Section 1AAA Baseball: Owatonna 9, Hastings 6
Dynamic defense led Owatonna past Hasings 9-6 on Memorial Day. The Huskies are 3-0 in the playoffs and will face Big Nine champ and top seed Northfield on Saturday at Red Wing.
The Huskies got great defensive plays in all parts of the field during their victory at John Adams Middle School in Rochester. Center fielder Blake Westphal started a relay that ended with the final out of the first inning at third base as a player tried to stretch a double into a triple. In the second, shortstop Dexter Leer got a Raiders runner caught up in a rundown between second and third that resulted in another tag out by third baseman Noah Scheid. In the same frame, right fielder Isaac Rocha made a sliding catch of a short fly ball to end the inning.
Catcher Alec Holcomb made a solid play on a ball just in front of home in the fifth inning with an on-target throw to Grant Wehseler at first base. Scheid stopped a hot shot at third and took out the lead runner at second on a sixth-inning play. Wehseler wrapped up the web gems with a double play in the seventh inning. With a runner on first, Wehseler caught a line drive then dove and tagged the runner trying to get back to the base.
Offensively, Leer had four hits including a double, drove in a run and scored four times. He also stole a couple of bases. Holcomb had two hits and three runs batted in.
On the mound, Trey Fails pitched five innings of relief to get the win. Rocha earned the save.
The Huskies (11-11) play in the finals of the winner's bracket Saturday, May 30, at the Athletic Park in Red Wing. If they win, they move to the section finals Tuesday, June 2. If Owatonna loses the 1:30PM game vs. the top seed Raiders, they will play at 4PM on Saturday in an elimination game.
Hastings stayed alive in the tournament with a win over Red Wing on Monday. Their final four opponent is yet to be determined, as Rochester Century and Austin had their game delayed by the weather Saturday. It is scheduled to be completed on Tuesday.
The Wingers knocked second seed Rochester JM out of the tournament early on Monday with a 4-1 win. Mr. Baseball candidate Ty Buck hit a three-run homer and tossed a complete game.