The Brandon-Evansville Bluedogs dropped their first game of the season last weekend but still led the Resorters West Division as they get set to host the East's top team this weekend.
Brandon-Evansville ran into a hot-hitting Osakis team as the Hawks scored four runs in the first inning and had 13 hits overall on Sunday on their way to a 7-4 win. That knocked the Bluedogs to 9-1, but they still held a two-game lead in the West with four to play after beating Urbank-Parkers Prairie 7-1 on Saturday.
Osakis got eight good innings from former Silverstreaks' player Matt Laven to secure the win. The Hawks improved to 5-3 with the win as they handed the Bluedogs' Shawn Krueger his first loss of the summer after getting to him for six runs, four earned, on 11 hits and two walks in six innings.
"Osakis has some young, talented players," Brandon-Evansville's Mike Bruns said. "Their future is bright if they can keep all these kids together."
Bruns helped the Bluedogs beat the Bombers on Saturday with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Brandon-Evansville put up six runs in the sixth to open up what was a 1-1 game heading into that inning.
The Bluedogs used three straight walks and a hit-by-pitch to set up that big inning. Adam Johnson then cleared the bases with a double before Nate Meissner drove him in with a double of his own.
Dan Schaffer was the beneficiary of that as he earned the win in six innings of work. He allowed just the one run on seven hits and one intentional walk, while striking out four.
The split sets the stage for a match-up between the best two teams in the Resorters League this weekend. Carlos (9-0) and Brandon-Evansville (8-1) will meet in Evansville this Sunday at 2 p.m.
It's the first time these two teams have met this season. Both teams have fielded good teams in the past, but it's a series that Carlos has controlled in recent history during a stretch where the Cougars made seven straight state tournament appearances from 2004-2010.
"To be honest, the Bluedogs can't call it much of a rivalry because we haven't beat the Cougars much over the years," Bruns said. "It's always fun to play them, though. You know you have to play at a high level to compete with them, and it's nice to see them toward the end of the season to measure where [we] are at."
It will be a good test for a Brandon-Evansville team that is trying to get back to a state tournament and lock up the automatic bid in the Region 16C tournament with a West Division title.
"Our goal every year is to make the state tournament," Bruns said. "It's definitely not an easy road, but if we can beat Carlos on Sunday, it's a huge step toward clinching the Resorters West title and the automatic bid to the Region 16C tournament."
The Bluedogs will also play a July 4 game against Ashby in Evansville at 7 p.m. They will then travel to Clarissa for a 2 p.m. game on July 6. They are still trying to find a date for a make-up game against Kensington.
B-E 200 200 000 - 4 5 2
OSAKIS 410 100 100 - 7 13 0
B-E PITCHING - Krueger - L, 6IP, 11H, 6R, 4ER, 2BB, 1SO; Mike Bruns - 2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 1SO
B-E OFFENSE - Johnson - 1-4, 2B, HBP, 2 runs; Nate Meissner - 1-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI; Lee Nelson - 0-3, RBI, BB; Ryan Hendrickson - 1-4, 1 run; Chris Shea - 1-3, BB, RBI; Krueger - 0-2, BB; Mi. Bruns - 0-1; Monte Hinzmann - 1-3; Schaffer - 0-1; Brent Meissner - 0-3; Josh Meissner - BB; Nolan Bartholomew - 0-3, 1 run; Kyle Bruns - 0-1
B-E 000 016 000 - 7 6 0
U-PP 000 100 000 - 1 9 0
B-E PITCHING - Schaffer - W, 6IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 1IBB, 0BB, 4SO; Matt Bruns - 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2B, 1SO; Hendrickson - 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3SO
B-E OFFENSE - Johnson - 1-4, 2B, 1 run, 3 RBI, BB; N. Meissner - 2-5, 2B, RBI; Nelson - 0-4, BB; Hendrickson - 0-4, BB, 1 run; Hinzmann - 0-0, 4 BB, 1 run; Ma. Bruns - 0-1; Schaffer - 0-4, BB, 1 run; B. Meissner - 0-2, 2 BB, 1 run, RBI; Mi. Bruns - 1-3, 2B, HBP, 2 runs, RBI; Billie Juul - 2-4