The Mound Westonka High School varsity baseball team saw its season come to a close with a pair of Section losses last week. On May 30, the White Hawks traveled to Hutchinson and lost by a score of 12-3. They then had to go through the loser’s bracket, where they lost to Dassel-Cokato on June 1 in a heartbreaker, 5-4.
Against Hutchinson, the White Hawks jumped out to an early lead when junior Jack LaTour singled with one out. He advanced to second on a ground out by sophomore Sam Dufault. Senior Evan Kennedy then hit a rocket off the right field fence to score LaTour.
The White Hawks added two more runs in the second inning when junior Hank Nagel had a great at-bat and singled to left center to lead off the inning. Senior Hunter Ellis singled, and then senior Jerry Krahl doubled in Nagel. With a sacrifice fly by junior Evan Dahl, the visitors were up 3-0.
Then the roof caved in. The Tigers started belting the ball all over the ballpark and scored the next 12 runs. Starter Krahl took the loss for Mound Westonka. Junior Will Stein and senior Cody Rolighed also threw. LaTour and Nagel each had two hits to lead the offense.
Against Dassel-Cokato, two season-long issues would again haunt the White Hawks: giving up walks and runs with two outs. The Chargers scored three runs in the top of the second inning with two outs to take a 3-0 lead. One of the runs was the result of a walk. The Chargers would score another two-out run in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead.
The White Hawks started to scrap and get back into the ballgame in the bottom of the third inning. Senior Dylan Roth singled with one out and then stole second base. He scored on an opposite field double by LaTour. LaTour had four hits in two playoff games in five at-bats.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the home team tied the game with three runs. LaTour was hit by a pitch on a full count to begin the inning. Dufault hit a deep fly to left center that resulted in a double and scored LaTour. Kennedy followed that with a deep home run to right field, and the score was knotted at four. With no outs, it seemed that Mound Westonka had a great chance to score again, but two of the next three batters struck out and the other hit a fly ball to center field.
Dassel-Cokato hit a double with one out and singled him home to take a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The home team went down 1-2-3 in their half of the inning and saw their season end.
Despite the losses the White Hawks progressed again this season and seem poised to take the next step next year. Six regular and two part-time starters return, including the leadoff and No. 2, 3 and 5 hitters. Dufault, Dahl, Stein and junior Jarek Witzcek all threw quality innings this spring and will be asked to throw more next year. If a catcher can be found the lineup, the White Hawks should be strong enough to again contend in the Wright County Conference West division.