2013 ROCK RIVER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
Recent Reports -
Hawks are 2013 Rock River Champions!
9/7/13) - The Hartford Hawks Baseball team won the 2013 Rock River League Grand Championship on Saturday by defeating the Milton Raptors 4-3 at Hartford’s West Side Park in their first ever RRL Grand Championship appearance.
The Hawks (25-12 overall) were like a team on a mission during the post-season as they won every game, (five of the seven were decided by one run including two in extra innings) after finishing the regular season with a mediocre 9-7 record. Hartford won the RRL play-in game against the Hustisford Astros 7-3 and then went on to knock off the RRL North's #1 seeded Kewaskum A’s, 2-1. The Hawks then defeated the #2 seeded Brownsville 49ers 5-4 before sweeping the Rubicon Red Sox 4-3 and 3-2 (in 11 innings) to win the North Division title. Game one of the best-of-three Grand Championship series was played in front of a large crowd at Schilberg Park in Milton on September 1st and the Hawks prevailed 3-0 in 12 innings behind the strong pitching of Matt Buhrow and timely hitting from Tyler Klandrud.
When asked what he felt the key to the final game was, Milton Raptors manager Doug Welch said “We didn’t hit Buhrow. He hit his spots, had good velocity and kept the ball down." Buhrow, a former pitcher at Carroll University, has had an interesting year as less than twelve months ago (Sept. 11, 2012) he had Tommy John surgery on his right (pitching) elbow and wasn’t cleared to begin throwing until just after the season began. Hawks manager Ben Kluck talked about Buhrow’s comeback “well, we slowly worked him back into it , you know, two innings, three innings here and there and as the season wore on we stretched him out a little more. It also was a lot of me trusting him to let me know how his arm felt. He’s a bulldog. He’ll go out there and fight for you until you have to go get him." Going out and getting him happened rarely throughout the playoffs.
With the Hawks one win away from their first RRL Grand Championship, the series moved to Hartford’s West Side Park for game two and the Hawks didn’t let down an even bigger crowd of hometown fans. In the top of the first inning, Buhrow struggled with his control, walking three Raptor batsmen and giving up a double to Josh Schere which resulted in the Raptors scoring two runs. The Hawks knew they had to get to work and that is what they did as Jordan Stephans lead off with a single to centerfield and stole second. Cale Klink then bunted him over to third before Tom Kluck scored him on a groundout to short. The score remained unchanged until the bottom of the fourth when the Hawks plated a run when Tom Kluck lead off the inning with a single and was bunted over by his brother Jim before DH Tyler Klandrud knocked him in with a groundball single to center field. The score was tied until the bottom of the sixth when the Hawks struck again with two runs on a walk, a Klandrud double and a Derek Hall single.
Buhrow, who is from Edgerton (which is about 5 minutes from Milton), was locked in a tight pitchers battle with childhood friend and starting Raptors pitcher Sean McCann as they both continued to shut down hitters until the eighth when Buhrow gave up a leadoff double to Dave Sagitis. Sagitis advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Scotty Steinke. Buhrow then struck out the next batter to get out of further trouble with the Hawks clinging to a narrow 4-3 lead.
The Hawks pitcher credited his teams strong defense after the game. “No matter how I pitch, I have the confidence in the defense behind me. If I throw a ground ball I know that Tom, Jim, Cale, and Chad are going to make the play. I know if there is a flyball to the gap that Derek, Jordan, Zach or Joe are going to run it down."
In the ninth inning the Hawks took Milton down 1-2-3 and now it was time to spray the champagne and go wild. Hawks Shortstop Jim Kluck remarked amid the celebration, “I played my whole life with my brothers and nothing makes me happier than to be able to win a Rock River championship with them. And we wouldn’t be in this position without my dad as he really made us understand the true meaning of hard work and dedication. This ones for him.” Former Carroll University standout and current Hawks centerfielder Jordan Stephans said “I think it was big to get that run after they got two in the top of the first. We barely got into the playoffs but we proved that anything can happen and here we are, champions!”
(8/12/12) - After a lackluster showing at home against Hustisford, the Hawks hung on to win the last game of the season 9-8 at Horicon.
(8/5/12) - The Hawks started slow and went on to lose to Kewaskum 13-6 at West Side Park.
(8/3/12) - Behind the 4-hit pitching of Zach Christopherson the Hawks beat visiting Rubicon 4-0.
(7/31/12) - The Hawks lose an exciting back and forth matchup last night at Lannon 6-5.
(7/29/12) - The Hawks offense struggled after the long layoff, losing on the road to Brownsville 3-0.
(7/18/12) - The Hawks make it five in a row with a 4-3 win over the Benders in West Bend.
(7/16/12) - The Hawks improve their season long winning streak to four with a hard fought 4-3 win over Oakfield at West Side Park.
(7/14/12) - The visiting Neosho Rockets were the latest victims of the resurgent Hartford Hawks, losing 4-2 in a game played at West Side Park.
(7/8/12) - The Hawks had an exciting 6-5 walk-off victory against West Bend 7up last night at Hartford West Side Park.
Recent Results -
Saturday, September 7th (SWABA Championship)
Milw. Angels - 7
Hawks - 12
Saturday, September 7th (RRL Grand Championships-Game 2)
Milton - 3
Hawks - 4
Sunday, September 1st (RRL Grand Championships-Game 1) - 12 Innings
Hawks - 3
Milton - 0
Saturday, August 25th (RRL Playoffs) -11 Innings
Rubicon - 2
Hawks - 3
Sunday, August 24th (RRL Playoffs)
Hawks - 4
Rubicon - 3
Saturday, August 18th (RRL Playoffs)
Brownsville - 4
Hawks - 5
Sunday, August 17th (RRL Playoffs)
Hawks - 2
Kewaskum - 1
The Hawks joined in an effort with others to raise $30,000 for lights to be installed at West Side Park. The group was successful in reaching their goal. The city of Hartford committed $100,000 to the project and with the donations of many individuals, families, and local businesses the Hawks will be able to play games under the lights! The project is scheduled to be completed in early May.
The 2nd Annual Ken Kluck Memorial Cribbage Tournament will be on Sunday, March 25th at 12:30pm. This will be held at the Hartford Country Club again. There will be more details posted soon!
Last season West Side Park recieved a major face-lift. With donations from Tom Klink and the Hartford Select Baseball Club, the Hawks home field installed an entirely new infield. There were a number of volunteers who helped on this project and the Hawks would like to thank them all. The field recieved new sod, a new mound, new bases, and a new crushed granite surface over the infield dirt. The field looks great and the team can't wait to get started. The Hawks would also like to thank the Hartford Police Union for donating an entirely new sound system to the Hawks. With this new system the Hawks
games this summer are sure to be rocking!!
On August 16th 2010 the Hartford Hawks lost their coach Ken Kluck. Coach Kluck had three sons and four nephews on the team. He coached baseball at Hartford Union high school, and was the head coach of the Hawks for many years. He loved baseball and loved his players even more. Coach Kluck will be missed but never forgotten.
2010 TRI COUNTY NITE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS