Kiel Tosses Two-Hitter in Owatonna Baseball Victory at US Bank Stadium
Owatonna senior Kodey Kiel turned in a masterful performance in a 3-0 win over Mankato East at US Bank Stadium on Friday night.
Kiel (2-0) didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning and only gave up two singles to the Cougars in a nonconference game against their fellow Big Nine school. He got plenty of help from the defense, which turned two double plays. Center fielder Zach Mensink threw a runner out at third who was trying to tag up on a fly out to end a Cougars threat in the third inning.
The Huskies also turned an around-the-horn double play in the sixth inning, Abe Havelka-to-Brock Hanson-to-Nathan Deason. East had base runners in every inning but the seventh, where Kiel set the side down in order with three ground outs. He only needed about 85 pitches for the complete game win. Kiel struck out two and walked four.
Kiel also delivered the game-winning RBI with a third-inning triple after Tucker Alstead had singled. Spencer Glynn, running for Kiel, scored on Noah Budach's ground out for a 2-0 Huskies lead after three innings.
Owatonna added an insurance run in the fifth. Kiel reached on an error. Glynn came in to run for him again and scored from second base on a ground out to shortstop, giving Havelka the other RBI on the night.
Coach Tate Cummins said afterward that the players seemed pretty comfortable in the environment of US Bank Stadium since so many of them were on the football team that played in the state semifinals there in November. He added that the team worked hard on fundraisers to help pay for the chance to play in the stadium. John Millea of the Minnesota State High School League posted that teams pay $975 to play there. About 30 high school games are scheduled at The Bank during April.
Owatonna is 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big Nine. Friday's game counted as a nonconference game. The teams will play their league game April 25 in Mankato. OHS hosts Mankato West on Tuesday at 5PM at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park. Thursday is the cancer fundraising night game against Faribault at 5PM on KDHL AM 920. Friday OHS plays at section opponent New Prague at 7PM on Kat Kountry 105FM.