Jake Risius started on the mound against Pine Island and pitched into the 8th inning. Hayfield won the game in the 9th inning.
By Head Coach Kasey Krekling
The Hayfield baseball team entered their final week of the regular season with a record of 7-6. By the end of five straight school days of playing baseball, the Vikings rattled off seven straight wins, including three in walk-off fashion, to end the regular season 14-6.
On Tuesday, May 15th the Vikings headed to Cannon Falls for an HVL doubleheader. In game one Hayfield found themselves down 3-0 after one inning, but answered with an eight run second inning to take a commanding lead. Hayfield cruised to a 12-6 game one win. Luke Dudycha picked up the win on the mound. In game two Hayfield was down 3-0 after three innings. A three run fourth inning, including a Kolby Tapp home run, tied the game entering the final inning. After holding Cannon Falls scoreless in the top half of the inning, Hayfield loaded the bases with one out. On the fourth pitch to the next batter the ball got away from the catcher and Brady Nelson scored the winning run from third base! Lucas Hansen picked up the win in his first ever varsity start by tossing a three hitter!
Wednesday brought Blooming Prairie to town for a sub-section showdown. Hayfield held a close 2-1 lead after two innings. The third inning proved to be the turning point of the game. In the top of the third Blooming Prairie loaded the bases with no outs. Hayfield was able to get out the jam by getting a ground ball and force out at home for the first out. The next batter rolled into a double play and the Vikings escaped the inning with no damage. Hayfield continued that momentum into the bottom of the third as they plated seven runs to break the game open. Hayfield was able to end the game via the ten-run rule in the sixth inning with a 14-4 win. Zach Nelson picked up the win on the mound. Kolby Tapp had the biggest day at the plate reaching base all five times he came up to bat.
On Thursday, Hayfield traveled to Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School for a doubleheader with the Cougars. Game one saw Hayfield take an early lead and never look back as Easton Fritcher threw a complete game shutout on the mound for a 7-0 Viking victory. Game two was much closer as Hayfield trailed for most of the game. Going into the final at-bat Hayfield trailed 6-5. Brady Nelson scored the tying run on a Zach Nelson single, and Mason Tapp was able to score the winning run on a two out double by Joey Tempel! Hayfield escaped with the game two win 7-6. Brady Nelson was the winning pitcher on the mound.
Friday was the last home game for the Vikings and Senior Night. Hayfield recognized senior Zach Nelson for his outstanding leadership throughout this season for this very young team. A very competitive game could not be decided in regulation as the game went to extra innings tied at 3-3. Hayfield was able to get the first two outs in the eighth inning but the third out was elusive. Before the third out could be made Pine Island plated three runs to take a 6-3 lead. Hayfield didn't say die though. The Vikings put together a comeback and scored the tying run with two outs on a two RBI single by Brady Nelson. In the top of the ninth inning Hayfield was able to hold the Panthers scoreless. In the bottom half of the inning Hayfield loaded the bases with one out. Pine Island made a pitching change, but the first pitch from the new pitcher was wild and Mason Tapp scampered home from third base for the winning run and a Hayfield 7-6 victory in nine innings! Jake Risius made a great start on the mound going the first 7.2 innings, and Isaiah Tempel picked up the win in relief in his first varsity appearance.
Monday brought the end of the regular season with a trip to Lake City. This was the last ever HVL contest for Hayfield High School as Hayfield is switching to the Gopher Conference starting next school year. Hayfield built a 3-0 lead after the top of the fifth, but the Tigers scored one run in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to send the game to extra innings. In the top of the ninth inning Hayfield scored four runs all on one hit as the Tiger pitchers started to get wild giving Hayfield six walks. Hayfield had a quick bottom of the ninth and left Lake City with a 7-3 victory. Zach Nelson started on the mound going 5 innings, and Luke Dudycha picked up the win pitching the final 4 innings.
Hayfield finishes the regular season 14-6 and have been seeded #1 in the 1A West Sub-Section. Hayfield gets a first round bye and will start their postseason journey on Saturday, May 26th. Hayfield will play at 10:00am against the winner of Bethlehem Academy vs USC. The Saturday game will take place at Riverland Community College in Austin. We hope to see you there!