By Derek Simon [email protected] Wednesday night, the Hastings Hawks travelled to Northfield to take on the Class B Knights in Classic Cannon Valley league action. Earlier this season, the …
By Derek Simon
Wednesday night, the Hastings Hawks travelled to Northfield to take on the Class B Knights in Classic Cannon Valley league action. Earlier this season, the Knights came into Vets Park and left with a 7-2 victory. That day, Northfield had most of their regular lineup, while the young Hawks were without most of theirs due to them still playing their college seasons.
This game, the Hawks were at full strength, and it showed. Zach Nelson, an Apple Valley and Mesabi Range College product got his first start on the mound. Zach, a college teammate of Blake Warner and Noah Paulseth, looked very comfortable on the mound. Pitching to his teammate and long-time friend Paulseth made the night extra special. Nelson battled Northfield’s tough veteran lineup for five full innings, giving up just two unearned runs. Nelson picked up his first townball win in his first start and second appearance with the Hawks.
With the Knights offense being shut down, the Hawks went to work scoring at least one run in each of the first seven innings of the game. The Hawks scored two runs in the third and seventh innings, while scoring single runs in the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Eight of the nine Hawks starters recorded at least one hit, seven Hawks had two or more hits as the team pounded out 17 hits on Knights pitching.
Blake Warner had one of the best games of his young career. The 20-year-old laid down a nice bunt single in the first inning. In the sixth, he blasted his first townball triple to deep right field. The was the appetizer for his next at-bat in the seventh inning. Warner crushed a pitch to right high off the right field foul pole for a tworun home run. It was Warner’s first townball home run and the dugout erupted.
Warner’s home run capped off a surprisingly easy victory for the Hawks by a score of 9-4. Hawk’s pitchers Nelson, Nick Horsch and Ben Bundschu held the Knight to one earned run on the night. Warner and Bundschu paced the lineup with three hits each. Cory Wolters, Jake Biermaier, Cole Benson, Jordan Jeske, Joey Muerer, and Hawk’s newcomer Josh Hawksford all added two hits. Warner was named player of the game by his teammates and got to drink from the Hawks mug. The win was the Hawks first over the Knights in several years as this young team continues to grow.
Sunday Hastings travelled down highway 61 to take on the Lake City Serpents in another CCVL clash. The Serpents, like the Hawks, are a class C team adding to the importance of the game as playoff seedings are determined off where the C teams finish in the standings.
The Hawks again sent veteran Jordan Jeske to the mound. Jeske has been excellent on the mound in the first month of the season. Sunday, he toyed with the Serpents batters for seven shutout innings. Jeske struck out eight batters while allowing just six hits and zero walks to pick up the win. He threw just 90 pitches in seven innings. With the win, Jeske improved to 2-2 on the season with a 1.50 earned run average.
The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Wolters and Warner singled and scored on hits from Drew Davis and Horsch. Jeske, hitting as the DH for himself, scored the third and fourth runs of the game on wild pitches. While he was dealing on the mound, Jeske also went 2-2 with two walks at the dish. With his efforts, Jeske was named player of the game by his teammates.
The Hawks put the game away in the seventh. Jeske and Bundschu led the inning off with singles and would score on back-to-back doubles by Wolters and Warner. Hawks’ new signees Ben Teigland, Simon Hedin, and Jake Sandquist all got their first Hawks at-bats late in the game with Sandquist delivering a double. Doug Nordine closed out the game by pitching the eighth and ninth innings as the Hawks win 7-1 in Lake City.
The Hawks offense again had a great day with 13 more hits. Warner continued his hot hitting going 3-4 on the day. He’s now hitting .406 on the season. Jeske, Wolters, and Davis all added two hits each.
With the two wins, the Hawks are now 5-7 on the season and 4-5 in the CCVL. The team will play Wednesday night, June 16th at home against the Class A Baseball 365 team. The Hawks then travel to Elrosa Minnesota for a weekend tournament. After the tournament, Hastings finishes off their June schedule with two more home games. On June 25th, the Hampton Cardinals come to Vets Park. On June 27th, the Red Wing Wingers travel to Hastings for a huge matchup with the Hawks. As always, check out Hastingshawks.com for schedule information and a link to listen live to games with Johnny and Derek on the call.
Hawks veteran, Jordan Jeske, earned the Player of the Game and the use of the coveted “PoG mug” for his performance in Sunday’s win over Lake City. Jeske was 2 for 2 at the plate plus two walks, and his pitching performance was lights out. Of his 90 pitches thrown in seven innings, Jeske struck out eight, walked no one, and allowed only six hits. Photo Courtesy of the Hastings Hawks.