Henson’s Work on the Hill Leads Owatonna Past Faribault
Owatonna junior Sam Henson pitched into the seventh inning after surviving the first inning of the Huskies' 12-5 win at Bell Field in Faribault Thursday. He scattered six hits and only gave up a couple of earned runs. Henson struck out three Falcons included the lead off man in the seventh inning. That's when Huskies coach Tate Cummins was forced to remove him due to the pitch limit. Owatonna fans gave Henson a standing ovation.
In the midst of a stretch of seven games in seven days, the Huskies needed a pitcher to give them some innings. It looked rough early, though, as Faribault scored four times in the first inning on three hits, two walks and an error. Pitching coach Brian Price even paid a visit to the mound during the opening inning.
Henson, who was making just his second start of the season, only surrendered three hits over the next five-and-a-third innings and faced just one over the limit in each of those innings.
The Huskies jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning as Jake Miller and Ethan Rohman hit RBI-doubles. Faribault's four-run first put them up 4-2 after one.
OHS answered with a four-run outburst of their own. Ethan Walter and Isaac Gefre had RBI-hits and Owatonna scored runs on an error and wild pitch for a 6-4 advantage. Faribault pulled within 6-5 in the bottom of the second.
It looked like Faribault had tied the game in the third. With two outs and Andy Prange at third, John Palmer hit a roller to the right side of the infield which was fielded by first baseman Zach Wiese. He tossed the ball to second baseman Matt Seykora who got to the bag just ahead of Palmer while also crossing his path and nearly colliding.
The base umpire ruled the play safe. Cummins left the Owatonna dugout to discuss the play. The home plate ump conferred with the base umpire and called the play out ending the Falcons' inning and leaving Owatonna up 6-5. While there was press box discussion on whether interference had factored into the initial call, apparently the base umpire didn't see Seykora touch the bag while the plate umpire did. Faribault did not advance a runner past first base the rest of the game.
Owatonna had back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth. Ben Zappa had an RBI-sac fly that scored Wiese and pinch hitter Carson DeKam drove in Sol Havelka in the fifth. Miller stole home on a double steal in the sixth and Casey Cumberland had an RBI base hit.
The Huskies ended with 11 hits to Faribault's seven. OHS committed three errors while the Falcons were charged with seven. The Huskies stranded six runners and Faribault left seven on base.
OHS (6-7, 3-4 Big Nine) hosts Winona Friday, May 10 in a doubleheader at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park. The first game counts in the conference standings.