MARBLE — In a 14-8 loss to Taconite, the Hibbing American Legion baseball team pounded out 14 hits.
It looked like the offense was on track even though Post 222’s defense had a letdown.
Hibbing manager Andy Kolden was hoping that offensive trend would continue in game two of the Grand Rapids Tournament, but he got exactly the opposite.
Post 222’s defense went error free against Superior, but that offense would only get one hit as Post 435 came away with a 2-0 victory over Hibbing Friday at Steve Hecimovich Memorial Field.
Post 222 also got a well-pitched game from Codieh Powers, who only gave up four hits, but that offense was stymied by Superior pitcher Connor Fonger, who only gave up a third-inning single to Will Durie.
“We saw some better pitching, and we had a lot of tough breaks,” Kolden said. “We ran ourselves out of innings a couple of times, and they capitalized on a couple of times, once on a hit-by-pitch, which ended up being a run (in the fifth inning).
“It was a tough loss. Codieh pitched well. That’s a game we have to win when he pitches like that.”
Powers struck out four and walked two in his six innings of work.
“He was constantly working ahead,” Kolden said. “His curveball was working well. He was throwing strikes, striking guys out. They were making weak contact, then they hit a couple hard, and that’s when they scored their runs.”
Post 222 didn’t have many threats, but Ryne Sampson walked in the fifth and advanced to second with one out, but Fonger got a strikeout and groundout to end that potential rally.
In the sixth, Noah Vinopal walked with two out, then Dan Rusten walked, but Vinopal was thrown out trying to steal third.
Hibbing, which only had nine players and was missing some key contributors in the lineup, couldn’t get a key hit in crucial situations.
“It would obviously help if we have more guys to work with,” Kolden said. “Some of our main starters are missing. That would help. There’s nothing you can do about it. It gave some of these guys more experience that they need.”
As for Superior, the Reds weren’t making solid contact against Powers, but in the fourth inning, Jake Brill hit a single, and stole second. Willie Schorr then hit a pop up to short right field that fell in between Hibbing’s second baseman and right fielder for the first run of the game.
In the fifth, Holsclaw was hit-by-a-pitch with one out, then he stole second. Gunner Hanson doubled him home to make it 2-0.
After that threat in the sixth, Post 222 went one-two-three in the seventh to finish
the day 0-2 in the tourney.
Even so, Kolden liked the way his team rebounded defensively in the second game. Hibbing committed four errors in the first game.
“That was important, especially after our last game,” Kolden said. “We didn’t have any errors in this game. We had four in a row during our first game, and that killed us. They got seven runs off of that.
“The fielding was nice to see, but just couldn’t hit anything in this game.”
Fonger would get five strikeouts, and he would walk three. John Rhodes came on in relief, working 1.1 innings. He struck out one.
Post 222 will now play at 11:30 a.m., today against Fridley Gold in Marble.
HL 000 000 0 — 0 1 0
SL 000 110 x — 2 4 1
Hibbing: Codieh Powers (L) and Noah Vinopal; Superior: Connor Fonger (W), John Rhodes (6th) (S) and Rhodes, Gunner Hansen (6th); 2B — Kaden Kimmes.