Annual wood bat tournament set for Delano May 16-18

Hanson clubs five home runs in six games as Tigers win four

BY DAVE PEDERSEN

SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS

The ninth annual Dick Traen Memorial Wood Bat Classic is set for May 16-18 in Delano featuring eight teams.

Games on Thursday and Friday will be at Delano’s Municipal Stadium and games Saturday will be at both the stadium and Zitzloff Field.

The tourney opens at 5 p.m. Thursday when Minneapolis Southwest faces Concordia Academy and St. Anthony Village takes on St. James at 7 p.m. Delano faces St. Paul Harding at 5 p.m. Friday and Kasson-Mantorville challenges Litchfield at 7 p.m.

Games continue at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at both fields. The medal round games are all at the Municipal Stadium starting at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. for the title game. The tournament is sponsored by MaxBats that supplies bats to Major League Baseball teams.

Delano improved to 8-2 after going 4-2 last week, including a 5-2 victory over Holy Family Catholic, which was ranked first in the state at one time. Junior catcher Toby Hanson hit a home run in five of the games, upping his season total to seven, one shy of the school record.

Hanson was 2 for 3 with a homer in the 9-6 loss to Hutchinson to start the week. The teams are tied for second in the Wright County Conference. Zach Muchenhirn, Brett Norling and Nate Meyers each had two hits.

Coach Dan Paulson said his team was fortunate to take two games from Waconia, winning 6-2 and 8-4. Hanson homered in the first game when he batted 3 for 4. Collecting two hits each was Christian Triplett, Hunter Hart, Adam Schleper and Justin Oja. Muchenhirn pitched all seven innings, allowing six hits.

Hanson drove in three more runs by going 2 for 4 with a home run in the second win over Waconia. Jon Dahl and Noah Stone also had two hits. Triplett, Sam Harris and Hart combined to pitch the win.

The Tigers topped Holy Family 5-2 when pitchers Hart, Taylor Larson and Tyler Hannan allowed five hits. Muchenhirn and Oja both had two hits.

Holy Family rebounded to win the second game 5-4 when scoring four runs in the fifth to tie and win it in the last of the seventh. Hanson and Oja both drove in two runs and Hanson hit another homer. Schleper allowed just six hits against a strong team.

Delano overpowered Annandale 17-2 on 16 hits. Hanson hit his fifth homer during the week, going 4 for 4 with 5 RBIs. Muchenhirn and Sam Fink each had two hits, while Oja and Keenan Lindquist drove in two runs. Harris and Larson combined for a 4-hitter.

“Our hitting as a team has been pretty solid all year,” said Paulson. “We have been patient at the plate and swing at good pitches to hit.  We also bunt and run very well, which has contributed to success up and down the line-up.”

Paulson is not sure but heard the school record for home runs in the season is eight, hit by Jay Kvasnicka in 1985.

“Toby is doing all he can to make sure our team is successful,” said Paulson. “According to Toby, average and homeruns are great, but our team success is the most important. Our team works hard at preparing mentally and physically to compete in every baseball game.”

After nine games, Hanson was batting .600 with 18 hits, seven home runs and 20 RBIs. Hart and Muchenhirn have both driven home nine runs.

Delano plays at home against Orono Monday, May 20 before ending the regular season at Hutchinson Tuesday, May 21.

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