Front Row: Sam Hinsch (Mayo), Chuck Hinsch (Mayo), AJ Yusten (Z-M), Cam Rutledge (Hayfield), Jordan Bale (Byron), Brendan Knoll (K-M), Hunter Nelson (K-M), and Tyler Krekling (Hayfield). Back Row: Adam Fjerstad (Hayfield), Travis Kauffman (Hayfield), Cole Kruger (Hayfield), Drew Streightiff (Hayfield), Joey Hyde (K-M), Hayden Sheeran (K-M), Jayden Prigge (K-M),
Kylo Courteau (Triton), Kyle Nichols (K-M),
and Kasey Krekling (Hayfield).
The Dodge County Diamondbacks, an amateur baseball team consisting of mostly players that are alumni of Hayfield and K-M High Schools, took on the underdog role and qualified for the state tournament.
The D-Backs entered the eight-team regional tournament as the #6 seed.
The first round saw them take on the #3 seeded Waseca Braves. After an early Diamondbacks lead Waseca made a late game comeback to send it to extra innings, but a two RBI double by Tyler Krekling gave the D-Backs the lead for good in the 10th inning as Dodge County pulled off the first round upset 8-6.
The second round had the D-Backs taking on the #2 seed from Stewartville. A four run second inning gave Dodge County an early lead they would never relinquish as they rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Sharks. Kasey Krekling went all nine innings on the mound, and the offense was paced by two homeruns, one each from Brendan Knoll and Sam Hinsch.
The winners bracket final saw a matchup of #6 Dodge County vs #8 Rochester Roadrunners, as they also had two upsets to start their playoffs. The Roadrunners took an early 1-0 lead, but the D-Backs answered right back to tie it 1-1.
Brendan Knoll had the big hit of the game as a bases-loaded double with two outs in the third inning gave the D-Backs a 4-1 lead, which was a lead they would never give up. Joey Hyde went all nine innings on the mound and the D-Backs punched their state ticket with a 6-3 victory.
The Diamondbacks will play a seeding game on Sunday, Aug 13, in Owatonna at 11 a.m. against the loser bracket winner to determine the #1 and #2 seed from regions and then the state tournament takes place the last two weekends of August and Labor Day weekend in September. The state tournament is at Green Isle, Hamburg, and Norwood Young America this year.