Baseball: Strong baserunning guides Osakis to win over Minnewaska
Four runs in the top of the first inning helped Osakis earn win No. 4 of the season.
GLENWOOD - Osakis head coach Kendell Proell has made teaching strong baserunning a point of emphasis this season, and it showed in Thursday's game at Minnewaska.
Osakis had some solid hits and took advantage of some Minnewaska errors to jump ahead 4-0 in the top of the first inning.
And the Silverstreaks kept things steady from there, winning 6-2, to improve to 4-2 on the season.
"It's been something we've stressed all year," Proell said about baserunning. "It was finally good to see that we had all nine guys on the same page. We had nine guys who all understood where the cuts were to go and why we were doing it. It was good to see a whole team effort on the base path."
Minnewaska (4-3) committed three errors in the first inning, which helped Osakis take control of the game early.
"I don't think we were quite ready to play, and I think they hit the ball well into some different spots," Minnewaska head coach Joe Alexander said. "We didn't make plays that we had to make. When you play good teams, you can't afford to start with three errors in the first inning and expect to play competitive baseball."
That first inning was abnormal for the Lakers (4-3), Alexander says.
"Although it didn't show here, we're a strong defensive team, and we throw a lot of strikes," he said. "Our hitting is coming around. For this time of the year and coming off the long, extended winter season we had, we're happy with where we're at. We're going to use this as our starting point to get ready for a playoff run, and we'll be okay."
The Lakers calmed things down from there, as the Silverstreaks were held to a run in the second and a run in the fourth but nothing else on Thursday.
"We adjusted and fought back, but they pitched well and played good defense," Alexander said. "We only had two hits on the board, but we hit the ball hard. And they made the plays, so credit to them."
The Lakers cut into the Silverstreaks in the fourth inning with a pair of runs, both of which were knocked in by sophomore Levi Johnson.
But the Silversteaks stopped the Lakers' momentum more often than not to seal the win.
"We've been preaching this year about trying to kill the other team's momentum," Proell said. "Like when they had the bases loaded, we stepped up. We got 12 guys in our dugout that we can put on the field, and they'll make plays this year."
On the mound, sophomore Seth Staloch earned the win for Osakis, while junior Grant Mages pitched in relief.
"Our pitching has been consistent," Proell said. "We're usually not walking a lot of guys, Whereas last year we'd walk 10-12 guys. Not letting other teams get guys on base is huge for us."
Osakis had eight hits in Thursday's game.
Junior first baseman Jacob Johanson had a big game in the batter's box for the Silverstreaks.
He went 4-for-4 at the plate and had many timely hits.
"I saw a lot of pitches, I was watching how fast you're throwing him where he's putting up, and I saw that the umpire was calling a lot of outside strikes," Johanson said. "I took the approach to push everything to the opposite field and flow my bat towards the right side. And then, with every inside pitch, I would pull it to the left side of the field."
Osakis now turns its attention to Browerville-Eagle Valley.
Osakis hosts Browerville-Eagle Valley on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
"That's going to be a huge conference game for us," Proell said. "They beat us by two in Clarissa two weeks ago, so we're looking forward to the rematch. We'll probably get their ace, and we'll give them our best pitcher. We also want to get some of the section (6AA) wins to get up in the section a little bit and stay away from the middle of the section."
Minnewaska plays a doubleheader at Melrose Area on Monday, starting at 2 p.m.
"We got to get healthy," Alexander said. "We're a little nicked up; we've got a couple of guys that have been hurt for a while, and we need to get them back in and find some sort of chemistry in the lineup and get ready to go. We play in a really tough West Central Conference and play in Section 3AA, which is one of the toughest sections in the state."
Osakis - 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 - 6 8 3
Minnewaska - 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 - 2 2 3
OSAKIS OFFENSE - Tyson Hagedon - 0-3, R, BB; Jacob Johanson - 4-4, R, RBI; Grant Mages - 1-4, R, RBI; Wyatt Sell - 0-4, R; Seth Staloch - 2-4; Mekai Hoelscher - 1-2, 2 R, BB
OSAKIS PITCHING - Seth Staloch - W - 3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 RBI, 7 BB, 5 SO; Grant Mages - 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB
MINNEWASKA OFFENSE - Levi Johnson - 1-3, 2 RBI, BB; Dylan Alexander - 1-4; Noah Jensen - 0-2, 2 BB; Alex Panitzke - 0-1, R, 2 BB; Thomas Poegel - 0-2, R, 2 BB; Austin Ballhagen - 0-2, BB
MINNEWASKA PITCHING - Jack Majerus - 2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO; Dylan Alexander, 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO; Connor Erickson - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB