Baseball: Hayfield finishes fifth at state
JORDAN — The Hayfield baseball team rebounded from disappointment on Thursday to close the season on a positive note on Friday.
Hayfield, the No. 3 seed, had its hopes of a state title dashed with a 10-6 loss to unseeded East Grand Forks Sacred Heart in the Class A state quarterfinals at the Mini Met in Jordan on Thursday.
On Friday, the Vikings bounced back to win a pair of games in Chaska to place fifth in the state in Class A. Hayfield defeated South Ridge 6-5 in the consolation semifinals and then beat Randolph 16-5 in six innings in the fifth-place game.
In the fifth-place game, Mason Tapp collected the win with five innings of relief. The lone senior in Hayfield’s starting lineup, Tapp allowed one run on three hits and walked one.
The Hayfield offense busted loose as it tallied 13 hits and five walks. Brady Nelson went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBIs. Easton Fritcher went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored while Tapp was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Hayfield rode the strong pitching of lefty Luke Dudycha to topple South Ridge. Dudycha allowed just one run through the first five innings before tiring in the sixth.
The Vikings built a 6-1 lead and then survived as South Ridge scored four times in the sixth. Dudycha departed after 5 2/3 innings as he struck out 10 and allowed just four hits.
Jake Risius, who had hit a home run earlier in the game, pitching the final 1 1/3 innings for the save. He struck out the final hitter in the seventh to seal the win. Risius was 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs.
Kolby Tapp went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for the Vikings.
VIKINGS FALL IN STATE OPENER
Sacred Heart beat Hayfield 10-6 to advance to the state semifinals after losing a pair of heart-breaking games at state a year ago.
While Sacred Heart was playing in the state tournament for a second straight year, Hayfield was making its first appearance at state. Vikings coach Kasey Krekling thought Hayfield’s inexperience on the big stage showed.
"A bigger factor was our pitching and fielding was not where it was all year," Krekling said.
"I don’t know if it was the scene, the bigger atmosphere, we didn’t throw the number of strikes we usually do, we didn’t field the way we normally do. I thought our hitting against one of the best pitchers in Class A was actually pretty decent."
The youthful Hayfield team started Easton Fritcher, a freshman, on the mound. The rest of the lineup was made up of one senior, six juniors a sophomore and another freshman.
"We just didn’t play the way we’re used to playing," Fritcher said. "It just wasn’t our day, I guess."
The game was tied 2-2 before Sacred Heart scored four runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Hayfield collected seven hits, but left runners on second and third in the first, third and fifth innings. The Vikings left runners on first and third in the seventh. Sacred Heart also committed six errors.
"We needed to put more balls in play," Fritcher said. "I thought we did a good job of hitting in general, but definitely we need to (do better) with guys in scoring position."
Sacred Heart 10, Hayfield 6
SACRED HEART:Evan Sczepanski 1-for-3, 1 R; Brenden Bethke 1-for-3, 2 R; Will Rohrich 1-for-3, 1 H, 2 RBI, 2 R; Cullen Rohrich 3-for-4, 3 RBI,3 R; Gage Wavra 1-for-2, 2 RBI, Sam Gapp 1-for-2, 1 R. Pitchers: Brenden Bethke (WP) 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; Oscar Ortiz 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.
No. 3 HAYFIELD:Easton Fritcher 1-for-4; Mason Tapp 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 R; Jake Risius 1-for-4, 1 R; Patrick Towey 1-for-2, 1 2B, 2 R; Carter Kyllo 1-for-4, 1 RBI; Karver Heydt 1-for-3, 1 RBI. Pitchers: Easton Fritcher (LP) 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; Luke Dudycha 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K; Brady Nelson 1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
Hayfield 6, South Ridge 5
No. 3 HAYFIELD:Easton Fritcher 1 RBI; Mason Tapp 1-for-3, 2 R; Jake Risius 2-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R; Patrick Towey 1-for-4; Carter Kyllo 1-for-4, 1 R; Kolby Tapp 2-for-3, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R. Pitchers: Luke Dudycha (WP) 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 10 K; Jake Risius (Sv) 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
SOUTH RIDGE:Aaron Bennett 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Jaxson Bennett 1-for-3, 1 RBI. Pitchers: Riley Kinsley (LP) 2 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; Jaxson Bennett 3 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
Hayfield 16, Randolph 5
No. 3 HAYFIELD:Easton Fritcher 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 3 R; Mason Tapp 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 R; Brady Nelson 4-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 R; Jake Risius 1-for-2, 2 R; Patrick Towey 1 RBI, 1 R; Carter Kyllo 1-for-2, 2 R; Kolby Tapp 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 R; Carter Kyllo 1-for-2, 2 R; Karver Heydt 1-for-3, 1 R; Joey Tempel 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 R. Pitchers: Jake Risius 1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Mason Tapp (WP) 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
RANDOLPH:Joey Erickson 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R; A.J. Weidner 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Jack Bennerotte 1-for-2; Isaac Stoesz 1-for-2, 2 RBI; Brandon Gerster 1-for-1, 1 R. Pitchers: Brandon Gerster (LP) 1 1/3 IP, 1H, 5 R, 42 ER, 4 BB, 0 K; Nick Drinken 2 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; Jackson Buecksler 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
What happened:Sacred Heart beat Hayfield 10-6 in the state quarterfinals. The game was tied 2-2 before Sacred Heart scored four runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Hayfield scored one run in the sixth and three in the bottom of the seventh.
What it means:Unseeded Sacred Heart advances to the state semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday to take on No. 2 seed New York Mills. Hayfield, the No. 3 seed, drops into the consolation bracket and will play unseeded South Ridge at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Chaska Athletic Park.
Records:Hayfield drops to 22-3 while Sacred Heart improves to 14-8.