Vikings are a game from state

Published 11:37 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hayfield's Tyler Nelson lifts a shot in the sixth inning of their Section 1A playoff game against Kenyon-Wanamingo Tuesday at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

The Vikings just won’t go away — and now they’re one win from the Class ‘A’ state baseball tournament.

Hayfield beat Kenyon/Wanamingo (15-10 overall) 12-9 in an elimination game and knocked off Wabasha/Kellogg (19-5 overall) 19-8 in six innings at the Riverland Complex to keep its season alive Tuesday.

Hayfield has now won three must-win games to keep its season alive.

Hayfield runner Jared Ellis watches the throw of Kenyon-Wanamingo shortstop Sam Roosen after sliding safely into second during their Section 1A playoff game Tuesday afternoon at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

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“This is a group of kids that are primarily seniors who’ve played in the state legion tournament before,” Hayfield head coach Craig Selk said. “This is nothing new to them and they’ve been in a hole before. I just sit in the dugout and let them do their thing.”

The Vikings (17-8 overall), who racked up 23 hits against W/K, will have a rematch with the Falcons Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Dick Seltz Field with a trip to state on the line.

“We know we’re one game away and it’s right in front of us,” said Hayfield senior Tyler Krekling, who was 7-for-9 with two doubles, 4 RBIs and 5 runs on the day. “All we have to do is come out tomorrow and play like we did today and we should be able to win it.”

For the second straight postseason contest, it looked like the Vikings were on the ropes when K/W scored seven runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-8 lead.

Hayfield went down with three straight strikeouts in the fifth, but Krekling started the sixth off by doubling an 0-2 pitch of the wall. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Evan Bungum and Connor Nelson gave the Vikings the lead for good with a two-out RBI-single up the middle to make it 10-9.

“We’re pretty good under pressure. I just go out and hit it,” Connor Nelson said.

Hayfield's Evan Bungum is greeted at home by teammates after his home run in their Section 1A playoff game against Kenyon-Wanamingo Tuesday at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

Dillon Wagner added a two-out, two-run triple to give the Vikings’ some insurance.

The nightcap win against W/K saw Hayfield put up its best hitting display of the season as the Vikings used seven first inning singles to take a 6-0 lead. Evan Bungum launched his second homer of the day in the second inning to put Hayfield up 7-0 and the Vikings went on to lead 10-0.

The Falcons hadn’t given up more than seven runs in a game all season until Tuesday.

“I don’t really know what got us going, but all of the sudden the bats showed up,” Krekling said. “It’s a good thing they did because (W/K) started to crawl their way back.”

The Falcons eventually got their bats going as they pulled to within 12-8 in the fifth when Tyler Nelson came on in relief to slam the door shut.

Selk had thought about using Nelson, who pitched six innings in the K/W game, in relief but wasn’t sure he was ready.

“He was flicking his arm after a long throw at short and I figured ‘there goes that strategy.’ I asked him when he came in if he could go and he said he was ready to go,” Selk said.

Hayfield broke the game open in the sixth when Drew Kenyon drove in two runs with a bloop single and Krekling doubled in two runs in a rally that saw the Vikings score seven times.

Perhaps the best news out of the sweep for the Vikings is that they will still be able to start Krekling, who threw just one inning Tuesday, on Wednesday.

Selk went with a combination of No. 3 pitcher Jared Ellis and freshman Drew Streightiff in the second game as he banked on Hayfield’s offense coming through.

“In our position, you have to gamble somewhere and we decided to do it today and see if we could just bang it out with them and we did it,” Selk said.

Krekling will get the ball against W/K ace Eric Sandstrom, who threw 149 pitches in a game Saturday.

“I’m gonna go as much as I can and hopefully I can get a lot of innings, but I don’t want to wreck my arm” Krekling said. “I know (Sandstrom) has a good arm and he’s a good pitcher, but I’ve seen better I’m sure.”

Krekling and Sandstrom will be teammates next year at Riverland.

Hayfield 6 4 1 1 0 7 — 19 23 2

WK 0 2 1 3 2 0 — 8 9 4

Hayfield pitching: Jared Ellis, 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 6 ER, 1 K; Drew Streightiff (W), 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, HBP; Tyler Nelson, 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K

Hayfield hitting: Tyler Krekling, 5-for-6, double, 4 RBIs, 3 R; Ellis, 0-for-5; Nelson, 5-for-6, triple, 3 RBIs, 3 R, SB; Evan Bungum, 3-for-4, HR, RBI, 3 R, HBP; Connor Nelson, 3-for-5, 3 RBIs; Streightiff, 2-for-3, RBI, 2 R, 2 BBs; Dillon Wagner, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 R, BB; Joe Volgarino, 1-for-3, RBI, R, SB, BB, HBP; Drew Kenyon, 3-for-4, 4 RBIs; Cole Kruger, 3 R

K/W 0 0 2 0 7 0 0 — 9 9 2

Hayfield 1 2 5 0 0 3 X — 12 11 2

Hayfield pitching: Tyler Nelson (W), 6 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 9 R, 4 ER, 6 K; Krekling (S), 1 IP, 1 BB, 0 R

Hayfield hitting: Krekling, 2-for-4, double, 2 R; Ellis, 1-for-2, double, 2 RBIs, 2 R, BB; Tyler Nelson, 1-for-3, 3 R, BB, SB; Bungum, 1-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs, R; Connor Nelson, 2-for-4, RBI; Streightiff, 2-for-4, R; Wagner, 1-for-4, triple, 2 RBIs; Volgarino, 0-for-3, BB; Kenyon, 1-for-3, RBI, R; Kruger, 2 R