Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Prep baseball: D-G-F's Nelson throws no-hitter in 3-0 win over Crookston

  • Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Zach Nelson struck out 15 and no-hit the Pirate baseball team in its season opener Monday in Glyndon, Minn.
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  • Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Zach Nelson struck out 15 and no-hit the Pirate baseball team in its season opener Monday in Glyndon, Minn.
    Nelson walked just two batters but didn't get any support until the fifth inning. Keith Sieling reached after being hit by a pitch and later scored on a wild pitch. Eric Watt singled two batters later and was driven in by Chad Johnson's base hit. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton added another run in the sixth by Austin Ritter.
    "I was very impressed with the pitcher they threw," Pirate head coach Mitch Bakken said. "He was throwing three or four pitches with movement for strikes with a fastball that was probably low 80's. Just a tough pitcher to face in your first live game. We have hit live, but there is nothing you can do in a batting cage facing your own teammates that will equal to live at bats in a real game. There are no do-overs, and you can't replicate the nerves or emotions that you will face in an actual game. You can tell they have been coached well. The balls they hit were up the middle. I think Aaron (Hollcraft) had three or four put outs himself, not including bunts so he fielded his position very well at pitcher. Just a very high caliber team. It wasn't the way we wanted to start, but having seen a very good arm to start can only help us in future games against other strong arms."
    Pirate junior Aaron Hollcraft started and lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out three. Junior Joey Koenig pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief, allowing one earned run.
    "I think it took Aaron a little while to get his emotions in check," Bakken said. "He was overthrowing to begin with, so all his fastballs were up. He got settled down with the curveball and as he got a little more tired and/or relaxed his fastball started coming around. He also said he went from a four-seam to a two-seam fastball which was great to hear because we want the pitchers to adjust their grips on the baseball to see what is working at each particular outing. Sometimes not everything is sharp so you need to adjust if you want to be a successful pitcher. Joey came in on short notice. I had Aaron on a pitch count and let him go a little longer than I wanted. Joey came in with two outs and got us out of the fifth inning and threw great in the sixth. We struggled owning the inside corner. I think we hit four DGF batters. Again, it is tough to pitch to teammates inside with fear of hitting them. I have told the pitchers and the hitters 100 times that we have to own that inside corner and getting hit is part of the game and the hitters knew that, but it is still extremely hard to work on inside pitches when you are throwing against friends/teammates so we will work on that."
    Page 2 of 2 - Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton improves to 4-0 on the season. Crookston is 0-1 and is scheduled to host Bagley Friday at 4:30 p.m.
    "This week we will cover some of the smaller things that I saw," Bakken said. "Some things we can do pitching, hitting and defensively. I want to see more consistent at-bats. I want to see hitters working counts in their favor and looking for one pitch they can drive. If the pitcher is tipping things or throwing the same first pitch for strike one, I want us to recognize that and attack that ball. I also want us to keep the positive attitudes and excitement we had against DGF. It is easy to get down when things don't go how you want but baseball is a game of failure and if they can keep working, having fun, playing relaxed and as a team, I think they will reap the rewards of a positive season."
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