Baseball: Wolverines sweep Park Region rival Parkers Prairie in doubleheader
The Wadena-Deer Creek baseball team turned up the offense in Game 2 after narrowly escaping a tightly contested Game 1.
WADENA – On a chilly Tuesday evening, the Wadena-Deer Creek baseball team handed Parkers Prairie its first two Park Region Conference losses of the season.
The Wolverines snuck away with a 2-1 victory in game 1. WDC turned on the offense in game 2, scoring nine runs on 12 hits in a 9-3 victory securing the sweep.
“It was nice to be outside again,” WDC head coach Kyle Dykhoff said. “Both teams played a really crisp first game, especially it being Parkers Prairie’s first time being outside. It was good baseball all around. In Game 2, there were a few more errors but overall, it was a game between two good baseball teams that will be right there in the end in the Park Region Conference.”
Each team failed to score for three and a half innings until WDC’s Kobe Synder stepped up to the plate. After Peyton Church stole second, Synder hit a ground ball to the shortstop who overthrew the first baseman. Church trotted home safely and Synder advanced to second base giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead through four.
The Panthers tied the game in the top half of the fifth but WDC took back the lead in the ensuing half-inning. After a one-out double by Connor Davis, Tyson Barthel followed suit with an RBI double, and the Wolverines regained the lead at 2-1. Parkers Prairie failed to score in the next two innings and WDC took Game 1.
“Their lefty (Dylan Debilen) pitched one heck of a game,” Dykhoff said. “He is tough to beat. We have had a lot of good matches against him during summer ball and youth baseball. We were fortunate enough to capitalize on the opportunities that we had. We just needed someone to clutch up with a runner in scoring position and fortunately, we did.”
Barthel started on the mound for the Wolverines. He pitched five innings giving up six hits, one run, two walks and striking out six. Church came in for relief and pitched the final two innings surrendering one hit and striking out one.
Synder and Barthel both had a team-high two hits. Barthel was the only WDC batter to record an RBI. Six different Wolverines ended the game with a hit for a total of eight.
Game 2 was where the WDC offense flipped a switch. The Wolverines hit two straight ground outs to start the second inning. Carson Davis and Church hit back-to-back singles and Synder followed up with a single of his own, scoring Church after an error by the catcher.
With runners on second and third, Simon Kreklau forced an error to score both his teammates and WDC went up 3-0 after one and a half innings of play. The Wolverines added a run in the top of the third. The Panthers had their first run of the game in the bottom of the third but WDC added one more run and was in control at 5-1 after four innings.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Parkers Prairie hit two doubles and a single adding two more runs and cutting the deficit to 5-3 heading into the sixth inning.
WDC’s bats began to heat up as Kreklau smacked a single into left field. Teshe Loer made it safely to first on an error and Hamann singled down the third base line to load the bases. Connor Davis dinged another single to center to score Kreklau and Loer to go up 7-3. Evan Lunde singled to left field to score Hamann and MJ Lunde scored Davis on a groundout fielder's choice to put the nail in the coffin.
The Wolverines scored four runs in the sixth to secure a 9-3 victory. After Parkers Prairie came knocking on the door by scoring two runs on relief pitcher Evan Lunde, who came in for starter Hamann, the WDC offense made sure to give its new pitcher some breathing room the next time he hits the mound.
“It was a huge bounce back and complete switch of momentum when Parkers Prairie had scored those two runs in the fifth,” Dykhoff said. “It is early in the season so we want to make sure to limit our pitch counts and give multiple guys some work for when we are playing four to five games a week, everybody’s arms are ready to go.”
Hamann pitched four innings allowing three hits, one run, one walk, and punched out eight batters. Evan Lunde completed the final three innings giving up four hits, two runs, two walks and striking out one.
Kreklau ended the night with a team-high three hits on four plate appearances. He also accounted for a run and had one RBI. Davis had two RBIs on one hit. Synder and Church ended the evening with two hits each.
The Wolverines start the season undefeated through four games and brought home two conference wins. Dykhoff credited his older squad’s experience to their hot start.
“It is just baseball and we have baseball guys,” he said. We have a lot of veterans and it shows early in the season. It makes my job easy because they know where they got to be on bunt coverages and they always seem to be in the right place for certain situations. When you have veteran guys and leaders, good things tend to happen.”
PARKERS PRAIRIE- 0 0 0 0 1 0 0- 1
WADENA-DEER CREEK- 0 0 0 1 1 0 X- 2
WADENA-DEER CREEK PITCHING- Tyson Barthel: 5IP, 6H, R, ER, 2BB, 6K; Peyton Church: 2IP, H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, K
WADENA-DEER CREEK HITTING- Teshe Loer: 0-2; Isaac Hamann: 1-2, BB; Connor Davis: 1-3, R; Tyson Barthel: 2-3, RBI; Evan Lunde: 1-3; Peyton Church: 1-3, R; Brandon Wheeler: 0-2; Gunner Olson: 0-2, BB; Kobe Synder: 2-3; Grant Seelhammer: 0-1
WADENA-DEER CREEK- 0 3 1 1 0 4 0- 9
PARKERS PRAIRIE- 0 0 1 0 2 0 0- 3
WADENA-DEER CREEK PITCHING- Isaac Hamann: 4IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 8K; Evan Lunde: 3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, K
WADENA-DEER CREEK HITTING- Teshe Loer: 0-3, R, BB; Isaac Hamann: 1-3, 2R, BB; Connor Davis: 1-5, R, 2RBI; Tyson Barthel: 0-4, RBI; Evan Lunde: 1-3, RBI, BB; Peyton Church: 2-2, R, BB; Carson Davis: 1-4; Kobe Synder: 2-2, 2R; Simon Kreklau: 3-4, R, RBI; Clyde Magnuson: 1-1; Grant Seelhammer: 0-1; MJ Lunde: 0-1, RBI; Connor Dutke: 0-2