The Winhawks baseball team was knocked out of the state tournament last week in a game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s School of St. Louis Park, Minn.
The Winona Senior High School boys had staged an upset at sectionals, defeating Byron High School to win the section championship and punch their ticket to the state tourney. The Winhawks looked to mount another upset last Tuesday in their first-round matchup with the Benilde-St. Margaret Red Knights.
A pair of strikeouts by pitcher Cody Hundorf and a groundout to shortstop Quinn Larsen helped the Winona team avoid a jam in the first inning and left two Benilde-St. Margaret runners stranded in scoring position. However, the Winhawks struggled on offense, with just one hit through the first three innings. Two errors and a wild pitch in the second and third innings gave the Red Knights their first two runs. Winona nearly answered in the fourth, with Larsen advancing to third base, but a pair of infield outs retired the side and left him stranded.
After another Red Knights run made it 3-0, the Winhawks loaded the bases in the fifth inning with two outs. Carson Jones hit a double, followed by Tyler Kelner hitting a single and Jonathan Heftman being hit by a pitch. Larsen reached first on a fielder’s choice, but the Red Knights forced out Heftman to end the inning before Jones could score.
It was 4-0 going into the seventh when the Winhawks got on the board. Treven Viestenz, who was pinch-running for Hundorf, made his way to third off two wild pitches. Larsen hit a sacrifice fly to center field, and Viestenz scored, leaving one on and two outs. However, the Winona rally stopped there, as a final strikeout ended the Winhawks’ chances.
It was the Winhawks baseball team’s first state tournament since 1991. “So proud of this team for being the first in 31 years to make it to state,” school officials wrote.