A night out in Miesville

Post on July 3, 2014 by Erik Steffenson 

It was a cool Wednesday evening with the sun out and no clouds in sight as the Mudhens prepared for their battle against the Hampton Cardinals. The folks around town came to Jack Ruhr Field to cheer on their home team.

You may recall a couple weeks ago I did a story about the comeback of the Hampton Cardinals, but tonight was about a ball game in the little town of Miesville. Miesville is a small town 10 miles outside Hastings and Hampton, and behind the church is Jack Ruhr Park, home to the Miesville Mudhens. In this unique ballpark, picnic tables stretch along the left field line to bleachers along first base. A set of stands (about 15 rows) behind home plate and adjacent to it on the right is another set of bleachers of 15 rows as well. Right along the ground level is a row of baseball seats that you would find in any other MLB stadium that stretch from dugout to dugout.

Along the outfield wall that stands around eight feet tall (excluding a small area for the scoreboard which made it about 20 feet) are advertisements. Behind the fence are farm fields to give it that “Field of Dreams” effect. The advertisements consist of various restaurants and medical places in the towns of Hastings, Red Wing, Hampton and even Cannon Falls.

There was a solid crowd of about 125 people to fill the seats and root for the Mudhens. The country music was blaring for all to hear along with different theme songs from shows like Scooby-Doo and Friends that played between innings. A young fan sang the national anthem and the seventh inning stretch was the “Chicken Dance.” It was a fun place to be at. It is evident that the locals in the small town of Miesville come out to watch their team play.

Wednesday’s game centered around Evan Decovich, the pitcher and clean-up hitter for the Hampton Cardinals. At the plate he went 1-for-3, driving in the only runs of the game with a two-RBI double in the fourth inning. On the mound, Decovich dominated allowing only two base hits along with 14 strikeouts and went the full nine innings for a shutout and a 2-0 win for the Hampton Cardinals.

“Anytime Decovich is on the mound, we always have a chance.” Hampton coach Adrian Hebig said about Evan.

On the Miesville side, Derek Goodnature also went the full nine innings allowing only two runs from Decovich’s double from four other base hits. He struck out six and his breaking pitches also kept the Cardinal bats in check. Despite the lack of hitting, the Mudhens still showed signs of life as they tried to rally in the ninth inning as they had runners on third and second with one out before Spencer Merle grounded out to third and Erik Olson struck out looking to end the game.

When asked about how the team is shaping up this season, coach Matt Van Der Bosch said the makeup of the club is different than last year.

“It is different after losing some your starters on the field. But we have managed well so far.” Van Der Bosch said. “We have some college kids that come from the small towns like Rosemount and Farmington, and we have some older guys that have playing for a while with this team.”

If I learned anything so far this summer, it’s that amateur baseball is definitely fun to watch. This is the second time I have gotten to see Hampton play and watching teams like them and Miesville in league action is a blast to go see.

“Amateur baseball is great because everyone is so competitive and you can get kids from the colleges across Minnesota that love to play,” Van Der Bosch said. “Even the older guys like to play because of the competitiveness that goes on in this league.”

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