Heart River drops a pair in doubleheader sweep to Bison

Apr. 24—BELFIELD — Heart River's record dropped to 3-8-1 after Hazen came to town and buffaloed the Cougars in a two-game sweep at the Bellfield ballfield, falling to a 6-3 loss in the opener and 9-2 in the second half of the twin-bill in Division B, Region 8 action on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Hazen opened up with a 1-0 lead after the first inning and then racked-up 5 more in the third frame to post all the runs they would need in the nightcap. But Heart River managed to close the gap to a 7-2 deficit — after the Bison scored one more in the top of the fourth frame — on a double from junior first-baseman Luke Obrigewitsch that was followed by a towering homer from senior third-baseman Jordan Koppinger deep over the center-field wall.

But that was all-she-wrote in the scoring department for the hosts, as Hazen (5-4) ran another pair of runs across the plate in the final, fifth inning for the win.

Freshman second-baseman Brayden Kastrow went 2-for-2 in the losing effort and classmate Conner Honeyman absorbed the loss, but the Heart River staff-of-four managed 5 strikeouts and only surrendered one walk in the nightcap.

The opener was a closer affair, with Heart River racing out to a 3-run lead after two innings. Junior righthander Mason Kessel helped his own cause on the mound with a single and a stolen-base that led to him coming across the plate on a line-drive single to center field by junior left-fielder Carson Wyant for an early, 1-0 lead. Wyant advanced to second on a passed-ball and reached third on a wild-pitch, before coming home on a fielder's choice by Koppinger to double the advantage to 2-0.

In the second frame, the Kessel recorded the first of his 7 strikeouts and then his team backed him up with another run in the form of a Wyant single to left field that plated freshman centerfielder Connor Corneil, who had reached first on a fielder's choice and stole second before reaching third on a passed-ball.

Despite that 3-0 lead, Hazen evened the score at 3-3 in the sixth and the bats went cold for the hosts, who managed only 1 hit the rest of the way. The Bison took advantage of the slack, scoring 3 more in the top of the final frame for the win.

Kessel took the loss, but that was after giving up only 2 earned runs and the Cougars being snakebit on defense. Wyant went 2-for-4 with a run and 2 RBI to account for all of Heart River's scoring, but no other teammate managed a multi-hit game for the Cougars.

Next-up for Heart River will be a home-doubleheader versus Shiloh Christian on Thursday, April 25 that begins at 4 p.m.

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