Krekling picks Riverland

Published 5:31 pm Monday, May 30, 2011

Hayfield's Tyler Krekling will be on the diamonds close to home, playing for the Riverland Community College Blue Devils starting next year. - Eric Johnson/

HAYFIELD — After mulling over his college choice for about a year, Hayfield senior baseball player Tyler Krekling picked a team that is close to home and has won big.

Krekling has committed to play baseball for Riverland Community College next season, even after being contacted by a few four-year schools — including Division II Southwest State and Bemidji State.

“It took me awhile to decide, but now it’s a lot of weight off my shoulders,” said Krekling, who is hitting over .500 as a shortstop and pitcher for the Vikings this spring.

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Krekling hopes playing for the Blue Devils will put him in position to land a scholarship in two years, and he also likes the fact that RCC has played in the NJCAA World Series twice in the last three years.

“It’s a really good program and they had a good year this year,” Krekling said. “I don’t like to lose. I’d rather be on a team that’s really good than be on a team that’s not good and play all the time. But hopefully I can play all the time at Riverland.”

Krekling will see some familiar faces on next year’s RCC team. He spent part of last summer playing with the Kenosha, Wis. Bobcats and while there, he played with pitcher Joe Wagner, who will also be coming to RCC.

“I know some of the guys that are coming (to Riverland). They’re good players and we should have a good team next year,” Krekling said.

RCC head coach Scott Koenigs called this year’s recruiting class his “best ever” and he’s glad to add Krekling to the mix of what should be a strong group of freshman.

Koenigs recently watched Krekling play and was impressed with his bat and his patience at the plate.

“We’re really happy to get Tyler,” Koenigs said. “He’s a great athlete, a complete player and he’ll fit in well. We expect great things from him and he’s having an incredible season at Hayfield.”

Krekling has played shortstop, outfield and pitcher at Hayfield and the tentative plan is for him to play outfield with the Blue Devils.

Even though he has his college choice secured, Krekling isn’t about to let up on his workload as he will play for the Hayfield Heat this summer after he wraps up his high school season.

He also has one specific thing he wants to improve on .

“I’ve got to focus on staying back on the ball instead of staying in front of it,” he said. “I’ve been working on that all year and I’ve been getting better at it, but there’s always room to improve.”

The No. 3 seeded Vikings will open the Subsection 1A West Division playoffs against No. 6 seeded Blooming Prairie in Hayfield Tuesday at 5 p.m.