Section 1AAA Baseball Finals: Northfield 4, Owatonna 3
The Huskies took the top seed and Big Nine champ Northfield down to the wire in the section finals Tuesday in Red Wing, falling 4-3 on a bottom of the seventh run by the Raiders.
Northfield earned their first trip to state since 2002 on a single to right field that scored a runner from second base. The Raiders started the inning with a single and moved him into scoring position on a two-strike sacrifice bunt.
Each team started the game with bases loaded and no one in their first inning. Owatonna generated just one run, but the Raiders pushed two across and added a run in the second for a 3-1 lead. The Huskies got within one run on a third inning RBI from Sam Hylle that scored Eric Benson, who was running for Alec Holcomb who had walked with two out. Owatonna tied the game in the sixth as Blake Westphal scored on a single by Nick Medo.
Isaac Rocha took over for Clay Leidall on the mound in the third inning and retired seven straight batters, striking out four of them. Brett Solie started the game, but faced just one batter.
This was the third straight season that Northfield (20-4) eliminated Owatonna (12-13) from the playoffs. The seventh-seed Huskies went 4-2 in the section tournament. Owatonna has appeared in the section finals four times in the past eight years, winning the title in 2009. The Raiders will play at CHS Field on June 11 in the state quarterfinals.
Owatonna seniors this season included Trey Fails, Zac Karsten, Dexter Leer, Nick Medo, Joey Smith, Isaac Rocha, Grant Wehseler and Cameron Jenson.