a hit batter. Sophomore Brandon Gerster retired the final four batters in 13 pitches. Following the game Rockets Head Coach Chris Stanton told us Gerster would start the next game.
Hayfield took a 5-0 lead in the second inning before the game became very interesting. The Vikings started junior Luke Dudycha. The left handed pitcher allowed two hits over the first 5 innings but walks started to mount.
The Vikings scored in the first inning thanks in large part to an error by the Panthers of South Ridge of Culver. Senior shortstop Mason Tapp made things happen on the bases stealing second and taking third base on a wild pitch before scoring the first run. In the second inning #8 hitter Carter Kyllo led off with a single. Kyllo stole second. Freshman first baseman Easton Fritcher knocked in Kyllo on a sacrifice fly for the second out. Tapp crushed a double, junior Brady Nelson walked. During the Kolby Tapp at bat Hayfield pulled off the double steal. Tapp knocked in two runs with a single. When the top of the second ended the Vikings had 5 hits and 4 runs in the inning.
Junior catcher Jake Risius connected for a solo home run in the 6th inning to make the score 6-1. It was the second home run of the season for Risius. It would be huge in the 6-5 win.
South Ridge scored 4 runs when 9 batters went to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 6-5.
Risius relieved Dudycha with two outs in the sixth after 5 walks and 10 strikeouts for the junior. The Panthers had the tying run at second base when Risius got his third strikeout of the 7th inning and his fourth of the game while facing 7 batters.
Dudycha threw 111 pitches, 66 strikes and did get the win. Risius earned a save and started the game against Randolph.
The Rockets took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Wenstrom walked, Joey Erickson was safe on an error. Weidner cracked a two run double. Cleanup hitter Dane Ehlringer walked. With two outs #7 hitter Stoesz stroked a two run single.
Hayfield answered with 6 runs in the top of the second inning and never looked back. Back to back walks and an error started the Vikings onslaught. Sophomore Joey Tempel grounded out to get the first run in. Two more batters were walked ending Gerster's day pitching. 35 pitches, 13 strikes in 1 1/3 innings. 1 strikeout, 4 walks.
Randolph sophomore Alex Whitson came in to pitch. Fritcher greeted him with a two strike RBI single. Following two hit batsman that loaded the bases Whitson coaxed a fly out to end the 12 batter inning. The Rockets #9 batter Gerster started the bottom of the second with a 3-1 count single, scored on a double by Erickson that the senior tried to stretch into a triple and was thrown out at third base for the second out.
Randolph would have one more hit the rest of the way.
Hayfield scored two runs in the third inning, two runs in the fourth inning, two runs in the fifth inning and 4 runs in the 6th inning to finish the game.
The Vikings tallied 13 hits in the 16-5 six inning Consolation Championship victory.
Fritcher had two hits, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, 3 stolen bases in the lead off spot.
Hayfield committed one error, left 7 runners on base, 4 in scoring position. Randolph finished the game with 5 hits, 5 errors and 3 runners left.