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Walk-off win: Athletics find a way to get past Hayfield in Section 1A semifinals

Jun. 1—A little bit of luck and a lot of hustle were crucial for the No. 2 seeded Athletics as they found a way to squeak past No. 4 Hayfield 2-1 in a Section 1A baseball semifinal in Seltz Field Saturday.

LP won the game on a strange play as junior Logyn Brooks struck out for what looked like the second out of the inning with Landon Meyer on second base. However, a passed ball occurred and Meyer immediately began sprinting from second to third and he turned the corner when he saw Hayfield throwing to first base. That throw was errant and Meyer trotted in to score the game-winning run in the most unusual of ways.

"I saw the ball get past the catcher and I saw Logyn swing," Meyer said. "I saw that the catcher was going to throw to first base, so I took off. It ended up working out. I was all in. It doesn't matter how you win, and it can look ugly, but you just have to do the job the whole game and trust that your teammates will do something for you."

LP (21-2 overall) trailed for most of the game as Hayfield's Isaac Nelson doubled in a run in the first inning. The Athletics finally broke through when Hunter VaDeer tripled to right field to lead off the sixth inning and he scored on an RBI single to right field by Dane Schara to tie the game at 1-1.

"I was ready to hit," VaDeer said. "I missed the ball on my first AB and then I got walked. I knew if I got the chance I had to do damage."

VaDeer struck out ten while allowing just one hit and one earned run for LP as he bounced back from an early setback. Besides scoring the first run, the Vikings had runners on second and third with one out, but they couldn't execute a suicide squeeze bunt and VaDeer registered a strikeout to end the threat.

"I've done it enough this season where guys get on base and they score runs," VaDeer said. "I just get out of those situations and come out on top."

LP head coach Brock Meyer acknowledged that his team caught a late break on the winning run, but he credited his team for staying in the game mentally after a rough first inning.

"It's baseball. It's a bad break for them, but they got some breaks earlier. Hunter pitched a hell of a game to keep us in it and he kept fighting," Brock Meyer said. "Our kids have been through this situation. There was never a doubt in their minds. They knew that if we capitalized on one of our chances we could pull it out."

Jack Thoe pitched a gem for Hayfield as he allowed just one earned run while striking out nine.

LP will now play Southland in a rematch of last year's Section 1A championship. The Rebels, who split the season series with LP, need two wins to get to state, and LP needs just win.

"We'll go in with confidence and we know the other team is going to play with nothing to lose," Brock Meyer said.

Hayfield 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 1 3

LP 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 — 2 5 1

LP pitching: Hunter VaDeer (W) 7 IP, 1 H, 5 BB, 1 ER, 9 K, 3 HBP

LP hitting: Landon Meyer, 2-for-4, double, R; Logyn Brooks, 0-for-4; Hunter VaDeer, 1-for-2, triple, R, BB; Isaac Nelsen, 0-for-3; Dane Schara, 1-for-3, RBI; Jack Klingfus, 0-for-3; Isaac Small, 1-for-2, HBP; Hunter Wollenburg, 0-for-2,BB; Grady Meyer, 0-for-3

Hayfield pitching: Jack Thoe (L) 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 9 K, HBP

Hayfield hitting: Hunter Simonson, 0-for-4; Aidan Nelson, 0-for-1, R, BB, HBP, Eric Bermea, 2 BBs, HBP; Isaac Nelson, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Corbin Krueger, 0-for-2, BB; Rylan Nelsen, 0 — for-3; Kael Steele, 0-for-1, BB, HBP; Nic Larsen, 0-for-3; Jack Thoe, 0-for-3