Owatonna Drops Playoff Opener, Will Host Rockets Wednesday
Memorial Day baseball returned to Section 1-4A Monday as Owatonna traveled to Lakeville South High School for a first-round playoff game. The Huskies threatened early by loading the bases in the first inning with no outs. South doused that chance and went on the blank OHS 7-0. Owatonna will host Rochester John Marshall Wednesday, June 1 at Dartt's Park in an elimination game.
After an impressive rendition of the National Anthem by a South High School student on electric guitar, Owatonna's Ayden Walter walked, Mitch Seykora got aboard on a bunt single, and Caleb Vereide walked. Cougars' senior Zakary Endres then struck out three straight Huskies.
Owatonna batters struck out 13 times overall against a pair of South hurlers. Endres was forced to leave with a health issue in the third inning. Lefty Tate Marland threw the final four innings, allowing just three baserunners on a dropped third strike, a hit batter, and a walk.
South shortstop Michael Gerda denied Walter a couple of times with a strong throw to first to lead off the third inning and a leaping grab of a line drive in the fifth.
The Cougars scored four in the second and added single runs in each of the next three innings. OHS sent five pitchers to the mound. Addison Andrix, Chris Homuth, Michael Reinardy, Eli Knutson, and Jonathan Clubb all threw.
South outhit the Huskies 11-7. OHS had three errors. They also turned a double play and threw out a baserunner trying to advance from first to third on a single. The Cougars were charged with two errors.
Owatonna (10-11) will host Rochester John Marshall (5-16) Wednesday at 5 pm at Dartt's Park. The Huskies swept JM this season 5-4 and 11-6.
Defending state champ Farmington rallied from an early deficit to beat the Rockets 8-4 on Monday. Rochester Mayo topped Century 11-5 in the other game in the six-team section.
On Wednesday, Century plays at Farmington and Mayo goes to Lakeville South. The remaining teams will advance to Red Wing Saturday, June 4.