Nighthawks have rough week on the diamond

The Nighthawks opened their baseball season with an 8-0 victory over Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton on April 10, but results took a turn to the worst in the next three games.

Senior Mason Stang stands at the plate as he anticipates the pitch. [PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald]
Senior Mason Stang stands at the plate as he anticipates the pitch.
[PHOTO BY COLE BENZ | The Herald]
By SHELDON CHRISTENSON | For The Herald

The Nighthawks opened their baseball season with an 8-0 victory over Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton on April 10, but results took a turn to the worst in the next three games.

Next up was Hettinger at Beulah on April 14 and in the first game the Nighthawks went down by a score of 15-5 and lost the second one by a 10-0 count.

Kidder County came to town on April 16 and it was my first opportunity to see the Nighthawks.  Brandon Pierce took the mound for the home team and I feel his is our best pitcher.  Starting pitcher for Kidder Co. was sophomore Dalten Jangula who had good control and a little pop in his fastball, which was his primary pitch.  After the first two innings the game looked liked it could turn into a pitching duel as there was no score.   Pierce faced only eight batters, walking two and striking out two.  Jangula’s stats were similar as he faced seven batters, giving up an infield single, hitting one batter and striking out two.

The game changed in the top of the third as Pierce was having control problems, walking three.  Two of those walks scored on a 3-run homer over the center field fence by Kyle Monroe with two outs.  Kidder Co. put the game away in the next inning as they batted around and tallied eight runs highlighted by Jaden Miller’s grand slam home run, again over the center field fence.  Pierce gave up five runs and with one out and was relieved by Jordan Dilse.  The game ended after five innings due to the 10-run rule as Kidder Co. won 13-1.  The home team could muster only two hits for the game.  Nighthawk Mason Stang had a nice game as he made two fine catches in center field.

In the second game, which does not count in region standings, the Nighthawks started two sophomores, two freshmen and five eighth graders and lost 11-0.  Kidder County’s pitcher threw a lot of curve balls and the young Nighthawk team was often baffled by it.  The game only went three innings and out of the nine outs, six were via the strikeout route.  An old baseball story comes to mind.  A young player trying to make the team writes his parents the following; “I’ll be home soon, they started throwing curve balls today.”

Kidder Co. is a co-op made up of Napoleon, Steel-Dawson, Tappen and Gackle-Streeter.

Shiloh was the next opponent on April 21 in another home game.  Damon Mellmer absorbed the pitching loss as the Nighthawks went down 10-0 in six innings.  Mellmer did not pitch that bad, but you can’t win if your team doesn’t hit and score runs.  He had decent control except for the sixth inning when he walked his only two batters of the game and had a couple of wild pitches.  He recorded five strikeouts for the game.  I had the Nighthawks with three errors and all three of those runners scored.  Senior Daniel Slaubaugh was the winning pitcher facing only 21 of the minimum 18 batters.  He also struck out five, had no walks and was aided by a double play and a runner thrown out at the plate.

Blake Honeyman is the Nighthawk coach and his roster has 19 players on it which includes five New England players.

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