Faribault Baseball Falls to Owatonna in Thrilling Game
The Faribualt Falcon baseball team left 15 runners on base, 11 in scoring position, in a 5-4 walk-off loss at Dartts Park in Owatonna on Thursday night.
Owatonna scored the first run in the first inning when junior Noah Budach scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior Kody Kiel. Budach stole second and third base to manufacture the first run.
The Falcons answered in the second with two runs of their own.
With one out, junior Austin Rendler walked and senior Jacob Frank scaled a 2-1 pitch into left field for a single. The ball was hit so hard Rendler couldn't advance beyond second base. Senior Payton Miller was walked to fill the bases and starting Faribualt pitcher junior Adam Vos hit a single to score Rendler.
The Falcons took the lead when No. 9 hitter senior Colton Helgeson collected a single on a 2-0 count to knock in Miller.
Faribault loaded the bases in the top of the third and did not score and also had the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings and didn't score.
Vos went the first two innings and threw 32 pitches, fanning two and walking one while giving up just one hit. He gave way to Dylan McEachran in the third inning. McEachran had some control issues -- facing seven batters, walking three and allowing two hits to give Owatonna a 4-2 lead.
The score would stay that way until the top of the seventh when the Falcons opened the inning against a new left-handed pitcher with back-to-back singles by Miller and Vos.
No. 9 hitter Helgeson had a sacrifice bunt against Kody Kiel to get the tying run in scoring position.
Junior Dylan Vargo slapped a single to the second baseman with the infield drawn in, resulting in an error and a run scored, and then Dylan O'Neil was hit by a pitch before Kiel struck out the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, leaving two more guys on the basepatches.
It looked like the game was going to go into extra innings before a two-out single by Huskies cleanup hitter Abe Havelka. He stole second base (one of four steals by Owatonna), then Zach Mensink drove a 1-2 pitch over the head of Chase Ernste in right field and Owatonna had their walk-off win.
Seven pitchers threw in the game with eight pitching changes, four by each team.
Owatonna head coach Tate Cummins had Kiel throw in two different innings. KIel got the win and Colton Helgeson took the loss for Faribault.
Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game were Jacob Frank with two smashed singles, Adam Vos who threw well to start the game and also had two hits a run scored and an RBI, and Helgeson with two hits and an RBI.
The 7-8-9 hitters tallied five of the Falcons' eight hits.
Owatonna had six hits in the game. The Huskies had four errors and Faribault one in the game. Faribault drops to 3-4 and Owatonna is 4-2.
The Falcons are at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon and play Class 3A No. 2 rated New Ulm. I'll have the call on KDHL Radio beginning at 3:15PM.
The game was a fundraiser to fight cancer with all proceeds going to the family of 2013 Owatonna High School graduate Matt Ratzloff, who is battling leukemia.
T-shirts were being sold with the word cancer written on a baseball and a batter swatting the ball with the words "get out of here" across the bottom.
On the back of the Huskies blue shirts was #ratzloffstrong and on the back of the Falcon green shirts #HonoringJerryKes.
Some Kes and Ratzloff family members were in attendance.