PREP BASEBALL: First sign of spring

MINNEOTA – Minneota started off its season with a 5-1 win over Southwestern United on Monday night.

The Wildcats led 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning before senior infielder Andrew Fadness started the big inning with an RBI single that followed a bases-loaded walk, putting the Vikings up 2-1.

For Minneota coach Keven Larson, it was about doing the simple things at the plate.

“All we had to do was put the ball in play and he did that,” Larson said. “The guy bobbled it a little bit and he threw home when he probably should have went to first. It’s doing the little things like that puts us in a good position.”

Following the single by Fadness, the Vikings added to the lead via Alex Guttormsson reaching on a fielders choice and a two-RBI single from Brock Buysse, giving them a 5-1 lead before the inning came to an end.

The five runs scored in that inning came on just one hit and that was something that didn’t sit well with Wildcats coach Ben Scheevel.

“We had that one bad inning and it compiled,” Scheevel said. “If we give up one hit, we’re going to win a lot of games, but if we give up five runs on one hit, we’re not going to win very many games. This was a case of us beating ourselves.”

Scheevel was trying to get a feel for his pitching staff as the bottom of the 6th inning started with four straight walks.

Jordan Beck got the start on the mound for the Vikings and threw four innings. He struck out four while walking one and allowed three hits. He was relieved by Peyton Nuy, who threw two strikeouts while walking three and allowing no hits or runs in his two innings of work.

Larson feels that this is a result of all the defense and pitching work they’ve gotten so far.

“Our defense and pitching is going to be ahead of our defense at the start of the year,” Larson said. “We haven’t had the chance to face a lot of live pitching because we haven’t been able to be outside a lot. That will improve as the season continues.”

Buysse led the team with two RBI to go with one each from Fadness, Guttormson and Jordan Beck had an RBI on a bases loaded walk.

Austin Buysse, Brock Buysse and Fadness made up the three Vikings hits.

SWU’s lone run was unearned as they got hits from Isaac Fest, Dakota Schmid, Angel Esqueda and Austin Hietbrink.

Minneota is sent to take on Canby on Thursday at home.