New Prague Races Past Owatonna in Baseball Playoffs
Holding the higher seed and playing at home was not much of an advantage in the first round of the Section 1AAAA baseball playoffs. Three lower seeds scored upsets on Saturday afternoon, including No. 5 seed New Prague beating No. 4 Owatonna 17-8. Sixth-seed Century won at No. 3 Lakeville South 6-2 and No. 7 Rochester Mayo bumped off No. 2 Northfield. Top-seed Farmington held serve with an 11-1, five inning victory over No. 8 Rochester JM.
On Tuesday, June 1 Owatonna will host JM in an elimination game at 5 pm at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park. Coverage will be heard on Kat Kountry 105 FM. The Huskies split with the Rockets this season.
Lakeville South will go to Northfield in the other losers' bracket game. The winners' bracket semifinals have New Prague at Farmington and Century at Mayo. Another round of elimination games are set for Thursday, June 3. The four remaining teams meet in New Prague Saturday, June 5.
The Huskies struck first on the sunny but cool afternoon. With two down in the bottom of the first, three straight Owatonna batters walked and Nick Williams drilled a two-run single for a 2-0 lead. Williams delivered another two-out, two-run single in the third inning.
The problem for Owatonna was the at bats for New Prague in between. The Trojans scored four in the second and six in the third for a 10-2 lead. Williams hit only made a dent in the deficit.
New Prague pounded out 16 hits in the game. Owatonna committed four errors. The Trojans showed a very aggressive approach along the base paths, and that worked in their favor. They also made several standout defensive plays. Third baseman Beau Plaisance retired Huskies lead off man Payton Beyer in each of his first three plate appearances, making two highlight reel plays while doing so.
The Huskies had 11 hits. Williams had three resulting in those four RBI's. Matt Seykora had three hits also. Taylor Bogen and Caleb Veriede had two hits apiece.
Seykora started on the mound and was relieved by Gavin Rein. Brayden Truelson followed. Drew Otteson pitched five innings for New Prague. Nolan Eischens took over afterward. Matt Zweber finished off things in the seventh when Eischens was pulled, presumably with the pitch count in mind for the next round.
Section 2AA baseball
Medford (8th seed) edged LeSueur-Henderson (9th) 2-1 Saturday in Medford. AJ Vandereide tossed the complete game, striking out nine. Casey Chambers had two of the Tigers six hits. Medford goes to top-seed Belle Plaine Tuesday, June 1.
NRHEG (12th seed) went to historic Johnson Park in New Ulm and upset Minnesota Valley Lutheran (5th) 7-4. Daxter Lee threw the complete game, striking out seven and allowing six hits.