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From hardwood to hardball, Hayfield adds another state title

By RON HAGGSTROM, Star Tribune , 06/18/21, 12:30PM CDT


With a starting lineup stocked with its basketball championship team, the Vikings baseball team rallied for a 7-4 victory over New York Mills to win the Class 1A championship.

Hayfield's Easton Fritcher rounded second base en route to a triple in the sixth inning in the Class 1A baseball championship against New York Mills on Friday at Target Field. Hayfield defeated New York Mills 7-4. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • liz.flores@star

Different season, identical roster, same outcome: State championship.

Hayfield followed up its first boys’ basketball state championship in April with its first baseball state title Friday, defeating New York Mills 7-4 in the Class 1A championship at Target Field. The Vikings rallied from an early 4-0 deficit, scoring the final seven runs.

“We knew we had something special, and will go down in school history,” Vikings senior shortstop Erik Bungum said. “It’s such a surreal feeling.”

Even more so when it’s your final prep season. Bungum delivered a bases-loaded clearing double off New York Mills losing pitcher Dre Roberts, capping a four-run top of the fifth inning to give the Vikings a 6-4 lead.

“I knew I had to come up big,” Bungum said. “After striking out in my first two at-bats, I had to expand my strike zone. I was able to sit on his fastball and pull it down the third-base line.”

He took more pride in his defense an inning later. New York Mills had the bases-loaded with one out when losing pitcher Dre Roberts lofted a shallow fly ball behind third base. Bungum calmly retreated and made a tumbling catch, quickly popping up to hold the runners.

“I have always been able to make that play,” Bungum said. “To make it in the state championship at Target Field was great.”

No. 1-ranked Hayfield (26-0) added a run in the top half of the frame when winning pitcher Easton Frichter tripled to right-center field and scored on senior Joey Tempel’s sacrifice fly to center field. Tempel scored the first run in the fifth on senior cousin Isaiah Tempel’s bases-loaded single.

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