Osakis baseball: Streaks prove themselves through 6AA playoffs
The Osakis baseball team proved that it’s a serious threat at the AA level this season by the way it played through the first three playoff games last week.
The Silverstreaks were a bit of an unknown for some teams after coming from Class A a year ago. If they didn’t know before that they could play, teams do now after Osakis came so close to knocking off top-seeded and second-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral last Thursday in St. Cloud.
Instead, Osakis was left to fight its way through the loser’s bracket after dropping a heartbreaker to the Crusaders (21-1) in a walk-off, 6-4 game. Cathedral’s Steven Neutzling came up with a runner on in a tie game in the bottom of the seventh. On a 1-2 pitch, he drove a two-run home run over the right field fence to helped his team survive a scare.
“I feel that even though we lost, we earned a little respect today in our section,” Osakis head coach Shad Schmidt said. “To play with a team like Cathedral and have a chance to win is all you can ask for. We had a lead at one point only to let it relinquish. Then to come back in the top of the seventh to tie shows what type of character and desire this team has.”
The Silverstreaks were trailing 4-2 heading into the top of the seventh when they rallied for two runs. Drew Fearing got things going with a leadoff walk before Jordan Frederick followed with a double to put runners on second and third.
Fearing scored on a wild pitch that also put the tying run on third. That’s when Michael Herringshaw hit a ground ball to short that was misplayed by Neutzling for an error that allowed Frederick to score the tying run. The Cathedral senior needed just a few minutes to redeem himself with the walk-off home run.
Frederick started and threw all seven innings after throwing a complete game on Monday. He scattered 10 hits and a hit batter but kept Osakis in the game throughout the night. He struck out five.
“Jordan gave us a chance to win and our defense played pretty good,” Schmidt said. “We just ran into very good pitching and a team that is very good. I don’t believe in moral victories, but I am proud of the guys for not being intimidated and not putting a team like Cathedral on a pedestal where they think they don’t have a chance. We gave them almost everything we had, just came up short against a good team.”
The Silverstreaks marched all over sixth-seeded Pierz in the second round, winning 11-1 in six innings. Frederick had a two-run home run in the third that helped them open up an early lead. Herringshaw had four RBIs, including a two-run double, while Fearing drove in two and Giesler had three hits and an RBI.
Berberich controlled the game from the mound by allowing just four hits and a walk in the six innings. He fanned six while also letting his defense work behind him.
“Pitching and defense today was phenomenal,” Schmidt said. “Even though we scored 11 runs, I thought it was our pitching and defense that was most impressive. We did not commit an error and made some nice plays. Picking up our second playoff win in this section is pretty remarkable.”
OSAKIS 000 020 2 – 4
CATHEDRAL 001 003 2 – 6
OSAKIS PITCHING – Frederick – L, 7IP, 10H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 1HB, 5SO
OSAKIS OFFENSE – Frederick – 2 1B, RBI, 1 run, SB; L. Berberich – 1B, 2 BB, 1 run, 2 SB; Fearing – 2 1B, 2 BB, 2 runs; Giesler – 1B, RBI; Jarrett Weispfennig – 1B; Brady Berberich – 1B, BB
PIERZ 000 010 – 1
OSAKIS 102 116 – 11
OSAKIS PITCHING – L. Berberich – W, 6IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 6SO
OSAKIS OFFENSE – L. Berberich – 2 1B, RBI, 3 runs, 2 SB, BB, HBP; Fearing – 2B, 1 run, 2 RBI; Frederick – HR, 2 RBI, BB, 3 runs; Hunter Scherr – 1 run; B. Berberich – 1 run; Herringshaw – 1B, 2B, 1 run, 4 RBI; Giesler – 3 1B, RBI; Weispfennig – 1 run