Owatonna Baseball Season Ends in Lakeville
Owatonna fell behind early and had chances to rally late, but fell 8-2 to Lakeville South Monday in the Section 1AAAA playoffs. Their season ends with the defeat.
Monday's start was delayed by rain for about 30 minutes at Lakeville North High School. Rain and sun alternated throughout the game, but play was never stopped after it started. South jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second with a two-run home run and a pair of RBI singles. The Huskies, who were the home team as the higher seed, only batted three players in each of the first three innings. They had a batter reach on a bunt in the first, but he was picked off first base.
Owatonna broke through in the fourth. Tucker Alstead and Noah Budach walked. Abe Havelka hit a long drive to center field, which was caught, but the outfielder fell down allowing Jake Miller, who was running for Alstead, to score from second base.
South scored on a two-run double in the fifth and added a run-scoring triple in the sixth for a 7-1 lead. The Huskies scored in the last of the sixth. Havelka reached on an error and later scored on Nolan Malo's sacrifice fly. But the Huskies left the bases loaded, as they had in the fifth. Over the final four innings Owatonna stranded 10 runners. South walked nine batters over that stretch, plus had the error, hit a batter and gave up a couple of hits.
Lakeville South capped the scoring with a run in the seventh for the 8-2 final. Matt Bothun started on the mound for the Huskies. He was followed by Brady Schuster, Jon Klecker and Matt Segler. Zach Mensink had two hits. Bothun and Kodey Kiel were the only seniors on the section roster for the Huskies, who end their season at 9-13. Owatonna dropped its playoff opener 6-2 at Mayo on Saturday.
Top-seed Lakeville North beat Rochester Mayo on Monday 6-2, according to the Minnesota State High School League 1AAAA bracket. South eliminated Mayo 14-1 afterward.
South (7-16) advances to the final four at Dundas on Saturday, June 3, along with with Lakeville North (17-5), Farmington (11-9) and New Prague (10-10). This marks the first time since 2007 the Big Nine Conference has been shut out of the final four in the large-school class of Section 1.
By contrast, Section 1AAA will consist of only Big Nine teams. Red Wing, Northfield, Albert Lea and Austin will convene in Red Wing on Saturday.