Osakis gets its first win of the season behind clutch hitting at the bottom of the order
It took a couple of weeks, but the Silverstreaks finally got their first win. Osakis beat St. John's Prep 13-3 in five innings.
It took three games and a few postponements for the Osakis baseball team to walk off the field with its first win. Behind a solid pitching performance from Ben Berger and quality plate appearances from the bottom of the order, the Silverstreaks beat St. John’s Prep 13-3 in five innings Tuesday.
“It feels really good,” Osakis freshman starting pitcher Berger said. “It took us a long time to feel like we are in a groove, but we’re in it now.”
Berger threw all five innings, allowing just three runs while striking out eight batters. He was tested in the first inning when a leadoff walk circled the bases on a throwing error to first base. Osakis’ Wyatt Sell threw the St. John’s runner out at the plate to keep the game scoreless.
“Any time we can get an extra out defensively with this young team, we are going to take it,” Osakis co-head coach Kendell Proell said. “It’s good to see, and it’s good for the kids. They’ve been down the last couple of weeks with the way things have been going. We’ve been playing some really good baseball teams. It was a good start for us after that.”
The Silverstreaks’ bats broke through in the bottom of the second with a five-run burst, which was capped off on a two-RBI double from senior Waylon Muenzhuber. Mekai Hoelscher and Seth Staloch got on base with a walk and a single.
Tyson Hagedon drove in Hoelscher with an RBI single before junior Bauer Klimek drove in Staloch on a fielder’s choice. Klimek and Kyle Mages came around to score on Muenzhuber's drive over the head of the St. John’s Prep left fielder.
The bottom of the order for Osakis sparked the offense with patient plate appearances and smart base running, which set up the top of the order to drive in runners in scoring position.
“We’ve shuffled the lineup around quite a bit in the first few games,” Proell said. “Some of those guys in the bottom of the order are going to stay there and hit the ball. They made good contact. It was good to see them get on base and be aggressive on the base paths.”
St. John’s Prep had an answer for Osakis in the top of the third inning. Berger’s three walks came back to bite him on a two-out RBI single, which was part of a three-run inning. Berger was able to battle back to strand two runners on base and throw two more shutout innings.
“I didn’t feel too much pressure,” Berger said. “We have good coaches, and they expect a lot out of us. We are giving it our all right now so we can become a better team. I just had to put my head down, throw hard and focus on throwing strikes.”
Berger helped himself out in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single. Later, he came around to score on Hagedon’s fielder’s choice. The run was the fifth of the inning that put Osakis up 10-3.
“The last few games, we haven’t been able to get over those bad innings,” Proell said. “That’s what’s hurt us. Defensively, we haven’t been able to find those outs. To see us get out of that tonight and get our bats rolling felt nice.”
The Silverstreaks clinched the mercy-rule victory with a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Osakis is 1-3 on the season, with areas for improvement going forward. Proell and Bill Infanger would like to see their team make the simple plays in the field more consistently.
“There’s some situational things that a lot of our kids don’t really understand yet,” Proell said. “We’re starting to understand them. Our practices are intended to replicate those game situations, and our guys are starting to get better at that. I think that was a big thing for us tonight. We had a couple of fly balls in the outfield, and our guys were ready. That was good to see."