Falcons knock off Vikings

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hayfield's Joe Volgarino slides into home to score what would be Hayfield's only run in the Section 1A title game against Wabasha-Kellogg Wednesday at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Hayfield baseball team finally hit a hurdle it couldn’t overcome.

The Vikings allowed a late rally as they lost 4-1 to Wabasha/Kellogg in the Section 1A title game at Dick Seltz Field Wednesday.

Hayfield (17-9 overall) held on to a one-run lead for five innings, but the Falcons finally found their stride in the sixth when Hunter Baab doubled down the line to put runners on second and third and Tommy Greenhack drove a three-run double to the center field wall to make it 3-1.

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“I was nervous the whole time,” Hayfield head coach Craig Selk said. “I knew one run wasn’t going to do it. It was just going to take a little spark and we were going to have a full blown grass fire out here.”

Hayfield's Cole Kruger dives back into first base on a pick-off attempt in the second inning against Wabasha-Kellogg during the Section 1A title game Wednesday at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

W/K (20-6 overall) added an insurance run in the seventh as their ace, Eric Sandstrom closed out the game without any problems.

“Ninety percent of the credit goes to (Sandstrom),” Selk said. “He came out and he was a bulldog. He threw almost 150 pitches a few days ago and he didn’t look like he missed a beat. He throws over the top with a weird angle and he’s clipping knees and hitting spots. My hat’s off to him.”

Hayfield senior Evan Bungum went 0-for-3 against Sandstrom a day after he hit two homers.

“He’s got pretty good command of his fast ball and good command of his curve ball,” Bungum said. “It was something new to see and we couldn’t get our bats going. That’s baseball and that’s how it goes.”

Hayfield scored its one run in the third when it had the bases loaded with no outs. Jared Ellis drove a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly, but Drew Kenyon was thrown out at third for the second out of the inning and Tyler Nelson struck out with a runner on second.

Hayfield pitcher Tyler Krekling delivers in the first inning of the Section 1A title game against Wabasha-Kellogg Wednesday evening at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Hayfield pitcher Tyler Krekling did his best to stay out of trouble early on as he didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning. W/K had runners on second and third with two outs in the second when Krekling froze Blair Pfeilsticker for a strikeout. The Falcons also had runners on first and third with no outs in the fourth but Krekling got a strikeout, Connor Nelson threw out a runner stealing at second and a pop-out ended the inning.

While it hurts to miss out on state, the Vikings can definitely be proud of their postseason run as its the farthest a Hayfield team has gone in at least eight years.

“Us seniors have been together for a long time and we’ve always played ball,” Bungum said. “It was kind of a dream for to get this far and ultimately we wanted to get to state. We fell short, but it’s been fun in every game we’ve played.”

Selk said he hopes the team remembers the positives.

“I told the seniors it’s going to sting for a couple of days, but five or six years from now people are going to talk about the hitting display you had the night before, so enjoy it for what it is,” he said.

WK 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 — 4 6 0

Hayfield 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 5 3

Hayfield pitching: Tyler Krekling (L), 7 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 ER, 5 K, HBP

Hayfield hitting: Krekling, 1-for-3, BB; Jared Ellis, 0-for-3, RBI; Tyler Nelson, 1-for-3; Evan Bungum, 0-for-3; Connor Nelson, 1-for-3; Drew Streightiff, 1-for-3; Dillon Wagner, 0-for-3; Joe Volgarino, 0-for-2, R, HBP; Drew Kenyon, 1-for-2