The Hutchinson Huskies combined a strong pitching performance by Kyle Messner with some timely hitting to defeat visiting Cokato 10-2 at Veterans Memorial Field on Sunday afternoon.
Messner threw a complete game and scattered six hits against the Kernels. The righthander did not issue a single walk but had one hit batter. He also benefited from two Hutchinson double plays.
“It is easy to throw when you have great defense behind you,” Messner said. “Those seven guys were making the plays and (catcher) Cody Arlt called a great game.”
Messner retired Cokato in order in each of the first three innings. The Huskies scratched out a run on an error, a bunt and a double by Jake Wendland in the third.
The Kernels came right back with two runs in the top of the fourth. Sanders Asplin singled and later scored as did Ethan Niemela. Tommy Halonen added a run scoring single too.
Singles were the best that Cokato could do against Hutchinson’s veteran hurler. There were no extra base hits for the Kernels.
Hutchinson broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. They sent nine hitters to the plate and scored four runs on three hits. Cody Arlt started the rally with a single to right. A hit batsman, a walk and another hit batsman pushed Arlt home.
Matt Piechowski singled and Wendland hit into a fielders’ choice. Designated hitter, Evan Kohli, provided the big blow with a double and suddenly the Huskies led 6-2.
A Noah Corrow single started another string of hits in the sixth. Piechowski hit a one-out double and Wendland received an intentional pass. A Kohli sacrifice fly scored Corrow. One batter later Jake Arlt hit a two-run double to make the score 9-2. An insurance run was scored by Keegan Macemon in the seventh for final score of 10-2.
Manager Mike Kutter smiled broadly when asked about Messner’s effort.
“I told (Messner) to get us what you can,” Kutter said. “He did plenty today. Throwing all nine innings at age 51 is incredible.”
“You have to give credit to our guys,” he said. “We got some good at bats today. We had some good swings and Kohli had a big hit.”
Hutchinson Huskies 10, Cokato Kernels 2 (August 11, Region 12C Championship)
Cokato ... 000 200 000 - 2
Hutch .... 001 430 10x - 10
Batting - J. Fleck 0-4, 2R, RBI, HBP; M. Piechowski 3-4, R, 2RBI; J. Wendland 1-3, 2R, BB, 2RBI; E. Kohli 2-4, 3RBI; M. Hahn 0-4, BB; J. Arlt 2-4, 2RBI; C. Arlt 1-4, R; M. Reiner 0-1; K. Macemon 1-3, 2R, HBP; N. Corrow 2-3, 2R, BB
2B - Piechowski, Wendland, J. Arlt
Pitching - K. Messner 9IP-5H-2R-2ER