Winless no more: HL-O/F Coyotes baseball earn 13-3 victory over Cleveland

“They are just a good bunch of kids,” said Knutson on his team. “They deserved to have that feeling of winning a baseball game today.”

The 2023 Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda baseball team
Submitted by Lucas Knutson. Photo taken by Rickers Photography Studio

MOUNTAIN LAKE — The Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda Coyotes earned a victory on Tuesday as Dillon Smith delivered a strong pitching performance in a non-conference game with the Cleveland Clippers.

Both HL-O/F and Cleveland were winless entering the matchup.

The Coyotes delivered hits all throughout their lineup in the 13-3 five inning victory, but Brenton Erdmann was clutch with three hits which all scored two runs apiece.

Erdmann hit a two-run double in the second to put HL-O/F ahead, a two-run single in the third put them in command of the game and a two-run double in the fourth pushed the Coyotes to an early finish. He also scored three runs.

Smith — a sophomore — struck out eight in his complete game performance. He allowed five hits and one walk. All three runs scored by the Clippers were earned.


“That was his best outing of the season,” said HL-O/F skipper Lucas Knutson. “He was able to overpower Cleveland with his fastball but mixing in his offspeed certainly helped throwing strikes.”

The Coyotes were scheduled to host Cleveland and Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey for a doubleheader, but standing water at Laker Field in Heron Lake pushed the teams north to Mountain Lake.

Tim Salentiny reached base four times for the Coyotes and scored four runs. Smith helped his cause by hitting an RBI triple.

Sam Goedtke hit an RBI double and Nolan Madsen had two RBIs.

After the Coyotes allowed two fifth inning runs, Trevor Bass called game with a strong defensive play at third base to record the Clippers’ final out.

“It was good to see some happy faces and smiles after a game instead of heads down, frustration and feeling down about yourself,” said Knutson. “All in all that was a good win for us and kind of got the monkey off our back.”

The Coyotes did not commit an error in the field, one of the few times that has happened all season.

They also added runs in each Coyotes’ side of the inning.


“It was a good feeling to get that first win,” said Knutson. “Dillon Smith was great pitching, we made all the routine plays and our bats came alive.”

As for some pregame incentivization for the Coyotes? Knutson told his players that if they win a game today he would take them out for ice cream.

On the way back home, the Coyotes stopped at the Dairy Queen in Windom, Minnesota and Knutson made good on his word and bought his players blizzards, cones and ice cream delectables.

“They are just a good bunch of kids,” said Knutson on his team. “They deserved to have that feeling of winning a baseball game today.”

Cleveland 100 02 – 3 5 3

HL-O/F 145 3 X – 13 10 0

MLA/C 10, HL-O/F 5

MOUNTAIN LAKE — The Coyotes played a second game against conference opponent Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey. The Coyotes lost 10-5 but were competitive and cut the lead to 8-5 after the top half of the fifth inning.


Simon Spittle started on the mound for the Coyotes and went the first two innings.

Spittle was pulled for Bass after some discomfort on the mound. Bass pitched the final four frames and kept HL-O/F in the game.

The Coyotes were competitive in the game.

Smith went 2-for-3 from the plate for the Coyotes. Thomas Bartosh hit an RBI single. Nolan Madsen hit an RBI single.

Sam Pidde had three hits and scored three runs for the Wolverines. Jake Evers had two hits and had two RBIs.

The Coyotes finish conference play with an 0-10 record. The Coyotes season record is 1-13.

HL-O/F will travel to Jackson on Friday to play Jackson County Central.

HL-O/F 200 210 0 – 5 6 3


MLA/C 341 020 X – 10 10 3

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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