Hornets edge Tommies for fifth place

MANDAN – It wasn’t the championship the Harvey-Wells County baseball team was looking for, but the Hornets will certainly accept the title of consolation champions.

A day after no-hitting Trenton-Trinity Christian in a consolation semifinal, the Hornets surrendered just four hits in a 2-1 victory over Thompson in the fifth-place game of the Class B state tournament Saturday at Mandan Memorial Ballpark. Consolation games were limited to five innings after a rainy Friday caused the postponement of three games.

“We lost to a very good team in the opening round and we came back and won two,” H-WC coach Chuck Nyhus said. “A good team effort, threw three different pitchers in five innings. I had a lot of confidence in them that we could mix it up and change the timing a little bit and it worked out for us.”

Junior Landon Littlefield pitched the first three innings, surrendering one run on three hits and striking out five. Junior Mark Nyhus earned the win in one inning of work, allowing one hit and walking one. Senior Austan Schmidt struck out two in a scoreless fifth inning to pick up the save.

“We wanted to get two or three innings out of our starting pitcher,” Chuck Nyhus said. “When the lineup comes around again, we want to give them a different speed, a different look, so that they don’t have a chance to adjust.”

H-WC junior Jason Beck’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning drove in junior Brock Hagemeister for the eventual game-winning run. Junior Wyatt Toso led the Hornet offense with three of the team’s five hits, including a double for the game’s lone extra-base hit.

“We came into the tournament on a high note,” Toso said. “We didn’t finish as high as we wanted to, but fifth place isn’t that bad.”

The Tommies jumped out to the early lead, scoring in the top of the first on an RBI single by Skyler Carlson. The senior drove in Calen Schwabe, who reached on a walk.

Mark Nyhus got out of trouble in the fourth after loading the bases with one out. He got Schwabe to ground into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

Thompson junior Brandon Walsh suffered the loss, allowing two runs on five hits over four innings.