Hibbing earns big win over West Duluth

Hibbing third baseman Bryce Warner cuts in front of shortstop Isaac Colbaugh to field a ground ball during the fourth inning of Post 222’s game with Lakeview last week at Al Nyberg Field.

HIBBING — The Hibbing American Legion baseball team didn’t blow up, and low-and-behold, Post 222 won a big district game.

Bryce Warner tossed a four-hitter as Hibbing beat the No. 1 team in the district, West Duluth, 4-1, Tuesday at Al Nyberg Field.

Post 222 has had a habit of giving up bad half innings, but they stayed clear of that against the Post 71 Cubs.

“Me, (Chris) Hanson and (Logan) Radovich were talking about that at the end of the game,” Hibbing manager Adam Schafer said. “When you don’t give up four or five runs in a bad half inning, good things happen.

“That was big. We played a complete game, so that was good to see, especially in a league game.”

West Duluth would get on the board first in the second thanks to a Hibbing error.

After Carter Kilroy singled, Andy Larson dropped a single into short left field.

After a fielder’s choice ground ball by Logan Nylund and with two out, Earl Hendrickson hit a ground ball to first that was misplayed for an error, allowing Larson to score and make it 1-0.

Post 222 responded in their half of the second with two runs to take the lead.

Logan Gietzen walked, then with one out, Evan Radovich singled. Brody Niskanen walked to load the bases.

With two out, Josh Kivela hit a bad-hop single, scoring both Gietzen and Radovich to give Hibbing the lead.

Post 222 took a 3-1 lead in the third.

Isaac Colbaugh hit one down the right-field line, and while he was heading into third with a triple, the ball was under thrown, allowing Colbaugh to score.

“We nickeled-and-dimed them,” Schafer said. “Anytime there’s bases loaded with two out, Kivela clutched up on that one. We were able to scratch those two, then it was never-look-back.

“Bryce threw a heck of a game. He’s a guy that throws strikes and when you pick up the ball behind him, good things happen. It was a good, complete game.”

Hibbing added to its lead in the fourth as Kivela singled with one out. With two out, Joe Allison clutched up and doubled to the right-center field wall, plating Kivela with the fourth Post 222 run of the game.

It was a good insurance run against a good-hitting Post 71 Cubs team.

“Anytime you can tack on insurance runs, going into the last three innings, that’s big,” Schafer said. “It widened that gap. It gives you a little breathing room. We didn’t give any back.

“It’s always important to widen that gap as the game goes on.”

Warner finished six strikeouts. He walked two.

Bren Jones worked five innings, allowing six hits. He struck out three and walked three. Logan Nylund worked one inning, giving up one hit.

Kivela finished with three hits. Allison had a double.

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