Rockets top Hayfield in a nail-biter to win Class A Championship

(ABC 6 News) – With Hayfield’s 125th birthday coming up, the Vikings baseball program wanted to prove Friday morning they are still the premier team when it comes to Class A baseball.

The defending Class A champion Hayfield Vikings had payback on their minds, attempting to avenge their earlier loss this season to their opponent: the Randolph Rockets.

In the 2nd inning, the Vikings struck first off a Zander Jacobson RBI which scored Aiden Nelson and gave the Vikings an early 1-0 lead. Randolph would soon tie it up and in the 5th they took the 2-1 lead off errors. It was a pure duel between Hayfield’s Nolan Klocke and Randolph’s Jacob Weckop. Klocke finished with 15 strikeouts, while Weckop had 13.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Vikings had one last chance. Easton Fritcher walked with two outs setting up Weckop vs. Klocke. In the end, Klocke’s shot over second base is caught for the final out and the defending Class A champs go down 2-1 as Hayfield falls to Randolph.

"Yeah, you know my goal was to not walk anybody and I didn’t do that," Klocke said. "My goal was also to keep them under three runs and I did that too. These guys are my brothers, we’ve been together for five state tournaments now. [It’s] just immaculate, I mean… two state tournaments in a row… target field twice… couldn’t ask for anything more"

"Both pitchers pitched, both pitchers deserved to win," Hayfield Vikings baseball head coach Kasey Krekling said. "But, unfortunately, our difference in the game was the errors. They played a clean game with zero errors up there. We had four errors and that was the difference in the game. Neither team hit it extremely well, just three hits apiece. But, you know what, that’s the way it went today but it was a great opportunity for our boys and yeah, Weckup pitched a heck of a game he deserved to win just like Klocke deserved to win on the mound. They were both pitching amazing."

Even in defeat, the Vikings have proved they are more than capable and more than stout. If this season is any indication, they are going to be extremely competitive for a long time and this probably won’t be the last time they’ll be at Target Field.