Randolph and Hayfield Open State Baseball Tournament on KDHL
The Randolph Rockets and Hayfield Vikings are both experiencing their first trip to the MSHSL State Class A Baseball Tournament Thursday. The Rockets received the #4 seed and play #5 seed Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg. The Vikings are the #3 seed and open with Sacred Heart. Opening round games are played at the Mini-Met in Jordan. Randolph is scheduled to play at 12:30 p.m. Hayfield at 5:30 p.m.
Randolph is 21-2, their only losses were to one school, Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander/Kingsland. A Class 2A school and fellow member of the Southeast Conference. That means the Rockets have not lost to a Class A school all season. The Fighting Saints of K-M-S are 20-2. They fell to Albany 1-0 and Lac Qui Parle Valley 2-1.
Randolph has a team batting average of .321 and team ERA of 1.93 while K-M-S out of the Camden Conference has been hitting .326 and has a team ERA of 1.14. The Fighting Saints have 14 errors and 50 stolen bases in 22 games. The Rockets 32 errors, 82 stolen bases in 23 games.
K-M-S has allowed 25 runs all year. Both teams have 2 home runs this season.
The Rockets Andrew Wenstrom owns just about every pitching record in Randolph history. This season he is 7-1 with a microscopic 0.35 ERA, 90 strikeouts in 59 and 2/3 innings. Remember former Minnesota Twin and current Detroit Tiger Caleb Thielbar was a star at Randolph. Wenstrom also leads the team with 30 hits, is hitting .395. The top RBI guy is Dane Ehleringer with 29. There are 4 players with over 20 RBI on the team.
Senior first baseman Jack Bennerotte is a medical miracle. He missed all of last year due to cancer found in his spinal cord. Bennerotte was told he would never play sports again. He played on the basketball team that got to the Section title game before playing in baseball this spring.
K-M-S has a pitcher with an ERA under 1 also. Alex Call is 8-1 with a 0.60 ERA. 75 strikeouts in 46 and 2/3 innings pitched.
Hayfield is 22-2 with losses to Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 13-1 in their season opener and Blooming Prairie 4-3 another Gopher Conference opponent. This was the Vikings first year in the conference and they were the champions. They have 16 straight wins going into the tournament opening game.
Hayfield has a team batting average of .309 and ERA of 1.94. The Vikings have 60 stolen bases and 5 home runs. The Sacred Heart Eagles out of East Grand Forks are 13-8. Don't let that record fool you. To start the season they were not healthy. Their team batting average is .275 and ERA 2.03. They have 68 errors and 80 stolen bases in 21 games. The Eagles might have the best pitcher in the tournament. Brenden Bethke is 6-1 with a 0.68 ERA. 66 strikeouts in 41 and 1/3 innings pitched. He was a preseason Mr. Baseball candidate.
The Eagles have 3 home runs. Traditionally they are an excellent bunting team. This is their second consecutive trip and 4th trip to the state baseball tournament.