The Owatonna High School baseball team will play for a section title on Tuesday. But they will have to beat Northfield twice to win the championship and advance to state.

The Huskies lost to the Raiders 13-2 Saturday in the winner's bracket final of the Section 1AAA tournament in Red Wing, but bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Hastings to set up a rematch with Northfield. The teams meet at 5PM June 2 in Red Wing. If the Huskies win the game, the clubs will meet again for the section title. A Northfield win sends the Raiders to the state tournament. Radio coverage on Tuesday night is available on Kat Kountry 105FM, katkountry105.com or with the Radiopup app for your phone or mobile device.

The Huskies grabbed a short lived 2-0 lead over Northfield in the third inning of Saturday's game. But the high-powered Raiders stormed back with six in the bottom of the inning and seven more in the fourth.

That put OHS into the elimination bracket against Hastings, who had knocked Rochester Century out of the tournament 2-0 earlier in the day. Owatonna prevailed 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sam Hylle reached on a missed third strike to open the inning. Isaac Rocha attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Hastings threw out Hylle at second. Rocha stole second base on a close play that brought out the Raiders coach for a short argument. Blake Westphal singled to short center with Rocha holding at third. Hastings walked Brett Solie to load the bases. Nick Medo singled to center to plate the winning run. Medo also drove in Owatonna's other run with a fifth-inning fielder's choice.

The Raiders threatened early and often. They had at least one base hit every inning. Hastings put runners in scoring position every inning as well. But Owatonna made several key defensive plays. Westphal made a spectacular diving catch in short center field to end the first inning with two runners on base. Owatonna threw out two runners at home and caught two others off of first. Trey Fails went the distance on the mound, giving up 11 hits, fanning six and walking just two.

 

The Section 1AAA final four is held at the Athletic Park in Red Wing each year. Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media