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B-E Bluedogs secure region bid in thriller

Brandon-Evansville’s Nate Meissner steps into a pitch during a game against Millerville on June 13. Meissner had four hits in Saturday’s win over Osakis, including the game-tying double in the ninth and the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th that secured a Region 16C berth for the Bluedogs. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

The Brandon-Evansville Bluedogs were one out away from seeing their season end a couple times this weekend but are right where they wanted to be after a battle with Osakis on Saturday.

A veteran Bluedogs squad and a young Osakis team went back-and-forth through the late innings before the Bluedogs rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to walk off as an 8-7 winner on a game-winning hit by Nate Meissner.

It was part of a big game from Meissner. He finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and also had a game-tying double in the ninth with two outs that forced extra innings.

The Bluedogs went on to lose an 8-2 game to Urbank-Parkers Prairie in the West tournament title game on Sunday as the Bombers wrapped up the regular season and tournament championships. That earned Urbank-Parkers Prairie the top seed form the West in the Region 16C tournament.

Osakis led 7-6 against Brandon-Evansville after scoring an unearned run in the top of the 10th. Derek Waldvogel reached on an error with two outs and advanced to second on a stolen base when a throw from first to second ended up in the outfield after the Bluedogs’ Travis Santjer thought he had Waldvogel picked off first.

The Hawks would make Brandon-Evansville pay for those mistakes. Brandon Giesler made sure of that as he laced a ball to right-center field that Matt Bruns got a glove on but couldn’t catch as Waldvogel came around to score the tying run.

The Bluedogs were down to their final out in the bottom of the 10th with runners on first and second. Santjer delivered the game-tying hit off of Ky Zimmel when he singled to center and Chris Shea slid in safely and avoided the tag at the plate.

That set the stage for Meissner. He came up two batters later with the bases loaded and singled up the middle to send the Bluedogs to the Region 16C tournament with a walk-off win.

Osakis had led 4-1 in this game, but big days from Meissner and Lee Nelson helped Brandon-Evansville to the win. Nelson had a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth that tied the game at four apiece. He added a double and drove in four runs as he and N. Meissner combined to plate seven of their eight runs. That helped the Bluedogs overcome five errors in the game.

“You always hope your three and four hitters can have big games,” the Bluedogs’ Mike Bruns said. “They both came through at the most important time of the season.”

Zimmel took the tough-luck loss after going the final inning-plus. Waldvogel had a no-decision after throwing the first 8 2/3 innings. He kept the Bluedogs in check much of the night before Lee’s home run gave them a spark in the sixth.

Ben Anderson had a big game for Osakis from the leadoff spot. He had a double and three singles and scored twice. Drew Fearing had a single and a double, Devin Waldvogel added two hits and Derek Waldvogel scored twice.

The Hawks took a step in the right direction this season to make an impression on the rest of the Resorters West Division. They finished third in league play at 9-6 and finished with a final record of 11-8 with a relatively young roster.

Brandon-Evansville (14-5) will now play in Dent on August 2 at 5 p.m. against an opponent that is yet to be determined.


OSAKIS 012 100 101 1 – 7

B-E 100 003 101 2 – 8

OSAKIS PITCHING – Derek Waldvogel – 8 2/3IP, 6R, 4SO; Ky Zimmel – L, 1IP, 2R, 1SO; B-E PITCHING – Collin Modahl – 9IP, 11H, 6R, 3ER, 2BB, 5SO; Santjer – W, 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0BB, 1SO

OSAKIS OFFENSE – Anderson – 4-5, BB, 2B, 2 runs; K. Zimmel – 0-6, 1 run; Fearing – 2-5, 2B, 1 run; Chad Zimmel – 1-5; Colter Fortenberry – 1-5, 2B; Cory Collins – 0-4, BB, 1 run; Devin Waldvogel – 2-4, HBP; Derek Waldvogel – 1-5, 2 runs; Giesler – 0-5, RBI

B-E OFFENSE – Adam Johnson – BB; Jake Nohre – 0-3; Santjer – 1-2, RBI; Modahl – 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, HBP, 3 runs; N. Meissner – 4-5, 2B, BB, 1 run, 3 RBI; Nelson – 2-4, HR, 2B, 1 run, 4 RBI, BB; Shawn Krueger – 0-5; Monte Hinzmann – 0-4, HBP; Shea – 1-4, BB, 1 run; Travis Krueger – 0-5; Josh Meissner – 0-4, BB, 1 run

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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