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Within striking distance: Heart River baseball flirts with first win on Tuesday

Heart River junior Cauy Shypkoski is congratulated by senior Jesse Canode as he completes his lap after hitting a home run on Tuesday, May 8 at Belfield. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)1 / 2
Skyhawks pitcher Canaan Fagerlund struck out 11 Cougars in a game on Tuesday, May 8 at Belfield. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)2 / 2

BELFIELD — The Heart River baseball team was just three runs away from its first win in program history going into the top of seventh inning against Shiloh Christian.

Down 7-5, all the Cougars had to do was stop the Skyhawks, then continue scoring runs as they had in the previous inning.

However, the inning got away from them, and Shiloh Christian piled on three more runs to seal the 10-5 victory. Earlier, the Skyhawks defeated Heart River in a seven inning game 9-3 at John J. Steiner American Legion Field in Belfield in Tuesday, May 8th.

"That's kind of been what's happened throughout the whole year," Heart River head coach Daren Kurle said. "Honestly this is probably the best two games of the season we've put together all year. ... We've been blown out quite a bit, so it's actually really nice to be competing. We played a seven inning game for the first time all year and a five inning game for the first time all year."

While the Cougars had 10 errors over the two games, including eight in the first, the evening actually showed improvement.

"We've been struggling defensively, just fielding the ball and trying to find the infield that can make plays," Kurle said. "Fielding the ball was a lot better tonight. We made some throwing errors, but we lived with throwing errors. They didn't really kill us too badly."

A few throws from shortstop or third didn't accurately make it to first, resulting in extra bases for the Skyhawks and eventually extra runs.

The outfield though, did a good job putting balls in their gloves, especially sophomore left fielder Tyler Johnson, who made at least three spectacular back handed catches as he ran towards the fence and foul territory.

"The thing about Tyler is he just wants to play," Kurle said. "He's played third for us but I think he's found a home in left field. ... He enjoys it. He loves to play baseball."

A few batters put the ball over the fence. Heart River junior Cauy Shypkoski hit a home run in the first inning of game one, putting the Cougars on the board.

Skyhawks sophomore Jaden Mitzel stretched the advantage to 4-1 with a two-run home run in the third inning.

The second batter of game two, junior Canaan Fagerlund gave Shiloh Christian an early lead with a two-run homer.

Fagerlund led the Skyhawks, manning the mound in game one, striking out 11 batters. When his team committed a pair of errors, allowing two runs to score, he dismissed the next two Cougars at the plate. Additionally, he went 4-for-8 at the plate on the night, driving in six RBI.

"They're always playing trying to finish out the game," Shiloh Christian head coach Aric Lee said. "Errors are going to happen. When they do you got to refocus, make the next play and want the ball again."

The Cougars put up 12 hits on the night, more than their past three games combined. Junior Toby Wolf found first multiple times, singling and reaching on an error.

"I finally got the bat on the ball. I haven't been hitting that well," he said. "I've been taking a lot of (batting practice) and I think it's really helped."

Shiloh Christian 9, Heart River 3

SC 014 120 1 — 9 10 2

HR 100 002 0 — 3 7 8

Canaan Fagerlund and Shea Huntington. Tanner Obrigewitch (3), Preston Walter (4) and Braden Obrigewitch.

W—Fagerlund. L—Obrigewitch. HR—HR, Cauy Shypkoski. SC, Jaden Mitzel.

Highlights: SC, Mitzel 1-3, HR, 2R, 2 RBI; Josh Kolling 2-4,1 R, 2 RBI; Fagerlund 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 11 K. HR, Shypkoski 2-4, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI; Toby Wolf 1-4; Ian Silbernagel 1-4; Jesse Canode 1-3, 1 R; Logan McMahen 1-2; Shay Olson 1-1, 1 RBI; T. Obrigewitch 3 IP, 4 H, 5 R (1 ER), 2 BB; Walter 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 K.

Shiloh Christian 10, Heart River 5

SC 313 03 — 10 10 1

HR 020 30 — 5 5 2

Jaden Mitzel (3), Justin Hagen (.1), Shea Huntington (1.1). Shay Olson (3), Canode (2) and B. Obrigewitch.

W—Mitzel. L—Olson. HR—SC, Fagerlund.

Highlights: SC, Fagerlund, 2-3, HR, 1 R, 4 RBI; Kolling 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI; Mitzel 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 6 K, 4 BB. HR, Canode 1-1, 2B, 1 R, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB; Tyler Kastrow 1-2; Anton Krebs 1-2, 2 RBI; Sean Ross 1-3, 1 R; Shay Olson 1-2, 3 IP, 8 H, 7 R (7 ER), 1 K, 3 BB.