8/6/2012 3:01:00 PM Hopkins plays in American Legion state tournament
Hopkins second baseman Kyle Dalton, left, misses the throw from home, allowing the Eastview runner to steal second base in the sixth inning of the Flyers 5-4 Minnesota American Legion Tournament win Friday, Aug. 3, at Chanhassen High School. PHOTO: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hopkins Flyers American Legion baseball team concluded its season last weekend by going 1-2 at the 2012 Minnesota State Tournament, which was hosted by Chaska.
Things started well for the Flyers in the tournament as they took down No. 1-ranked Eastview 5-4 in their opening round game on Friday, Aug. 3.
Trailing 1-0 midway through the game, the Flyers put five runs on the board in the top half of the sixth inning to take control of the contest.
The first seven men that the Flyers sent to the plate in the inning all reached base and 10 men ended up batting in the inning.
Jack Cherry and Kyle Dalton led off the inning with back-to-back doubles and Dalton's hit was good for an RBI to tie the game at one.
After Joey Brettingen singled to put two runners on, Matt Sinderson delivered a three-run homerun to give the Flyers a 4-1 lead.
After an Eastview pitching change, the Flyers drew a pair of walks which allowed Andy Wicklund to drive home the fifth run of the inning with an RBI single.
Tim Shannon got the start on the mound for the Flyers and he went seven innings, allowing eight hits and two runs while striking out six.
Nate Ellis came on in the eighth inning in relief of Shannon and despite giving up two runs in eighth, he shut the door on Eastview in the ninth with a one-two-three inning that included a pair of strikeouts.
Eastview outhit Hopkins 10-9 in the game. David Barry and Cameron Hall each went 2-for-4 at the plate for Eastview, while Sinderson and Jack Duetsch each went 2-for-3 for the Flyers.
After taking out the state's No. 1 ranked team in the opening round, the Flyers weren't able to put together that big inning in their final two games against Tri-City Red and Waite Park.
Later in the day on Friday, Aug. 3, the Flyers recorded just four hits in a 3-1 loss to Tri-City Red.
The Flyers were held without a hit during the first five innings and didn't put together a serious threat until their half of the eighth inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, the Flyers got an RBI single from Dalton but a base running miscue gave the team two outs and allowed only one run to score.
Brettingen then struck out looking to end the inning with the Flyers still trailing 2-1.
After Tri-City Red added a run in the bottom half of the eighth inning, Sinderson led off the top of the ninth with a double but was never able to advance any further.
Jack Hamilton was the tough luck loser for the Flyers on the mound as he allowed eight hits and two earned runs during eight innings of work.
Max Knutson got the start for Tri-City Red and went eight strong innings as he allowed only three hits and struck out eight Hopkins batters.
The Flyers were eliminated from the tournament on Saturday, Aug. 4 with a 4-3 loss to Waite Park.
Hopkins outhit Waite Park 12-9 in the game, but committed four costly errors in the field.
Alex Hunter's RBI single in the top of the second inning gave Hopkins an early 1-0 lead, but the lead didn't last.
Waite Park scored twice in the fourth and once in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead thanks to four hits and two Hopkins errors.
Hopkins trailed 3-2 going into the ninth inning and was able to tie the game on an RBI single by Dalton.
Brettingen and Sinderson each had chances to put Hopkins in front with men in scoring position, but Waite Park was able to get out of the inning.
Brettingen hit a ground ball to second base with the bases loaded and Waite Park was able to force Wicklund out at home plate.
Sinderson then flied out to right field to end the inning.
With the score tied at three, the bottom of the ninth inning didn't start well for the Flyers as a lead-off walk was followed by a throwing error by Ellis on a Waite Park bunt attempt.
A single by Waite Park's number three hitter Reese Gregory ended the game and the season for the Flyers.
Andrew Glover started the game for the Flyers and got a no decision as he pitched seven strong innings, allowing seven hits and just one earned run.
Wicklund and Cherry each went 3-for-5 at the plate, while Dalton went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The Flyers finished the season with a record of 23-15.