Heart River upended by Hazen in two-game sweep

May 10—HAZEN — It was a difficult Thursday, May 9 for Heart River as the Cougars dropped to 1-7 in Region VIII after a twin-bill in Hazen that saw the Bison bowl-over the visitors, 15-6 in the opener and, 10-5 in the second-half of the twin-bill.

Junior third-baseman Braden Kastrow went 3-for-4 with a pair of home-runs and 4 RBI for HRHS in the opening contest of the Thursday doubleheader and classmate Luke Obrigewitsch had a 2-for-3 effort with 2 runs, but that couldn't stop the Bison from dropping the visitors, 15-6. Heart River scored a run in each of the first two innings of the contest, but Hazen matched them by the bottom of the second. The Cougars then managed to score 3 runs in the top of the third inning and another in the fourth, but that closed-out the scoring for HRHS and Hazen piled up 12 in their final two frames to push past the Cougars in a 15-6 rout that should have been closer.

Junior righthander Mason Kessel absorbed the loss, despite a 4-strikeout performance, while the staff combined for 6 Ks on the afternoon. Kastrow ended up with a remarkable 9 total-bases in the opener, while senior first-baseman Jordan Koppinger notched a double and an RBI for Heart River.

The nightcap proved to be a closer matchup, with the Cougars slipping to a 7-1 deficit after the first two innings. But while the hosts plated another 3 runs in the final two frames, Heart River tried to steadily close the gap with 2 runs in both the third and fourth innings.

Kessel scored 3 runs in a 1-for-4 performance and starting pitcher Evan Walter helped his own cause from the batter's box with a 2-for-3 showing and 3 RBI. But only two other batters managed hits and the Cougars couldn't string-together the necessary offense to get back into the game.

Freshman sensation Conner Honeyman came on in relief and fanned 3 Bison batters down the stretch and centerfield classmate Carter Corneil combined with right-fielder Peyton Erickson to account for the last couple of Cougar runs in the game.

Next-up for Heart River will be the Tuesday, May 14 road-trip to Hettinger-Scranton to close out the regular-season schedule for the Cougars.

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