Facing elimination, Breckenridge took on a pair of tough foes on Tuesday, June 4. The Cowboys did everything they needed to do in every facet of the game to top the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Minnesota, Rebels by a score of 5-1, but stumbled in a playoff rematch against the Wadena-Deer Creek, Minnesota, Wolverines. What ended up being BHS’ season finale was a 4-0 loss to WDC in Perham, Minnesota.
“It’s too bad to lose that one, but it was great beating DGF to get here,” Breckenridge coach Kevin Hiedeman said. “I’m so happy with the season, the games that we won and the way we played. The other thing is, we got a lot better. We started off and weren’t a good baseball team. We’re a really good baseball team right now. You’ve got to be proud of that.”
Following a lopsided loss to Perham last week, Breckenridge knew they needed their best to keep their season alive against a DGF squad they were undefeated against. The Cowboys never trailed and the game was within two runs until BHS put a pair of insurance runs on the board with a Brayden Wahl double in the top of the seventh.
Wahl’s massive hit was his second of the day. Hunter Feigum and Carter Haugen also had two hits apiece.
Connor Twidwell went the distance in his ace role. The sophomore surrendered four hits, walked one and struck out two in the win.
“He did the same thing against them the last time he pitched in DGF,” Hiedeman said. “He had a low pitch count with under 90 pitches and threw a complete game. Our pitching was really good today.”
Just like in their games last week, Feigum helped Breck jump on their foes right away. The leadoff batter banged a double down the third-base line. He took third on a bad pickoff throw and scored on an error.
After the Rebels evened up the score in the fourth, the Cowboys came back with a run in each of the next two innings. One was an RBI single by Jack Aigner to plate Jeremy Stack. The other was an RBI off the bat of Hayden Schuler, who had the left fielder turning and running to the fence on the double. Schuler also reached base in his other two plate appearances, walking both times.
“Hayden can make great plays and we’ve seen it,” Hiedeman said. “With Hayden you never know what you’re going to get. Today he came through and had a great day in both games.”
Wadena had the revenge factor on their side in the do-or-die playoff game. The Wolverines were edged by the Cowboys last week and hoping to avoid history repeating itself. They accomplished their goal, keeping Breck off the board despite BHS putting runners on base in five of their seven innings.
“It’s too bad the way we lost this one because we gave ourselves plenty of opportunities. That’s the way the ball bounces, but we lost to a good team,” Hiedeman said.
Wadena was swinging at seemingly everything in the game, which was why Jake Wendorff kept his pitch count low the entire game. The senior only gave up six hits and tossed 50 pitches in six innings. Yes, he averaged around half a dozen pitches and inning.
“That’s unheard of,” Hiedeman said. “Both guys (Twidwell and Wendorff) threw strikes, both guys changed speeds, both guys made them put the ball in play. Our defense for the most part was really good.”
After not getting a hit in the first two innings, the Wolverines got some momentum going with a pair of singles. A two-RBI double followed the base rips and also made it a 2-0 game.
Schuler came up big once again to keep the deficit at a pair of runs. The left fielder hauled in a fly ball to make it two outs and used his lefty gun to beat a runner at home plate.
Schuler’s big play gave his team life, but their momentum was gone by the top of the sixth. A single by Aigner started the inning and Cooper Yaggie drilled one to deef left. The outfielder’s toss home was right on the money for the out and when Yaggie was off the base looking to move to third, the catcher tossed him out to make it a double play.
“In the sixth inning, that shouldn’t have happened,” Hiedeman said. “We shouldn’t have got a double play on that. Not only did we get thrown out at home, but we got thrown out at second.”
Some mental errors by the Cowboys in the seventh inning allowed the Wolverines to tack two more on to round out the score.
“It was a much more evenly played game than the score,” Hiedeman said. “We kind of fell apart a bit in the last inning and gave them a couple. It was a little bit of a letdown and that’s too bad.”
Breckenridge now turns their attention to their Post 53 American Legion season.
“We’ll probably pass out uniforms tomorrow and jump into a new season. We don’t even get a break of any kind,” Hiedeman said.
It was the final game as Cowboys for 10 seniors who exceeded a lot of expectations for this season.
“We’re going to miss all the guys that are graduating. It’s always hard to replace that,” Hiedeman said. “There was some good ones. Not just good ones on the field, but good ones in the dugout, too. Great teammates. Every one of them. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. We’ll miss those guys.”