Friday, May 10, the Blackhawks Baseball team played host to both the varsity and JV teams from Wolsey/Wessington/Miller/Highmore for the final regular season games of the year. The varsity team was able to grab an early lead and keep adding on to earn a 9-1 victory. Six pitchers saw action during the game in preparation for post-season play. Cayden Slykhuis pitched the first two innings of the game. He was relieved by Gerritt Brandenburg, Trever Schmidt, Cooper Hainy, Noah Hainy, and Mason Schelske. They combined for one run on two hits, walked five and struck out eight. Noah, Cayden, Gerritt, and Trever all had two hits each. Cooper, Chandler Flowers and Tyler Fastnacht added one hit each. The victory brought the regular season record for the Blackhawks to 3-9.
The JV team completed a huge come from behind victory when they scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the final score 6-5. Tyler Kole started on the mound for the Blackhawks and pitched the first two innings. He was relieved by Dylan Klich, Carson Hainy, and Coen Harvey. Dylan Klich had one hit and two RBI’s to pace the JV team. Cade Mohling, Tryce Slykhuis, and Gerritt Brandenburg all had one hit in the victory. The JV concluded their season with a 2-2-1 record.
On Monday, May 13, the Blackhawks varsity team began their post-season play when Elkton came back to town for a single seven-inning game. The Blackhawks once again sent Cayden Slykhuis to the mound in hopes of holding down the Elkton offense. It looked as though Elkton was up to the task as they scored in the top of the first on a double to right, followed by a ground out that advanced the runner to third. That runner would score on a sacrifice fly to left. But the home team was quick to answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first and never looked back. The Blackhawks would tack on two more in the fourth, one in the fifth, and another in the sixth to claim a 7-1 victory. Slykhuis pitched five and two-thirds innings. He allowed one run on six hits, walked five and struck out three. Gerritt Brandenburg pitched a perfect final four outs of the game. Offensively for the Blackhawks, Dylan Schimke, Cooper Hainy, Noah Hainy, Tyler Fasnacht, and Coen Harvey all had one hit each. Cooper’s hit scored two runs, while Fastnacht’s and Harvey’s each scored one. The victory gained the Blackhawks a birth in the second round of district play.
The following night found the Blackhawks on the road to play the number one seed Madison. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, Madison would hold on to their number one seed and defeat the visitors by the ten-run rule, 10-0. The Blackhawks could never get anything going offensively only getting nine baserunners all game with no hits. Mason Schelske pitched the first three innings. He allowed five runs on six hits, walked five and struck out three. Trever Schmidt and Noah Hainy also saw time on the mound. The loss ended the season for the Blackhawks. “I couldn’t be more proud of the perseverance our guys showed this season. We struggled through adversity from the first day of practice and wound up playing our best baseball at the end of the season. That’s a credit to these resilient kids. Yeah, it didn’t end the way we wanted, but that is not a reflection of our journey,” said Coach Hainy.
Noah Hainy, Chandler Flowers, and Sawyer Senska have been recognized as Academic All- State selection for baseball. Noah Hainy was also selected as an All-Region performer.