For the first time in the baseball careers of every Breckenridge and Wahpeton player, the Twin Towns were able to square off on the diamond during the spring season.
It was clear from the start of the Border Battle how badly each team wanted to be in the game as the opponents combined for 10 runs in the opening inning. The Cowboys had more offensive firepower in the Tuesday, May 21 showdown, giving them the 10-6 victory on their home field.
“This was our third or fourth time trying to get this game in, so we were lucky to even play this game. We had a good crowd and it’s a fun game to play,” Breckenridge coach Kevin Hiedeman said. “We’ve lost three in a row in the Fourth of July game now so it would’ve been a long night if we would’ve had to go home with a loss to Wahpeton.”
Wahpeton got the hit-fest started in the top of the first with a trio of runs. Zach Manock drove in a pair of runners with a double down the left-field line and Isaac Loosmore followed it up with an RBI single to right. The Huskies tallied four hits in the inning.
“We did exactly what we talked about wanting to do every game. Especially in an away game where you’ve got first ups is come out and put it on them and jump out to a lead,” Wahpeton coach Andrew Lunsetter said. “We came out today and gave ourselves a really good opportunity to win a ball game. You can’t be more proud of them for finding a way to persevere and do that today when it hasn’t been going our way this year.”
The Cowboys responded with seven runs of their own in their first trip to the plate. Jeremy Stack had a double and a single in the explosion, plating three runs in the process. Cooper Yaggie, Jack Aigner, Hayden Schuler and Hunter Feigum each pitched in with an RBI as BHS notched eight hits in the opening inning.
“I told somebody, ‘Did we throw bigger balls out there to start the inning?’” Hiedeman said. “That was nice to see, because coming off Border West we didn’t have very many (hits). It was kind of nice for us to put the ball in play and hit the ball again.”
Stack ended the rivalry game with three hits, while Aigner and Wahl each had two. Eight of Breck’s players had a base rip on the day.
Both team’s offenses cooled down for a pair of scoreless innings and then mistakes in the field by both squads led to a pair of runs for the hosts and visitors in the fourth.
Nick Bronson drove in a run for WHS with a fifth-inning single to get his team within three runs. The final run of the game was scored by Breckenridge off a Connor Twidwell bloop single to center.
“The way they scored runs in the first inning, we weren’t letting up,” Hiedeman said. “People talked about Wahpeton not hitting the ball, but that’s not what I saw today. That was against our top pitchers, too, and they still hit the ball well.”
Along with driving in the big insurance run, Twidwell also picked up the win on the mound in relief. Haugen pitched the first two innings and Jake Wendorff closed out the seventh.
Breckenridge (14-5) moves on to play Sauk Centre, Minnesota, at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23 in their final regular season game.
“We’ve got our last home game and we’re bumping around between the three and four seed, so we need one more win before the week’s out,” Hiedeman said.
It was the season finale for Wahpeton as they missed qualifying for the EDC Tournament.
“For us unfortunately this ends our season. We were kind of hoping for a different result here. This could’ve been a great for us to end kind of a tough year,” Lunsetter said. “It’s always fun to play these guys. Give them a lot of credit. They’ve had a really nice season.”
Wahpeton bids farewell to 10 seniors on the team. Most of them played high school baseball as eighth graders and Lunsetter was grateful for their time and hard work over the past five seasons.
“This is an outstanding group of kids. They’re always having fun, they enjoy each other, they like to be around each other and I like being around them and the coaching staff,” Lunsetter said. “I really just want to thank those guys for doing it every year, coming back and playing hard. That’s a great group of guys we’re going to miss for sure.”