The Crookston Pirate Baseball team scored six runs in the first inning and Cade DeLeon hit the first Crookston home run of the season as the Pirates beat the Hawley Nuggets 12-1 in six innings in a Section 8AA match-up in Hawley.
Crookston had a great start to the game when George Widman led off with a walk. Alex Longoria hit a frozen rope off the base of the left-center field fence for a double and runners were at second and third. Brooks Butt singled in a run for a 1-0 lead. Longoria came in to score on dan error on the catcher. Austin Trinkle reached on an error, Cade DeLeon was hit by a pitch and Blake Melsa hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield for a 4-0 lead. Ashton Larson reached on an error on the third baseman and two more runs scored and Crookston led 6-0. “That was a great start and we came out swinging the bat today,” said Pirate Coach Scott Butt. “It is a nice first inning when you can have everybody bat and we were hitting some ropes today.”
Crookston added another run in the third inning when Blake Melsa hit a line drive to centerfield and the Nugget player had the ball go off his glove and Melsa went to third base on the error. Larson followed with a line drive double to score Melsa and the Pirates led 7-1. “We told the guys to not let up,” said Coach Butt. “Blake hit the ball hard.”
In the bottom of the inning, Hawley finally got on the board when Aidan Dahl led off with a line drive double to centerfield. Jayden Ambuehl followed with a single to score a run to bring the Nuggets within a 7-1 deficit.
Crookston answered in the top half of the fourth inning when Ethan Boll led off with a double and after two outs, Cade DeLeon blasted a line drive over the left-centerfield fence for the first Pirate home run of the for a 9-1 lead. “The first two swings of the at-bat weren’t very good,” said Coach Butt. “He put a good swing on the ball and hit it over the 325 sign and that was big for him because he had been struggling.”
Hawley was retired in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Pirates added another run in the top of the fifth inning when Widman drew a two-out walk and Longoria hit a line drive that one-hopped the fence for a double and Widman scored for a 10-1 lead. Boll was hit by a pitch and Brooks Butt laced a line drive into left field, but the Nuggets Ethan Ostrowski made a diving catch for the final out of the inning and Crookston led 10-1. “George does a good job of getting on base and he does a lot for us when he is on,” said Coach Butt.
Crookston added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning when Trinkle walked, DeLeon was hit by a pitch. Larson and Doda singled in runs for a 12-1 lead. “Those two runs were huge so we could save an inning of pitching with games on Monday and Tuesday,” said Coach Butt.
Hawley’s first two batters were retired in the bottom of the inning, but Karson Kopacek and Dustin Gerdes singled. A run scored on a Crookston throwing error and the Nuggets were within a 12-2 deficit. Crookston needed on out to win the game and Pirate pitcher Jack Doda struck out the next batter to earn the win. Doda pitched all six innings, struck out five and only gave up two walks, which was music to the ears of Coach Butt after the Pirates walked or hit 29 batters in a doubleheader against East Grand Forks on Tuesday. “If you can cut it down by 27 that is pretty darn good,” said Coach Butt. “Jack threw the ball extremely well today and he was in command. He pitched a doozie of a game today and was huge for us.”
Crookston improves to 4-8 on the year and will travel to Park Rapids on Monday.
|Jack Doda – Crox (W)||6.0||6||2||1||2||5|
|Lance Weiss – Hawley (LP)||0.2||2||6||1||2||0|
|Ryan Sperr – Hawley||5.1||7||6||1||6||3|
For Crookston –
Ashton Larson – 2 for 4, 2 rbi, 2 doubles, run
Jack Doda – 2 for 4, 2 rbi
Alex Longoria – 2 for 5, 2 doubles, run, rbi
Cade DeLeon – 1 for 2, 3 runs, 2 rbi, 2 walks, home run
Ayden Dahl – 2 for 3, run, double, walk