Hawley all-in this season at state baseball tourney
FARGO — Hawley juniors Chad Clute, Jordan Harms and Parker Hanson own the top three spots in batting average, extra-base hits, RBIs, homers, on-base percentage and slugging percentage this season for the Nuggets.
Oh, and they pitch too. Harms has a 2.00 ERA and has struck out 79 batters in 49 innings, while Hanson, who was born without a left hand, has a 2.92 ERA and has struck out 70 batters in 48 innings. Clute has thrown 18X\c innings, sporting a 4.50 ERA.
“Our year began with a 2-0 win against Staples,” Hawley coach Beau Lofgren said.
“Parker Hanson hurled a no-hitter and Jordan Harms delivered a towering home run late in that game. After that, I had a hunch this would be a very special season.”
It’s not over yet, as Hawley is headed to the Minnesota Class 2A state baseball tournament, opening Thursday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, Minn., against defending state champion Kasson-Mantorville.
“These kids have put a great deal of time in, before, during and after practices,” Lofgren said. “All have been on varsity since eighth grade. All of the extra reps have paid off.”
The season has an added ounce of special to it for Harms, Hanson and Clute, as the junior trio has played together ever since Clute moved to Hawley in fourth grade. This will be the last games the three play together, as Clute is moving to Victoria, Minn., this summer and will be attending Chanhassen High School next fall.
“It’s a little bummer knowing he’s not going to be with us for summer ball or high school next year,” Hanson said. “He’s a big part of our team. We’re really going to have a hole there.”
Clute has been the starting shortstop for Hawley since eighth grade. His .413 batting average, 20 stolen bases, .542 on-base percentage and .627 slugging percentage are all tops among Nuggets hitters this season.
Harms didn’t mince words talking about not playing with Clute after playing eight years together.
“Honestly, it sucks,” Harms said. “He’s been our best player and our good friend for a long, long time. Not having him there next year is going to be a lot different.”
Delaying the goodbye to Clute made handing Perham its only two losses on the season in the Class 2A, Section 8 championship all the more special. Although, any Hawley game against Perham doesn’t require extra incentive.
“It made it sweeter knowing that with every win he can stay a little longer,” Harms said. “Playing with (Hanson and Clute) and knowing that they got your back all the time has been pretty great.”
Hawley will certainly have a different look without Clute next season.
“Clute has been the starting shortstop since his first day of eighth grade. Not many players can make that claim,” Lofgren said. “He lives the game year round and it’s incredible how he continues to improve each year.”
Clute isn’t ready to say goodbye yet.
“It’s been awesome to always have faith in them when they go to the plate,” Clute said of Hanson and Harms. “This will be our last run. It’s been awesome to make this one go to state and hopefully we make some noise there.”