Owatonna, Triton Win Playoff Games; Blooming Prairie Still Alive
Owatonna beat Rochester John Marshall 5-2 in Saturday's first round of the Section 1AAAA baseball playoffs. OHS hosts Century Tuesday. Triton edged Pine Island 4-3 in Section 1AA. Blooming Prairie fell to Lyle-Pacelli 3-2 in 1A. The Cobras and Blossoms each play on Memorial Day.
The top-seeded Huskies got off to a great start with a 1-2-3 inning from Brady Schuster who came within one batter of throwing a complete game. Sol Havelka, playing third base in place of his injured big brother and wearing Abe's No. 21, made a nice play on a grounder his way to start the game.
Schuster maxed out his pitch count in the seventh after giving up eight hits and striking out four batters. Noah Budach struck out the one batter he faced to earn the save. He also led off the bottom of the first inning with his first home run of the season, a line drive over the left field fence. Budach went 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBI.
Nolan Malo doubled in Parker Westphal to make it a two-run first. The Huskies added two more in the second on RBI singles from Budach and Schuster, who had two hits. The rally started with two out and no one on base. Ethan Walter singled. He stole second on the first pitch to Budach. And scored on the next pitch which Budach laced into center field.
The Rockets bunched together four hits in the third inning to score their two runs. Austin Brown and Aaron Limberg hit back-to-back, two-out singles. Ben Zappa singled in the fifth, moved ahead when Walter was hit by a pitch and scored on Budach's single to account for the 5-2 final.
The Huskies caught two base stealers and had three swipes of their own. A big crowd took in the game at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park in the 90-degree heat. Owatonna (17-3) plays Rochester Century (8-11) Tuesday at 5 pm at Dartt's. The Panthers beat Mayo 9-0 on Saturday. Defending section champ Lakeville North Beat Lakeville South 7-1. New Prague edged Farmington 3-2.
Download the Kat Kountry 105 app to catch Tuesday's game on the radio.
Triton avenged a loss to Pine Island earlier this season with a 3-2 subsection semifinal in Section 1AA. The second-seeded Cobras play top-seed Rochester Lourdes Monday at 3 pm in Stewartville. The loser will have to play an elimination game right away afterward.
Blooming Prairie is in a must-win situation Monday at 3 pm when they play top-seed Hayfield in the losers' bracket of Section 1A. BP lost to Lyle/Pacelli Saturday 3-2. Hayfield got upset by No. 4 seed United South Central.