June 11, 2014

Hazen tries for title

By Jarann Johnson
The spring high school baseball season ended sadly, but Hazen has plenty to build off of for the state tournament. Hazen got second place at the 2014 Class B state tournament and will try to get an elusive state championship this summer.
The good news for Hazen is that the American Legion class system has undergone a bit of shaking up. Most of the bigger former Class B Legion teams have been put into a 12-team class named the A Class.
That’s good news for the Bison. They won’t have to beat Beulah or Washburn to get back to the state tournament and both teams added college students to their summer roster. Hunter Eslinger and Patrick Becker are back in the lineup for Beulah. Washburn gets college students Zach Hruby and Brenden Sweeney back, plus all-region third baseman/catcher Landon Lelm, Central McLean, and Hunter Jacobs, Central McLean, from their Post 12 area.
There’s also a little bit of excitement because four state tournament participants – Grafton, Watford City, Velva and Harvey-Wells County – are all in the AA class. No other team in the A Class for American Legion advanced to the state semifinals during high school ball.
But things will be a little bit different for the Legion season. Hazen did suffer one loss, losing Tyler Murschel, an all-state tournament team selection. But the Bison added more older players than they lost.
Hazen will add Collin Maas and Hunter Fears. Both were in track and didn’t participate in baseball during the spring. Maas brings base-running speed and strong hitting to the lineup. He also pitched during last summer. Fears wasn’t on last summer’s team, so he’ll be a bit of a wild card as the season progresses.


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