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Baseball: Osakis squeaks by with walk-off win over Staples-Motley

Teammates congratulate senior Zach Weir on his walk-off sacrifice fly Thursday night, which scored Brady Berberich to top Staples-Motley 5-4 in Osakis. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)1 / 3
Silverstreaks starting pitcher Carter Rost fires a pitch Thursday night against Staples-Motley. The Freshman finished the day allowing one run on four hits and three walks while striking out seven over five innings of work and took the no-decision. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)2 / 3
Osakis freshman Luke Imdieke takes a peak towards home plate as he takes second base on a first-and-third steal Thursday night. Imdieke finished the day 1-for-3 with a run scored. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)3 / 3

With a 4-4 ballgame heading into the bottom of the seventh Thursday against Staples-Motley, the Osakis baseball team had the three, four and five hitters coming up to hit, and they had to do anything to get on base and come around to score.

Even if that means using the opposition’s mistakes.

Senior Brady Berberich got it going with a leadoff walk and stole second before cleanup hitter Logan Hartshorn grounded out to short for the first out.

Five-hitter Reid Dewenter then came up and hit a towering fly ball to left field. The wind pushed the ball toward the left-center gap, and it popped out of the left fielder’s glove to allow Berberich to advance to third and Dewenter to coast into second.

With one down and two on, senior Zach Weir stepped up to the plate and worked the at-bat to a 2-0 hitter’s count.

“Zach knows what it takes,” Osakis head coach Shad Schmidt said. “He was the starting quarterback, had a great season in football, MVP of the basketball team. He’s the type of kid you want in that situation. I tell you what, Zach is one of those kids who’s in it every pitch. He’s always saying the right thing, he’s a great leader and you couldn’t ask for a better person to come up at that time.”

Weir ripped the 3-1 pitch to right-center, and Berberich scored easily to end the game with a 5-4 Silverstreaks win.

“With Brady, once he got to third, I was just trying to get it at least deep enough for a sac fly where he can score off of it,” Weir said. “I got up 2-0 and swung, and then got up 3-1 and I was looking for something that I could hit hard to the opposite field, and luckily I did.”

The play in left field could have been the difference in the game, but the Silverstreaks made mistakes that made the bottom of the seventh necessary in the first place.

Freshman Carter Rost started the game on the mound for the Streaks and surrendered just one run on four hits and three walks over five innings while striking out seven (two in each of the first three innings).

“Carter is a freshman, and he just got cleared yesterday to practice from an injury,” Schmidt said. “Today was his first time on the mound this year besides some bullpens and then a scrimmage. Being a freshman and coming in, I though he pitched really well.”

But when asked of his own performance, Rost shrugged.

“It was really much of anything,” he said. “Keep confidence in my fastball is what my coach told me. That was it, just trust it. “

Osakis broke the scoreless tie in the third inning when senior Jarret Seela dropped down a bunt single, stole second, advanced to third on a Luke Imdieke single and scored on a Hunter Infanger sacrifice fly.

The Cardinals started to get to Rost the second time through the order. In the top of the fourth, two singles, a fielder’s choice and a groundout scored Mason Nyhus to tie the game 1-1.

But the Silverstreaks answered right away with two in the bottom half.

Dewenter took a 3-0 pitch off the ribs  to lead it off, followed by a Weir single and a Mason Moore sacrifice bunt to put the runners on second and third.

Rost then grounded out, but the runners took off on the throw to first base. The Cardinals first baseman tried to throw Weir out at third, but the ball got away, allowing him to scamper home and extend the lead to 3-1 after four innings.

“All they say is just put the ball in play and good things will happen,” Rost said. “That’s all it is.”

Imdieke replaced Rost on the mound in the sixth frame. It looked like the leadoff walk he allowed wouldn’t do any harm, as he struck out the next batter and the batter after him grounded out to second base.

But suddenly Imdieke couldn’t find the zone and walked the next five batters, which allowed two runs to score.

Senior Isaac Infanger came in and struck out the final batter of the inning.

“We brought in Isaac, a senior, who’s been there,” Schmidt said. “He had a big two-inning save earlier in the week, so we knew he could handle that situation and thankfully he did a good job with it.”

After Weir flew out to center and Moore struck out to start the bottom of the sixth, it was up to Rost to start the two-out rally.

He drew a walk and Seela singled (to finish his day 3-for-3). With two on and two out, Infanger reached on a shortstop throwing error, and Rost and Seela both scored to take a 4-3 lead.

Hunter Infanger ended the inning by grounding into a fielder’s choice, but all Osakis had to do was hold the Cardinals to three runs for one more inning.

Brayden Tyrrell and Reid Busker each grounded out to start the top of the seventh, followed by a Skeesick walk. He took off early from first, forcing Infanger to step off the mound and try to get him in a run-down, but Skeesick dove into second base safely with a steal. The batter, Isaac Swendsrud, ripped an RBI double to score Skeesick, but was caught stealing to end the inning with the score at 4-4.

“The sixth inning there, they made a big mistake and it gave us the opportunity to take that lead, and then of course we give it back in the seventh,” said Schmidt. “(But) we had one less mistake, and luckily we came out on the winning side.”

GAME SUMMARYSTAPLES     000 102 1 – 3 5 3OSAKIS        001 201 1 – 5 5 0PITCHING – Osakis - Rost - 5IP, 1ER, 4H, 3BB, 7K; Imdieke - 0.2IP, 2ER 0H, 4BB, K; Infanger (W) - 1.1IP, 0ER, 1H, 1BB, 1K; Staples-Motley - Skeesick - 6IP, 4R, 2ER, 5H, 3BB, 3HP, 1K; Busker (L) - 0.2IP, 1R, 0ER, BBOSAKIS OFFENSE – Imdieke - 1-3; H. Infanger - 0-3, Sac, RBI; Berberich - 0-2, 2BB, 2SB, R; Hartshorn - 0-3, HP, CS; Dewenter - 0-3, HP, R; Weir - 1-2, HP, SB, R, Sac, RBI; Moore - 0-1, BB, Sac; Rost - 0-2, BB, RBI; Seela - 3-3, SB, R