Crookston left hander Aaron Hollcraft tossed a no-hitter in a six-inning 10-0 win over Bagley Monday at Jim Karn Field.
Hollcraft struck out eight batters and walked just one.
He was helped by his older brother, Joseph Hollcraft, who went 1 for 2 at the plate with two walks, two runs scored and three stolen bases.
"It was the outcome I expected," said Crookston Coach Ben Parkin. "It was how I was hoping things would go. The boys played how they should've. We executed well, we had timely hits and good pitching from Aaron. Everyone contributed and we played pretty good defense."
Coach Parkin said Aaron Hollcraft gets better with each outing.
"It seems like he gets better every time he pitches," Parkin said. "At this time of the year his arm is getting stronger each time he pitches. The more he pitches at the Legion level it will help his confidence."
Parkin said it's nice to have Hollcraft striking out opponents.
"It's big if you don't have to have to put the ball in play," he said. "You don't realize the importance of it when you don't have it. It's a big difference when a guy has an out-pitch or an unhittable pitch. It really boosts the team's confidence."
Adam Donarski went 1 for 2 with two RBI, Dylan Klatt went 1 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Brandon Kresl also had a base hit and scored two runs. Jake Perrine came off the bench and had a pair of singles in the late innings. Parker Epema and Cody Magsam each added a base hit for Crookston.
Crookston Post 20 broke the game open in the second inning with seven runs. Klatt started it by reaching on an error, Aaron Hollcraft then drew a walk and they both moved into scoring position on passed balls before Donarski drove them in with a base hit. After a Kyle Proulx walk, Magsam put down a sacrifice bunt that scored Donarski. Proulx later scored on a passed ball for the fourth run. After two-out walks by Joseph Hollcraft and Kresl, Kody Kawlewski was hit by a pitch and Klatt drove in two runs with a base hit. Kawlewski later scored on an error for the seventh run.
Crookston added a run in the fourth when Joseph Hollcraft led off with a base hit and stole two bases before scoring on a sacrifice hit by Aaron Hollcraft.
Another run came in the fifth when Magsam reached on a fielder's choice and came around to score.
The tenth run came in the sixth when Kresl led off with a base hit and was later driven in by a Perrine single.
Page 2 of 2 - Coach Parkin said the hitting needs to become more consistent in the final weeks of the regular season.
"We have average hitting right now to be honest," he said. "You look for the middle of the order guys to do the producing. We are inconsistent there. We'll get a hit out of each of them in a game but not mulitple hit games. Those guys need to step it up at this point. Hitting is a tough game and that's coming from someone with experience. There are a lot of things that go into it. You go into slumps and start overthinking what you're doing wrong. Rather than rely on timing and feeling."
Parkin and his squad have just six games and a tournament remaining before the District 9 Tournament on July 25-29. He said the boys need to shore up some things before the postseason.
"We need to start producing more at the plate," he said. "When teams throw average to above average pitchers we don't hit them as well as we can. Pitching-wise, we need to limit our walks. We need our hitting to come around and we have to hit above average pitching. We have to stay focused defensively, not give up walks and get timely hitting and we will be competitive in districts."
Crookston is off the rest of this week and will host East Grand Forks Sunday, July 8 in a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m.
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Bagley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Crookston 0 7 0 1 1 1 10 8 2