Hutchinson Leader: Brownton lends Hutch a helping hand

–by Stephen Wiblemo, Hutchinson Leader

PHOTO 1 CAPTION: This was the scene Saturday morning as groundskeepers from Hutchinson and Brownton worked together to prepare Brownton’s Barney Tadsen Field. State games Saturday and Sunday had to be moved from Hutchinson due to field conditions from the rain.

All week long, volunteers and members of the Hutchinson Huskies baseball board kept an eye on the weather, the river, and Veterans Memorial Field to have it ready for the 2016 Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Championship that opened up this past weekend.

Despite all the field had been through in the previous week, it looked like there would be baseball in Hutchinson for the first game Friday night. But, Mother Nature had different plans.

About two hours before the first game was scheduled start, another big storm went over and dumped more water on VMF, leaving it a soaking mess.

Friday’s game had to be moved to Litchfield, which did not have any games scheduled that night. But the longer the field crews worked on VMF, the more they began to realize that the games Saturday and Sunday would also have to find a new venue.

“We were ready to play the 7:30 game Friday night, but then that storm basically set up over Hutchinson, and there was nowhere for water to go on our field,” Hutchinson Huskies board member John Arlt said. “After more than three hours of working on it, we really didn’t feel that we could get it playable (for the weekend).”

It was a nightmare scenario. Normally, in situations like this, the games would go to the third site, which would be Litchfield in this case. But because of the way the tournament was scheduled differently this year, Litchfield’s was already busy with Class B games.

Fortunately, members of the Huskies board knew this was a possibility, and so they had packed a parachute, so to speak, and made a backup plan earlier in the week.

“When our field looked like it was in trouble, I talked to Dave Wendlandt (of Brownton),” Huskies board president Bruce Rosenow said. “I know him well because I played ball with him over in Brownton. We put up a contingency plan … If we just ran out of luck and didn’t get to use our field, we would talk to the state board and tell them we have an option in Brownton.”

It isn’t unusual for Hutchinson and Brownton baseball programs to help each other out. The two towns have long had a working relationship when it comes to baseball.

“There have been times where Hutchinson didn’t have an amateur team, so Hutchinson guys went and played with Brownton. And there were a couple years where Brownton couldn’t field a Legion team, so some Legion players went to Hutchinson to play,” Rosenow said. “There have been some shared things … There’s been a very good relationship.”

When Hutch’s luck ran out Friday night, that relationship had to be leaned on again as it was decided Hutchinson’s weekend games, seven of them, would be moved to Brownton’s Barney Tadsen Field.

CLICK HERE for the remainder of the article

Check out additional content below