AMATEUR BASEBALL: Minneota cruises by Chokio

Photo by Sam Thiel Minneota’s Peyton Nuy winds up a pitch during their game against Chokio on Sunday. The Mudhens defeated the Coyotes 8-1.

MINNEOTA – After a tough outing on Friday, the Minneota amateur baseball team looked to bounce back into the win column when they squared off against Chokio on Sunday afternoon.

The Mudhens responded with a strong offensive day at the plate and solid defense and pitching to match to earn an 8-1 victory over the Coyotes and remain undefeated in league play.

Minneota manager Tyson Sonnenburg knows it’s a challenging task when Chokio comes to play, but was pleased with his group’s effort in all three aspects of the game to come away with the win.

“Chokio is always a really good team and they’ve shown it year after year being in the state tournament, so it’s a game that kind of shows us where we’re at in our league,” Sonnenburg said. “The guys jumped on some hitting early, two-out hitting was big, the defense played awesome and Peyton pitched a great game, so all three aspects of the game I think we played pretty solid and it was fun to see.”

After a scoreless opening frame, the Coyotes jumped out to an early lead in the top of the second, using a pair of two-out singles and a walk to load the bases before a hit batter brought in a run and gave Chokio the 1-0 lead.

That advantage would be short-lived, though, as the Mudhens led off the bottom half of the frame with a single before Noah Scott was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Jesse Drager. Minneota then took the lead for good thanks to a two RBI double from Danny Hennen to make it 2-1.

Minneota would add to its lead in the fourth, again capitalizing with two outs on the board. Austin DeVlaeminck smacked an RBI double before Beau Buysse reached on an error to bring in another run and extend the Mudhens’ advantage to 4-1.

The Mudhens weren’t done there, however, as Drager reached on an error before Hennen smacked a double to put runners in scoring position. Beau Buysse then brought in a run on an RBI single before Jake Leighton made it 6-1 with a sacrifice fly. Minneota later added two more runs on a single from Austin Buysse to push its lead to 8-1 after six innings.

Sonnenburg led the way for the Mudhens with three hits while Hennen and Beau Buysse each added two hits and two RBI and DeVlaeminck, Leighton and Austin Buysse combined for four RBI.

Sonnenburg said offensively they did a good job of putting the ball in play and taking advantage of some key two-out hits.

“Hard-hit balls and a lot of two-out hitting and putting the ball in play,” Sonnenburg said. “On Friday night against the Milroy Irish we kind of struggled so we were hoping to bounce back from that game and get the bats rolling and people did. Even with two outs and nobody on we were able to produce some runs which is huge.”

Peyton Nuy earned the victory on the mound, going all nine innings while allowing one run on seven hits and striking out four.

Nuy said his key was just getting strikes early and being able to settle into a zone throughout the majority of the game.

“Just throwing strikes,” Nuy said. “I hit a couple of batters and walked some guys, but after that I buckled down and threw strikes.”

Minneota (13-4 overall) will face Dawson on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Sonnenburg said their biggest takeaway is to continue to take things one game at a time.

“We just need to take things one game at a time; we really want to be towards the top of the league once the season’s done and we’ve got some big games coming up with some really good teams, so we just have to take it one game at a time and hopefully keep winning.”

Minneota 8, Chokio 1

Chokio 010 000 000 – 1 7 2

Minneota 020 204 00x – 8 11 1

HITTING: Minneota (Sonnenburg 3 H; Preston Nuy 2 H; Hennen 2 H, 2 RBI; B. Buysse 2 H, 2 RBI; DeVlaeminck 1 H, RBI; Leighton RBI; A. Buysse 1 H, 2 RBI).

PITCHING (IP-R-ER-H-BB-SO): Minneota (Peyton Nuy 9-1-1-7-2-4).