Hayfield Heat passes by Kasson

Published 12:33 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Hayfield Heat continued their impressive coming out party when they swept Kasson by scores of 2-1 and 7-4 in an amateur baseball doubleheader at Marcusen Park Monday.

The first game saw Hayfield muster just one hit off Kasson pitcher Eric Gruhlke through five innings, but Shawn Palmer finally broke through for the Heat with a run scoring single in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game and Shane Barry scored on a wild pitch with one out in the sixth to give Hayfield a 2-1 lead.

“After seeing him a couple of times through, you get to know his pitches and what he throws,” said Palmer, who also had a two-run double early in the second game of the doubleheader to make it a 5-0 game in the second inning. “We were pretty pumped after coming back to win the first game.”

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Hayfield led 7-2 early in the second game as pitchers Tyler Krekling and Ben Pollock held Kasson in check. Kasson had the tying run at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Matt Franke grounded out to end the night.

Kasey Krekling picked up a save in both games on the mound, striking out four in three innings without allowing a hit.

“My arm was pretty fresh and it felt pretty live,” he said. “I pretty much just stuck with the fast balls and they were behind it. It worked out.”

Brennen Toquam made his first start of the season on the mound in the first game and he worked his way out of two bases loaded jams with strikeouts in the win. Toquam also made a diving catch in left field for the second out of the seventh inning of the opener when Krekling came in to get the save.

“We were missing a couple of guys and we didn’t have our best pitchers going,” Krekling said. “We were hoping for a split and to win two is phenomenal.”

The Heat, who are in their inaugural season, are off to a 14-5 start in the Northern League, which puts them near the top of the division.

“If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year that after 19 games we’d be 14-5, I would’ve said you’re kidding,” Krekling said. “It’s a new team, we’re all young and wood bats are brand new to us. I was hoping for .500 and we’re well above that.”

Krekling and a few other players from the Hayfield area played for the Rochester Blues last season, but he wanted Hayfield to have its own team this summer. So he made some phone calls to some of the players he used to play with in high school, players from Blooming Prairie, players from Byron and players who played with his brother, Tyler, at Hayfield High School.

“I said it’s time to start over in Hayfield, we used to have a good team that won a couple of state championships and someone just needs to start a new team. I just ran with it,” Krekling said. “It was a lot of work and still is. But it’s well worth it.”

Kasson 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 6 1

Hayfield 0 0 0 0 0 2 X — 2 2 0

Hayfield pitching: Brennen Toquam (W), 6 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 1 ER, 8 K; Kasey Krekling (S), 1 IP, 0 R, 2 K

Hayfield hitting: Tyler Krekling, 1-for-2, R, SB, BB; Shane Barry, 0-for-3, R; Shawn Palmer, 1-for-2, RBI, HBP; Toquam, 0-for-2, BB; Kasey Krekling, 0-for-2, BB; Adam McDanial, 0-for-3; Jake Krier, 0-for-1, BB; Chris Pack, 0-for-2; Mark Evjen, 0-for-2

Hayfield 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 — 7 9 1

Kasson 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 — 4 6 2

Hayfield pitching: Tyler Krekling, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 5 K; Ben Pollock (W), 2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 3 K; Kasey Krekling (S), 2 IP, 1 BB, 0 R, 2 K

Hayfield hitting: Tyler Krekling, 3-for-5, 2 RBIs, R; Barry, 0-for-2, R, BB, HBP; Palmer, 1-for-4, double, 2 RBIs; Toquam, 1-for-2, RBI, BB; Kasey Krekling, 3-for-3, double, R, BB; McDanial, 2-for-4, R; Krier, 2-for-4, double, RBI; Pack, 0-for-2, BB; Evjen, 0-for-2, BB; Travis Kauffman, 2 R