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Hawley tops Perham for berth to Class 2A state baseball tournament

Hawley baseball players celebrate Friday with their Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 baseball championship trophy. Photo by Robert Williams / Forum News Service

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The Hawley Nuggets erased a three-run, first-inning deficit and scored 10 runs in the final three innings to complete a two-game sweep and claim the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 baseball championship with a 10-5 win over Perham Friday.

Hawley took advantage of less than perfect fielding by the Yellowjackets to break a four-inning scoring slump and take their first lead scoring four times in the fifth inning on hits that did not leave the infield.

Perham answered in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at four when Josh Still singled in Mason Malikowski.

Perham left the bases loaded for the third time in the game in the fifth. The Jackets stranded three runners in the first and third innings also. The Yellowjackets left 14 men on base in the game.

The Nuggets stranded 11 runners, but plated two in the sixth on a double by Ben Steichen to score Grant Klevegaard. Steichen pushed the lead to 6-4 scoring on a double steal.

Klevegaard, who was a reserve player until last night, replacing Jeremy Schenck after Schenck was ejected, scored twice in Friday’s final in a starting role playing big time baseball when he was needed off the bench.

“It was all pretty exciting,” said Kleevegaard. “The situation I was in, I didn’t know how I was going to do. I just went out there and played ball.”

Jordan Harms earned the pitching victory throwing six innings in relief of starter Parker Hanson, who gave up the three Perham runs, one earned, in the first inning.

Harms surrendered only two hits, continually working out of jams with runners on base. Perham got runners on the bags via six walks and two hit batsmen and three Hawley errors.

“I threw on Tuesday and Thursday so my arm was a little sore,” Harms said. “Once I got into the groove I felt pretty good. The run support was unreal. Putting the ball in play and Crabtree going deep, it’s really awesome.”

Kody Crabtree launched a two-run insurance homer over the 353-foot sign in left-center to put Hawley up 8-4 in the seventh. The Nuggets added two more runs on RBI singles from Harms and Parker Hanson to score Alex Kading and bring Kleevegaard around for his second run of the game.

“That made Jordan Harms’ job on the mound a lot easier,” Hawley coach Beau Lofgren said.

State tournament play is scheduled to begin next Thursday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud Thursday.

H 000 042 4–10 12 3

P 300 010 1–5 3 4

H-Hanson, Harms and Kading. P-Meyer, Luders, Malikowski and Mulcahy. W–Harms. L–Meyer. HR-H, Crabtree.