Owatonna Outlasts Delays, Red Wing to Win Season Finale
Owatonna baseball ended their regular season the way they were supposed to start it on April 5 with a game at Red Wing. The teams finally played on Monday, May 21. While there was no snow, the game was slowed by a variety of delays before the Huskies won 9-7 to close out their Big Nine championship season.
The Wingers held their senior night and honored a huge class of 13 seniors which carried past the scheduled start time of 5 pm. A light but steady rain began to fall at game time, but the bigger delay was the lack of an umpiring crew. After a 51-minute delay, a single ump arrived from the junior varsity field and called the game on his own.
Red Wing struck in the first inning for a short-lived lead, but Owatonna was in the lead most of the way after that. The Huskies used strong base-running to generate their offense. Three of their runs scored on sacrifice flies and a couple more crossed on double steals or throwing errors.
Jake Miller went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Dawson Leer had two hits and a run driven in. Ethan Walter advanced from first to third on a ground out and made a nice running grab in centerfield. Parker Westphal made a diving catch in right field to end the game.
The contest was back-and-forth after the first inning with Owatonna leading 4-1 and 8-4 but the Wingers kept coming back. With the game being the last one before a four-day break leading up to Saturday's playoffs, and Red Wing's persistence, the Huskies rotated in numerous pitchers. Brady Schuster, Noah Budach, Tyler Sackett, Jon Klecker and Tucker Alstead all threw.
The game also hit a speed bump when Alstead went from the behind the plate to the mound in the seventh inning after a Winger double put the tying run at the plate. During that transition, a cat entered the field through the Owatonna dugout and wandered around behind home plate until a Red Wing player took it away.
Owatonna (10-1 Big Nine, 16-3 overall) will host a playoff game Saturday, May 26 at 1 pm at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park. Match ups will be announced Thursday.