Moorhead High baseball ends season after three section tournament games
June 6, 2019
After a strong start to the season, the Moorhead High baseball team had lost the five games leading into section 8AAAA tournament play on May 29. The Spuds were looking for a possible section title to break a 29-year slump.
Moorhead, with a 12-7 record, was seeded No. 3 and was matched up against No. 6 Brainerd. The team was confident with their pitchers, but needed to work on getting their bats going. The Spuds were able to do that in their first game, defeating the Warriors 5-1 on May 29 at Matson Field.
Thomas Horan went three of four with a double, scoring two of the five runs to lead the Spuds. Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe went two of four and also had a double. He scored two runs and added an RBI. Chrisanto D’Agostino and Wyatt Gunkel both hit a double and drove in two runs. Pitcher Noah Pilon worked for six and 3/4 innings, gave up one run on ten hits, had no walks, and had two strikeouts.
Next up, the Spuds played No. 7 seeded Rogers on May 30 at Matson Field. Both teams battled to get runners around the bases, and both teams’ pitchers were in a pitchers duel through the first six innings of play with no scoring by either team.
In the top of the fifth, Trey Feeney replaced pitcher Caleb Saari with runners on first and second. After a one out walk to load the bases, Rogers batted to Feeney who fielded the ball to Gunkel on second, and Gunkel hurled it to Henkemeyer-Howe on first for a double play to end the inning.
Rogers started the sixth inning with a line drive to get a runner on first. Two bunts to Feeney followed, who tossed the ball to first for two outs, but the runner had advanced to third. Rogers hit a pop fly to Kai Holm in left field to end that inning.
In the seventh inning, Rogers got on base with an infield single with two outs, and then scored on a double to right center. Rogers popped out to Horan. Moorhead battled hard in the bottom of the seventh. Gunkel got a walk, and then D’Agostino got a walk. Pilon sacrifice bunted to advance both runners. Holm went down swinging, and Moorhead grounded out to end the game — Spuds 0, Rogers 1. Horan and Henkemeyer-Howe each had a double for the Spuds.
Since baseball sections are a double elimination tournament, the Spuds had one more chance to keep the season alive. Moorhead played No. 5 Maple Grove on June 1 at Cold Spring Baseball Park. D’Agostino was the opening pitcher with Feeney and Ryan Luthi for relief. The Crimson with hot bats and good base running outscored the Spuds to win the game 10-0 in five innings. The Spuds ended their season at 13-9.
– Renée Grover
Photos: Moorhead High’s Thomas Horan runs over third base and takes home as Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe laces a double to right center in the first inning of the matchup between the Spuds and the Brainerd Warriors in first-round action of the section 8 baseball tournament held May 29 at Matson Field (Credit: Renée Grover).
Moorhead High’s relief pitcher Trey Feeney delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of the section tournament baseball game against Rogers played at Matson Field on May 30 (Credit: Bill Grover).