Win-E-Mac pitcher gets to New York Mills



HAWLEY, Minn. -- Eric Hoffmann admits he learned a lot about hitting a baseball last year -- his freshman season at Iowa Central Community College.

The New York Mills American Legion baseball team might argue he learned even more about pitching.

Hoffman allowed just four hits and struck out 12 in seven innings to lead Win-E-Mac to a 9-1 victory against New York Mills on Friday during the second round of the Minnesota District 9, Division II legion tournament.

Hoffmann, a 19-year-old lefthander who led Iowa Central with a .386 batting average as a freshman, allowed just two hits to leave the outfield.

"We don't ever think about losing when (Hoffmann) is on the mound," Win-E-Mac catcher Ben Theis said. "It is never in our minds."


Theis has good reason to be confident.

Hoffmann keeps hitters off balance with a sharp-breaking curveball and an fastball consistently clocked in the high 80s.

Hoffmann, who also belted a solo home run in the bottom of the third to give his team a 4-1 lead, whiffed four in the first two innings.

"They beat us last year in the finals and that gave us a little incentive to win this," Hoffmann said.

Win-E-Mac's offense was hot from the start as Andrew Violette blasted a no-out, two-run homer in the first inning to give Post 200 a 2-0 lead.

Hoffmann's home run in the bottom of the third made the score 4-0.

Theis capped the home-run derby with a grand-slam in the bottom of the sixth to put Win-E-Mac ahead 9-1.

The longball was Theis' first of the season.


"We were having trouble hitting at the beginning of the year," Theis said. "But now everybody is doing their part."

Hoffman said Post 200's offensive barrage made it easier to concentrate on his pitching performance.

"It is easier going out there when it's 5-1 than when it's 2-1," Hoffmann said. "It's a fun thing."

New York Mills scored its only run on a Jaramie Weller RBI single in the top of the fourth.

New York Mills firstbaseman Jacob Hendrickx was hit by a pitch three times.

Win-E-Mac is scheduled to play Hawley at 2:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.

New York Mills is slated to take on Pelican Rapids today at noon.

New York Mills 000 100 0-- 1 4 2


Win-E-Mac 301 104 x-- 9 8 0

Geiser, Hintzman (4) and B. Weller. Hoffmann and Theis. W--Hoffmann. L--Geiser. HR--Violette, W-E-M; Hoffmann, W-E-M; Theis, W-E-M.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

What To Read Next
Get Local