H-LP has rocky start to summer baseball campaign

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Harris-Lake Park Wolves catcher Austin Gilmore can't come up with the throw as Hinton's Justin Kirwan slides into home plate Monday evening. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

LAKE PARK, Iowa -- Say this, at least, about the Harris-Lake Park Wolves baseball team: Their uniforms are much better looking than those worn by their Monday night opponents, the Hinton Blackhawks.

H-LP wore crisp blue jerseys and white pants with thin blue piping. Hinton’s jerseys were a mottled, spotted brown and yellow. So there’s a point for the Wolves.

Unfortunately for the home team, however, that was all they were able to score at Lake Park in an 18-0 four-inning contest against visiting Hinton. The Hawks collected eight hits and 11 walks against five Harris-Lake Park pitchers to spoil the Wolves’ season opener.

The Wolves are hoping to post a winning record this summer after going 3-15 in 2019. Veteran head coach Lane Gunderson isn’t sounding the alarm yet.

“They’re good. They’re just a good team. Year in and year out, they’re one of the best hitting teams we play,” Gunderson said of the Blackhawks. “There’s gonna be better days ahead for us. Like I told the guys, we’ve just gotta keep our confidence.”


Coach Gunderson said he limited each of his pitchers to 40 pitches Monday night to preserve arms for tonight’s scheduled home game against Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn -- a team he feels the Wolves have a better chance of beating. Against the hard-hitting Hawks, all five of the H-LP pitchers struggled.

Lucas Gunderson, Isaac Ihnen, Julian Burdorf, Bubba Sohn and Tyce Gunderson all were credited with one and one-third innings or less.

Hinton scored three runs in the first inning off starting righthander Lucas Gunderson which included a two-out, two-run line drive up the middle by the Blackhawks’ Gavin Nelson. Ihnen served up a two-out, two-run single to Tate Linton in the second for a 5-0 Blackhawks lead. Hinton added three more runs in the third on a two-strike bases-loaded triple to the left-centerfield fence off the bat of Justin Kirwan. The visitors scored 10 runs in the top of the fourth inning, which included a three-run double by Keenan Wieseler.

Kirwan, a slender left hander with a decent fastball and a curveball that he spun to touch the outside corner of the plate against right-handed batters, pitched the complete four innings for Hinton. He allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out six.

Harris-Lake Park almost scored in the bottom of the first inning, but a runner was tagged out at home for the third out trying to score on a Jaden Rueter single. In the bottom of the fourth, the hosts put runners on first and third base with two outs but again failed to advance a runner to the plate.

Hinton 323 (10) -- 18 8 1

H-LP 000 0 -- 0 3 0

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Disappointed Harris-Lake Park baseball players watch from the dugout as Hinton adds to its lead Monday night. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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