HIBBING — The Hibbing VFW baseball team hasn’t jumped on many teams early in games this summer, but that changed against Cloquet.
Post 1221 would score four first-inning runs, then Hibbing cruised to a 10-0, five-inning, 10-run rule victory over Cloquet Monday at Al Nyberg Field.
In game two, Hibbing won by the score of 5-2.
According to co-manager Tim Zubich, he didn’t expect that because his team still seemed to be on Fourth-of-July vacation prior to the game.
“That hasn’t happened much this year,” Zubich said. “I don’t think we’ve put up a 4-spot in the first inning like that. It’s a great start, but we came in a little sluggish, like we were still on vacation.
“We picked it up, but our warmups weren’t very smooth unfortunately. Payton (Forer) pitched a great game. We made the plays when we had to, we had some good at bats and we got on base. We found ways to get on base.”
And more importantly, Post 1221 found ways to drive runs in.
“We clutched up and got some big hits,” Zubich said. “That’s the name of the game. That’s where we’ve fallen short in a few games. We didn’t get those big hits. Today, almost every time we had guys in scoring position, we scored them.
“We stranded a few (five), but that was big. Good swings. Even some of our outs, we put the barrel on it and hit it fairly well.”
After a one, two, three top of the first inning, Hibbing got its bats going right away, scoring four times during the half inning.
Josh Kivela walked, then with one out, Jude Sundquist, Kivela singled. Payton Forer hit a double, which allowed two runs to score, then Keegan Fink reached on an error, putting runners on first and third.
Isaac Colbaugh would single home a run, then Luke Geitzen hit an RBI single to finish the scoring.
After a scoreless second, Forer led off the third inning by reaching second when his ground ball was misplayed for an error. His courtesy runner, Andrew Dragon, reached third on a wild pitch, then scored when Colbaugh grounded out to second.
It was important for Hibbing to get back on the board right away.
“You never want to let a team hang around, especially after you jump on them, then come back with a quick inning,” Zubich said. “That’s the game. You’re not going to put up a 4-spot or a 5-spot in every inning.
“I wish we did. It would be an easier game that way.”
That 5-spot happened in the Post 1221 fourth as Dane Mammenga singled, then stole second. With one out Kivela singled, then when the ball was overthrown into the infield, Hibbing had runners on second and third.
Radovich singled home a run as did Sundquist, then Forer got into the hit parade with an RBI base hit.
With runners on first and third, Dragon stole second and when the
throw went to second, Sundquist scored on the back end of the double steal.
Colbaugh then reached on an error, scoring Dragon.
Post 1221 would send 11 hitters to the plate, scoring five times on five hits, and four Cloquet errors.
“You want to put a team away when you have a chance,” Zubich said. “You don’t want them to hang around. We ran the bases hard. Some guys had some heads-up baserunning.
“We even had some situational hitting. We’ve been working on that. We moved guys over and clutched up.”
Forer, for his part, worked five innings. He gave up one hit, struck out five and walked one.
“He was around the plate, and his curveball was working,” Zubich said. “He didn’t have to throw it a lot, but when he had it, he threw it. He threw well. I hope he can keep running with that.”
Flovick started for Cloquet. He worked four innings, gave up nine hits, struck out one and walked three.
Sundquist and Forer both had two hits for Post 1221. Forer had a double.
Marshall Hayes had the lone Cloquet hit.
Hibbing started the scoring in the second game as Colbaugh reached on an error, then Brice Warner singled. Liam Bussey was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then each runner moved up on a wild pitch, making it 1-0.
Collins hit a fielder’s choice ground ball for an RBI. One scored on an error, and the other run scored on the back end of a double steal.
Cloquet scored in the second on an RBI single by Erickson, then it added another run in the third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Bailey.
Sacco-LaMusga was the winning pitcher. He allowed four hits over four innings of work. He struck out three and walked two. Kivela tossed one inning, giving up two hits. He fanned one.
Warner and Maxwell had hits for Post 1221.
Erickson took the loss. He gave up two hits in four innings. He struck out seven and walked four.
CL 000 00 — 0 1 5
HB 401 5x — 10 9 1
Cloquet: Flovick (L) and Sievert; Hibbing: Payton Forer (W) and Evan Radovich; 2B — Forer.