Nelson shines as Vikings split
HAYFIELD — Hayfield senior Tyler Nelson had about as good a day as one can have on the baseball diamond as the Vikings just missed a sweep over Kasson/Mantorville (8-3 overall) in a doubleheader Saturday.
Nelson pitched a four-hit shutout in a 4-0 win in the opener and he had four hits and three RBIs in an 8-7 loss in the nightcap.
“They’re one of the better ‘AA’ schools in the state, so for us to come out with a split is huge,” Hayfield head coach Craig Selk said. “I have no complaints about splitting with Kasson.”
Nelson only struck four in the win, but he forced a lot of ground balls — including one that led to a big double play when Hayfield (7-5 overall) was leading just 1-0 in the top of the fifth.
“I got my two breaking pitches working and that helps because they look like fast balls, and then I don’t have to throw the fast ball,” said Nelson. “The defense made some plays behind me and confidence in the defense helps out because otherwise you feel you have to get every out as a pitcher.”
The Vikings added two runs in the fifth off an error and a two-out RBI-double by Broderick Diekman to take a 3-0 lead.
The Vikings lost the nightcap when K/M freshman Jayden Prigge lined a double down the right field line to score two runs and end the game with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Hayfield had taken a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh when Evan Bungum scored Nelson with a one-out single to right field.
Although they couldn’t hang on in the nightcap, the Vikings defense made some huge plays. Freshman catcher Connor Nelson recovered a passed ball and dove to tag out a runner at home in the second, Bungum made a catch in right field and threw a runner out at home to end the third, and Tyler Nelson ran down and caught a blooper and threw to third for a double play to end the fifth.
“We had them on the ropes until that last play,” Selk said. “We have a few more things to get figured out, but we’re playing very good baseball.”
KM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 4 1
Hayfield 1 0 0 0 2 1 X — 4 6 3
Hayfield pitching: Tyler Nelson (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 4 K
Hayfield hitting: Tyler Krekling, 1-for-3, 2 R; Jared Ellis, 0-for-2; Tyler Nelson, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Connor Nelson, 0-for-3; Evan Bungum, 0-for-3; Drew Streightiff, 0-for-1, 2 BBs; Broderick Diekman, 2-for-2, double, R, BB; Joe Volgarino, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Drew Keynon, 1-for-3, R
KM 3 1 1 1 0 0 1 — 7 10 1
Hayfield 0 4 1 1 0 0 2 — 8 15 1
Hayfield pitching: Jared Ellis, 3 1/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 HBP; Tyler Nelson, 2/3 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 0 R; Krekling, 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 K
Hayfield hitting: Krekling, 2-for-3, 2 R, SB, BB; Ellis, 2-for-4, RBI, R; Tyler Nelson, 4-for-4, double, triple, 3 RBIs; Bungum, 1-for-2, RBI, R, SB, 2 BBs; Diekman, 0-for-4; Dillon Wagner, 0-for-3, RBI, BB; Joe Volgarino, 0-for-3; Kenyon, 1-for-3, R, SB