Heartbreak, again, for Hens
Posted July 31, 2018
For the third straight year, the Minneota Mudhens suffered a one-run heartbreaking loss in the first round of the Section 9C Playoffs.
But Danny Hennen did just about everything in his power to help his Minneota Mudhens win their opening game.
Despite pitching over seven solid innings, and a fifth inning home run to left field, Hennen couldn’t keep his teammates from dropping a 3-2 nail-biter to the Clinton Cards on Saturday.
He and Adam Durfee provided the only two runs — both solo home runs.
And Hennen struck out three and gave up just five hits on the mound — one a solo homer to Keane Turner.
"Mostly I threw fastballs, moving them around, in and out, trying to keep them off balance," Hennen said.
But in the seventh he sensed, "I was getting tired," and his pitches began to rise. He walked two batters before giving way to Jake Leighton on the mound.
As for his home run, "It's been two years since I hit a home run," he smiled. He added, "Durfee had a great hit (the home run), too."
"The guys were playing good defense behind me," Hennen added.
They had spectacular plays in the field — like the pickoff at second by Leighton right after he got on the mound. They got Sam Adelman in a hot box and tagged him out.
And in the ninth Clinton was threatening to score again but Beau Buysse threw a shot to catcher Jesse Drager, who stood his ground as Zak Adelman rammed him over.. Drager held onto the ball and Adelman was out. Adelman had to leave the game and Drager, though shaken up, remained in the game.
"He came at me very hard and barreled right into me," said Drager as he tried to shake off the repercussions of the tumulteous beating he took at home plate.
Drager wasn’t expected to play after hyper-extending his arm during a work accident last week. But little keeps him off the field and Manager Tyson Sonnenburg inserted him into the lineup.
“The guys all felt it was better to have him in there because he helps the team,” Sonnenburg said.
Although Sonnenburg was watching Drager closely for signs of weakness, he never saw any — and the test was the bone-crushing play at home plate.
But also in that inning, an error allowed the winning run to score. Clinton scored the go-ahead run without a hit, using the error, sacrifice, a walk and two stolen bases to get the job done.
In the ninth Minneota couldn't get anything going, despite the "limpy" Austin Buysse's efforts.
With a bad leg, he dove into first trying to keep from scoring the final run.
"I just wanted to help the team as much as I can," he said, rubbing his leg."
He called the loss, "Frustrating," and added, "Three years we've lost by one run in the first game. It's getting sickening. And we had it right there. We've just got to play nine innings solid," he said.
He thought the play by Drager would fire up the team in the ninth — but they just couldn't get anything going against Clinton closer Keane Turner.
In other games it was Morris 8, Rosen 2; Ortonville 2, Madison 1 and Chokio 6, Dumont 1.
On Sunday Chokio defeated Ortonville, 12-2 and Morris topped Clinton, 10-3.
The Mudhens will now be off until they play Rosen at Rosen at 4 p.m. next Saturday in the loser's bracket. Madison will play Dumont in an earlier game at 1:30 p.m.
If Minneota beats Rosen, they will play Orttonville at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Rosen.
Minneota is now 13-11 on the year.
MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, 2b 4-0-0-0; Tyson Sonnenburg, cf 4-0-0-0; Jake Leighton, lf 4-0-0-0; Adam Durfee, ss 4-1-2-1; Austin Buysse, dh 4-0-0-0; Jesse Drager, c 0-0-0-0; Preston Nuy, 3b 3-0-0-0; Henry Pesch, rf-lf 3-0-1-0; Danny Hennen, p-1b2-1-1-1; Jordan Beck, 1b 2-0-1-0; Brock Buysse, rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-2-5-2.
CLINTON (AB-R-H-RBI) Zack Adelman, c 3-1-1-0; Josh Haag, c 0-0-0-0; Kieane Tuerner, 3b-p 4-1-1-1; Lukas Adelman, ss 5-0-1-0; Chris Karsky, 1b 5-0-0-0; Mike Adelman, dh 4-0-1-0; Nate Bauer, rf 0-0-0-0; Sam Adelman, lf-3b 1-0-0-0; Ryan Stotesbery, 2b 2-0-1-0; Ryan Toelle, p-lf 4-0-0-0; Matt Taffe, cf 3-1-1-0. Totals: 31-3-5-1.
Score by Innings