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Hawks open playoffs in win column

Osakis' Chad Zimmel throws from third in a game against Ashby on July 9. Zimmel got the start on the mound in the Region 16C opener on Sunday and went all nine innings for the win. (Eric Morken | Osakis Review)

Osakis Hawks pitcher Chad Zimmel's efficiency on the mound Sunday against the Kensington Norsemen probably had his leg sorer than his arm on Monday morning.

The righty allowed two earned runs on four hits, no walks and no hit batters and struck out four over a complete game of nine innings to help the Hawks to a 4-2 win in Ashby to open the Region 16C Tournament.

The hardest hit ball Kensington managed was a comebacker off Zimmel's leg in the eighth inning. The Norsemen scored two in the inning, but Osakis already had four on the board.

The Hawks opened the scoring in the second inning. Matt Kruse singled, advanced to third on a sacrifice from Zimmel and a Brandon Giesler groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

The small ball continued an inning later when James Cowdery singled and Brady Berberich sacrificed him to second. After picking up another 90 feet on a wild pitch, Cowdery scored on a Colter Fortenberry sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

Osakis doubled the lead again in the fifth. Berberich singled, Fortenberry walked and Doug Zimmel and Kruse each hit RBI singles.

Overall, Kruse led the Hawks offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, scattering three singles, scoring a run and knocking in another. Brady Berberich was also 3-for-4 and picked up a run.

Osakis moves on in the winners bracket to play the Alexandria Black Sox at 8 p.m. Saturday in Ashby. The winner of that game will face the winner of Long Prairie and Frazee on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Ashby for a chance to get to the championship without a loss.

KENSINGTON 000 000 020 — 2 4 0

OSAKIS 011 020 00X — 4 10 4