The Mound Westonka High School baseball team defeated Rockford 13-1 at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 17. It was the conference opener for the White Hawks, and the win evened their record at 2-2.
Senior Hunter Ellis knocked in two runs in the bottom of the first inning with two outs to get MWHS off and running. Junior Evan Dahl led off with a popup that was mishandled by the Rockford shortstop. Junior Jack LaTour was hit by a pitch. After two fielder’s choice plays, the White Hawks had runners at first and third. Ellis’s long triple scored both runners.
The White Hawks added another two-out run in the bottom of the second inning. Dahl tripled in junior Will Stein, who was the courtesy runner for senior catcher Dylan Roth. Roth had drawn a two-out walk.
The roof caved in for the Rockets with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Sam Dufault and junior Andrew Fish had singles to start the inning but hadn’t advanced. Junior Hank Nagel came up and hit a two-run triple. Senior Jerry Krahl followed with an RBI double. Roth singled home Krahl. Dahl walked to load the bases. LaTour hit a two-run single to score Stein (running for Roth) and Dahl and later scored on a passed ball.
The final three White Hawks runs came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ellis and senior Evan Kennedy each walked. Nagel knocked Ellis and junior John Koch (running for Kennedy) both home with a double. Nagel scored on a passed ball to finish the scoring.
Kennedy threw the first four innings, striking out nine batters. Krahl closed it out, allowing one run.
Last week, the White Hawks split their games after having their home opener with Dassel-Cokato rained out. On April 12, the White Hawks traveled to Van Cleve Park in Minneapolis to take on Minneapolis South. Despite a steady rain throughout the game, the White Hawks came ready to swing the bats and came away with an 11-1 win.
Each of the starters had at least one hit, with LaTour leading the way with three. Dahl, Krahl, and juniors Jarek Witzcek and Louis Warolin each had two hits. Dahl had three RBI and Witzcek two to lead in that category. Krahl threw a complete game, allowing only four hits. He struck out two batters and didn’t allow a walk.
On April 14, the White Hawks lost a tough game to 18th-ranked Hibbing, 2-1. It was a well-pitched game with a couple of plays making a big difference. Senior Cody Rolighed started on the mound for MWHS and allowed two runs, one earned, in four plus innings.
An infield error followed by a double scored the first Blue Jacket run in the top of the third inning. The White Hawks tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Fish got the second of his three hits with one out. He was forced out at second base on a ground ball by Ellis. Ellis then stole second base. He scored on an opposite-field single by Kennedy.
Hibbing got the eventual game-winning run in the top of the fifth inning. Rolighed walked the leadoff batter. He was replaced by Kennedy on the mound. Kennedy got his first batter to ground out to second base. The next batter doubled to right center field, scoring the runner from second base. A tight strike zone led to Kennedy walking two hitters before he struck out the other batter to end the inning.
The White Hawks could only muster one hit in the last three innings: a two-out double by Fish in the sixth inning. Witzcek threw two scoreless innings to keep the White Hawks close.
Photos of the Rockford game by Dennis Hoogeveen
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