Hansen’s shutout, Dunn’s HR lifts Surrey past Velva

Alex Eisen/MDN Surrey slugger Mason Dunn (8) is greeted by his Blue Sox teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning of the first game played against the Velva 39ers Wednesday evening in Surrey.

Relaxed, ready to go and looking to strike up a quick conversation, Surrey third baseman Collin Headrick offered up some pre-game banter prior to the first pitch being thrown.

“Remember the last time we played against Velva?” Headrick questioned his starting pitcher Alex Hansen.

“Not really,” Hansen responded.

“We lost like 9-2,” Headrick fired back at an unfazed Hansen, who proceeded to step on the mound, set himself and reach into his glove.

The ball slipped right out and fell on the ground.

“That’s a good start,” Hansen said sarcastically in the moment.

The ill-timed omen didn’t influence the final outcome and was one of the few mistakes Hansen made, as the Blue Sox closed out of the American Legion Class B regular season with a second regional victory over the Velva 39ers this summer.

The Blue Sox won Wednesday’s regional counter game 6-0 to heal an old wound of losing a 7-2 non-counter game in Velva on June 25 — the result Headrick was referencing.

Hanson was lights out on Wednesday, throwing a complete-game shutout after a rather bizarre start to the game.

“Everyone was saying it was balk,” Hansen said. “The ball just kind of fell out of my glove and I picked it up, I guess, and kept going.”

Hansen got early run support from Mitch Seopa, who had an RBI groundout in the bottom of the first inning.

Then, just as Velva starting pitcher Jersey Selzler was starting to settle in, Surrey struck again in the third inning. Mason Dunn uncorked a two-run home run over the left field fence, 3-0.

“Really, I didn’t have anything going through my head,” Dunn said. “My mind was clear. I just saw a pitch and I owned it… I think that hyped a bunch of people up for the rest of the game.”

Sensing blood in the water, Hansen continued to mow down the 39ers. Eventually, baby sharks did come to the surface.

Warming up for the top of the fifth inning, Hansen found himself grooving to the beat of Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark” song while some of his teammates were vocally expressing their displeasure with the song selection.

Much to Velva’s dismay, Hansen continued to keep the 39ers off the scoreboard.

“(Hansen) has been pitching well all year, honestly,” Blue Sox coach Kelly Wetzel said. “He was just a cut above today. He was pounding the strike zone and getting his curveball across. Sixty-eight strikes and 34 balls, so that says a lot right there.”

The lead-off song to start the bottom of the fifth inning drew a resounding laugh from Surrey’s dugout.

“Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo,” played over the loudspeaker again as Jaxon Feller stepped to the plate.

Feller made contact and sprinted — or metaphorically swam — down the first base line for a single.

“Way to go baby shark,” and some rhythmic singing could be heard loud and clear from Surrey’s dugout.

Feller’s single started a three-run inning that put the game out of reach. Later in the frame, Dalton Anderson collected an RBI single, and two more runs were scored on a double steal and a wild pitch.

Hansen struck out the side in the seventh to seal the win.

Surrey also won the second game of the doubleheader, which didn’t count in the regional standings, 7-2.

The American Legion Class B, District 3 Tournament will be held July 23-27 at Renville County. Surrey will be the No. 3 seed and Velva will be the No. 5 seed.

A complete bracket will be released at a later date.

“I think we should do well,” Hansen said. “If we put the bats together like we did today, then we should be able to win it.”

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.