Hayfield finds leadership in playoffsPublished 9:31pm Thursday, July 19, 2012
HAYFIELD — The Hayfield high school baseball team spent its entire spring looking for some veteran leadership and now this summer the Hayfield Legion baseball team has found that leadership.
Hayfield grad Tyler Nelson, who plays baseball at Division II Bemidji State, has been playing with the Legion team this summer and he was a big part of their 5-2 win over Adams in the Sub-District semifinals in Hayfield Thursday.
“I really just wanted to inspire them because I was watching them during the high school season and they didn’t look like they were having fun at all, they looked like they had to be there,” said Nelson who tripled in a run and scored in the first inning to put Hayfield up 2-0 Thursday.
While he’s older than some of his teammates by four years, Nelson is glad that he has a chance to help share his winning attitude. Hayfield’s high school team lost in the second round of the playoffs this past season and they were one win from the Class ‘A’ state tournament in Nelson’s senior year with the Vikings.
Nelson also played in the state legion baseball tournament his sophomore year.
“I want them to have something to look forward to and for them to know they can win,” he said. “When I went to state as a sophomore it was fun and I want them to experience it too.”
Nelson got the offense going and Hayfield’s Drew Streightiff, who will be a junior this fall, kept Adams’ lineup in check. Streightiff struck out 10 and allowed zero earned runs in seven innings.
Adams had two runners on with one out in the second and fourth innings but it didn’t score any runs either time as Streightiff came up with back-to-back strikeouts in each jam.
Streightiff said his catcher Connor Nelson helps him in those situations.
“Connor calls the pitches, I trust what he calls and I just throw it,” Streightiff said. “I give a lot of credit to Connor because he knows what to call.”
Hayfield pushed its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the second when Mat Walters laced a single to center to score two runs and Cam Rutledge knocked in another run with a two-out single.
No. 6 seeded Adams (7-9 overall) got on the board in the fourth inning when Jordan Heimer singled in a run and another run scored on a Hayfield error on a single by Josh Anderson.
No. 2 seeded Hayfield (12-4 overall) will play at top-seeded Stewartville with a trip to the District Playoffs on the line Saturday at 3:30 p.m. If Hayfield loses that game, it will play an elimination game Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Adams will play an elimination game Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Stewartville.
Adams 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 — 2 5 0
Hayfield 2 3 0 0 0 0 X — 5 7 2
Hayfield pitching: Drew Streightiff (W), 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 R, 0 ER, 10 K, HBP
Hayfield hitting: Cole Kruger, 0-for-3; Cam Rutledge, 1-for-2, RBI, R, BB; Tyler Nelson, 1-fro-3, triple, RBI, R; Streightiff, 0-for-3; Jason Born, 2-for-3, RBI; Connor Nelson, 1-for-3, double, R; Will Waggoner, 1-for-3, R, SB; Ben Czaplewski, 0-for-2; Mat Walters, 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, 2 SB, R
Adams pitching: Taylar Schwartz (L), 6 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 5 R, 4 K
Adams hitting: Isaac Kloeckner, 0-for-4; Schwartz, 0-for-2, BB, HBP; Luke Anderson, 0-for-4, BB; Jordan Hart, 1-for-2, BB; Sam Klaehn, 1-for-3, R; Jordan Heimer, 2-for-3, RBI; Matt Fasbender, 0-for-3; Josh Anderson, 1-for-3; James Landherr, 0-for-3; Travis Bruggeman, R