The Osakis baseball team brings back nine letter winners from a team that finished 17-6 a year ago and is hoping for a chance to repeat as Prairie Conference champions for the fourth-straight year.

Games continue to be on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and head coach Shad Schmidt would love to get an opportunity to lead a senior-laden group onto the field that he thinks could accomplish big things.

“I believe we are the favorites in the conference this year once again,” Schmidt said. “As returning three-peat champions, we have a lot of returning kids but have to compete hard every day to stay on top. Upsala-Swanville has many returners, including their pitching.”

The Silverstreaks would have six seniors returning to the starting lineup, with two more looking to make an impact. Luke Imdieke, Carter Rost, Hunter Infanger, Isaac Froemming, Luke Staloch and Mason Moore were part of a team that won three Section 6AA tournament games last season.

“We have nine letter winners back, eight of which were starters last season,” Schmidt said. “I think we have a deep pitching core. We lost one pitcher from last season, but we return our top three. Defensively, we should be strong. I like our infield a lot, and we have athletes in the outfield.”

Waylon Muenzhuber, Austin Lennes and Bauer Klimek are the three non-senior letter winners on the roster. Kobie Lara, Ryan Milhausen, Carter Watness, Brady Mages, Tyson Hagedon and Drew Imdieke look to make an impact on the varsity scene for the first time.

“Offense should be a strong point for us,” Schmidt said. “We have a lot of experience back that (would likely) push to make a deeper run in the playoffs and a legitimate shot at a state tournament berth if we stay healthy.”

Pierz, Foley, St, Cloud Cathedral, Royalton and Annandale are also quality teams out of Section 6AA. It’s a field that always boasts some of the top Class AA baseball teams in the state, and Osakis feels like if given a chance to compete, it can be right there in that class.

(Editor’s note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota State High School League spring activities season is suspended through at least May 4. Whether a season will be played at all is very much up in the air, but these spring preview stories are meant to give coaches for area teams an opportunity to share what they think their players might be capable of if any type of season is played this year.)

2020 OSAKIS BASEBALL ROSTER

SENIORS- Luke Imdieke, Hunter Infanger, isaac Froemming, Carter Rost, Luke Staloch, Mason Moore, Kobie Lara, Ryan Milhausen; JUNIORS- Waylon Muentzhuber, Austin Lennes; SOPHOMORES- Carter Watness, Brady Mages; Bauer Klimek; FRESHMEN Tyson Hagedon; EIGHTH GRADE- Drew Imdieke;

HEAD COACH- Shad Schmidt, 14th season, 157-106-1; ASSISTANT COACHES- Bill Infanger, Dylan Kohorst, Matt Hoelscher