Baseball Preview: Owatonna Faces Northfield Saturday
The Huskies and Raiders have some recent history. Northfield has knocked Owatonna from the section tournament in each of the past two years. But that's history.
Owatonna coach Tate Cummins feels good about his team's chances in Saturday's Section 1AAA winner's bracket match-up with Northfield. The Huskies are playing well in all aspects of the game and have won three straight playoff games. Northfield is the top seed in the tournament and only needed two wins to reach this stage.
Saturday's 1:30PM game is at the Red Wing Athletic Park. The day starts with Rochester Century and Hastings in an elimination game at 11AM. The winner waits for a 4PM game against the loser of the Owatonna / Northfield contest. The winner of the Huskies / Raiders game advances to Tuesday's section final.
Northfield won the Big Nine title this spring and swept Owatonna. The Raiders won an extra inning game at Dartts Park early in the season and topped the Huskies 12-2 in the rematch.
But lately Owatonna (11-11) has had all parts of their game working well. They are averaging more than eight runs a game in the playoffs. The defense was particularly sharp against Hastings on Memorial Day. The pitching tandem of Isaac Rocha and Clay Leidall nearly threw a no-hitter against second seed Rochester John Marshall.
Northfield (18-4) has won six of their past seven games and has averaged more than nine runs per game on the season. Seven players for the Raiders have home runs this season, including junior Caleb Marek with seven himself. Northfield seems to have a deep, balanced pitching rotation. Seven pitchers have at least two wins, but none have more than three.
Saturday's game can be heard on Kat Kountry 105FM, katkountry105.com or with the Radiopup app for your mobile device or smartphone. Red Wing's ballpark is one of the nicest in southern Minnesota. If you haven't been there before, or even if you have, it's a little tricky to get to. It is built into the side of a hill and nestled in a neighborhood.