Hayfield Will Defend Class A Baseball Title at State
The Hayfield Vikings cruised to a 9-0 win over the Southland Rebels in Austin tonight to win the Section 1 Class A Baseball Championship.
Vikings Head Coach Kasey Krekling said the team goal was to defend their title at Target Field and that doesn't happen if you don't make to the State Tournament.
Hayfield (22-2) will wait to find out their seed Saturday. They should receive one of the top seeds. Five teams are seeded and the remaining teams become a random draw opponent for the top three seeds.
The Vikings will open at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. They could play at one of four different times, 10:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
Win or lose they would play again on Wednesday. If they win Tuesday the time will either be 11:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. depending on what side of the bracket they are on.
If lose the first game Hayfield would travel to Bob Cross Field in Sauk Rapids and play at either 10:00 a.m. or 12:15 p.m.. If they lose that game the season for them is over.
If they win then a Consolation Championship would be played at 5:30 p.m.
If they win the first game and lose in the Semifinals then the Third Place game would be 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
If they win first and second games the Vikiings would be back at Target Field to play for the title at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 17, 2022.
Senior right handed pitcher Nolan Klocke has been the ace of the pitching staff this season and got a whole week off between starts. Something Coach Krekling believed he needed.
Klocke threw a one hit shutout with 12 strikeouts on 97 pitches, 64 strikes. He walked the first batter of the game.
It looked like the Rebels were going to put some pressure on the defending Class A MSHSL Baseball Champions. Klocke struck out the next batter but Southland sophmore starting pitcher Travis Kirtz hit a ground ball to third base that junior Ethan Pack easily gloved but his throw to second base was high and pulled senior Kobe Foster off the bag.
Runners at first and second base with one out. Klocke ended the threat with back to back strikeouts and never looked back.
The Vikings had the lead batter on each of the first two innings and did not score. In the first inning Easton Fritcher singled, stole second base. He was sacrificed over to third base where he was with one out.
Following a strikeout cleanup batter senior Isaac Watson was at the plate when Fritcher came storming home. He did not even get close enough to slide and was tagged out to end the inning.
Coach Krekling appeared to ask the base umpire why a balk was not called. He then asked the home plate umpire and the other umpire but none of them apparently thought there was a balk to be called.
The bottom of the third inning opened with a 8-pitch at bat by designated hitter Eric Bermea. The at bat ended in a live drive out to left field.
#9 batter Kobe Foster was hit by a pitch. Fritcher was at the plate when Foster stole second base to get into scoring position. Fritcher clubbed a RBI double. Klocke hit a RBI single. Senior Karver Heydt singled.
Cleanup hitter senior Isaac Watson hammered a RBI double. Sophmore Aidan Nelson had a RBI ground out. Ethan Pack smacked a RBI single.
The Vikings were up 5-0 and never looked back.
Hayfield added 3 more runs in the fourth inning. A strikeout started the inning before Foster was hit by a pitch again. A fly out was recorded off the bat of Fritcher but it was a productive out because Foster (after stealing second base again) tagged up and went to third base.
Foster stole second for the second time after he was hit by a pitch to get on base.
Following back to back walks Watson made it look elementary with a perfectly placed double down the right field line that cleared the bases.
Hayfield would add a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Following two outs Bermea hit a single but ended up at second base because the ball got by the right fielder.
Hunter Simonson was running for Bermea and the freshman went to third base on a wild pitch. He would also score on a wild pitch.
Southland used 4 pitchers in the game and it was evident trying to come through most of the Elimination Bracket was not easy on the pitching.
Hayfield did not lose a game in the Section Tournament.
Our Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy Deliveries of the Game courtesy of Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy of Owatonna went to Klocke, Watson and Foster.
Southland finished their season with a 17-8 record.
In other Section Finals baseball Tuesday:
Section One Champions are Rochester Lourdes with a thrilling 3-2 win over Plainview-Elgin-Millville.
The Eagles will open State Tournament play on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. Right next to where Class A will be playing. Seeds are Saturday.
They could play at 10:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
The Winona Winhawks defeated Byron 3-1 to advance to the State Tournament next week. The Bears had 4 losses this year and three of them were to the Winhawks.
The State Class 3A Tournament will be played at Chaska Athletic Park beginning Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at the same time as the other State Tournaments.
Farmington blanked Lakeville South 3-0 to punch their ticket to CHS Field Tuesday where the big schools open their State Tournament.
Some Sections will conclude their Tournaments on Thursday ahead of the Saturday seeding meeting.
This might take you down memory lane.