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PREP BASEBALL: Crookston and Thief River Falls make unusual trip to Iowa

The Minnesota communities of Crookston and Thief River Falls are about 40 miles apart, but the towns' high school baseball teams bused together more than 400 miles to play a pair of baseball games Friday.

The Minnesota communities of Crookston and Thief River Falls are about 40 miles apart, but the towns' high school baseball teams bused together more than 400 miles to play a pair of baseball games Friday.

The Thief River Falls team picked up Crookston at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and the two squads traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, where the teams played a doubleheader Friday morning beginning at 11 a.m.

Crookston swept the doubleheader, winning 5-2 and 10-9 in the first games of the season for both schools.

With cold weather pushing deep into spring, most field conditions in the area are unplayable for a number of teams. Over the past few weeks, Crookston and Thief River Falls mulled over a handful of scenarios in order to meet for games.

"It's something we felt we had to do to get games in and free up our schedule," said Crookston coach Ted Hasz, who expected his team to arrive home around 11 p.m. Friday. "It was a good team-building experience."

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Hasz said he got in touch with contacts in Sioux City through his former college coach at Mayville State, Scott Berry. From there, high school administrators in the area were accommodating, Hasz said.

"The kids were excited to play," Hasz said. "Both teams were. The weather (temperatures were above 70 degrees) was great. The trip was well worth it."

Hasz said the schools' administration was supportive of the efforts.

"I think both athletic directors understood the situation," Hasz said. "They knew we were working hard to make it work financially for both groups. I appreciate them allowing us to go ahead and do this."

Even though the two teams were in close quarters, Hasz said busing together wasn't a problem.

"They're not intermixing too much," he said. "Thief River Falls is pretty much in the back of the bus, and we're mostly in the front."

Miller reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1121; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1121; or send e-mail to tmiller@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: BASEBALLPREP SPORTS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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