Hayfield grads become opponents on the baseball fieldPublished 7:54pm Sunday, May 11, 2014
When Hayfield grads Tyler Krekling and Tyler Nelson saw each other on the baseball field this past spring, the feeling was a little different for them.
The former teammates had become opponents and they both felt a little weird about it.
Nelson, who plays shortstop at Bemidji State, and Krekling, an outfielder at Concordia-St. Paul, played each other five times this year and Nelson’s BSU team won three of the five match ups.
“He was the best player on their team,” Krekling said of Nelson. “It was really weird to play against him, but I’m bald he’s doing well.”
Nelson said he had an advanced scouting report on Krekling after playing with him in Hayfield and he was able to record a few put outs on his former teammate.
“It was definitely a little weird,” Nelson said. “I was kind of playing in where he usually hit it and I got him out a couple of times.”
Nelson had a breakout season for the Beavers as he was selected All-NISC second team. He batted .366 and scored 32 runs with nine RBIs. He struck out only five time all season. Nelson finished the year with a fielding percentage of .914.
“This conference is really tough and the pitchers are really good. They all play in the Northwoods League. Just getting mentioned is a big deal,” Nelson said. “I didn’t really get comfortable in the box until after the Mankato series and after that it just kind of took off.”
Krekling hit .296 with 27 runs and 20 RBIs at Concordia. He started his season at center field and finished it in right field.
Krekling, who played at Riverland Community College for two seasons, said playing in the NISC is much tougher and nothing is guaranteed.
“I hit a slump and then I had to sit for a couple of games. If you’re not producing, they’ve got people right behind you that will,” Krekling said. “That makes you push yourself harder.”
This summer Krekling and Nelson will be teammates again on the Hayfield Heat, but Nelson will only be able to play a few games with Krekling. He will spend much of his summer playing baseball in Kansas.
Krekling has one year left at Concordia and Nelson has two seasons left at BSU.