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Baseball: Albany edges Osakis in 11-inning thriller

Luke Staloch

The Osakis baseball team has played Section 6AA foe Albany twice this season. Both games ended by a 3-2 final. Unfortunately for the Silverstreaks, both went in the Huskies’ favor.

Wednesday night’s second-round playoff game took 11 innings to decide before fourth-seeded Albany (14-8) finally walked off with the win.

“This was one of the best games I have been a part of as a coach or player,” Osakis head coach Shad Schmidt said. “Really this is what sports is all about, even though we didn’t get the result we wanted in the end. Two teams battling, playing hard and getting out of multiple jams with the game on the line. You can’t ask for a better high school baseball game.”

Both teams threw their ace and both offenses had trouble bunching together hits to score runs. Osakis (15-5) left 15 runners on base, 10 in scoring position. Albany stranded 12 runners, eight of them in scoring position.

Senior Adam Winkels started for the Huskies and went six innings, allowing one run. He walked four and struck out six, but it was sophomore Carter Thelen who got the win in five relief innings. Thelen walked one and fanned eight, while allowing just one run.

The offense finally made a winner out of Thelen in the 11th. The Huskies’ leadoff man, Isaac Nett, bunted for a base hit to start the frame. That was followed with another bunt base hit before Ethan Navratil got his fourth hit of the night, a single to left that scored Nett from second.

“We have nothing to be ashamed of with how we played,” Schmidt said. “Carter (Rost) and Luke (Imdieke) pitched their hearts out for us and gave us a chance. The boys had great at-bats against their No. 1 guy and our defense got us out of some jams.”  

Rost started on the mound for the Silverstreaks and went seven innings. He scattered 10 hits and a walk, but allowed just two runs, one earned, after striking out eight. Imdieke worked the eighth through 11th innings and shut out the Huskies until the top of their order was up in the 11th.

Osakis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when junior Luke Staloch delivered a two-out base hit to score Hunter Infanger from second base. Albany got single runs in the bottom of the first and sixth to take a 2-1 lead. The Huskies’ first run was aided by a two-bag error that later scored on a hit, and the second run came in on a wild pitch.

The Silverstreaks responded in the top half of the seventh to tie it. Imdieke reached on a base hit with one out. Two batters later and with two outs, it was Staloch who came up big again as he tripled to the right center-field gap to score Imdieke with the tying run.

“What more can I ask for from the boys than to give us a chance to win?” Schmidt said. “We will have a short memory and turn around to fight for our season today.”

The win sends Albany into a matchup with top-seeded Foley on Thursday at 7 p.m. Osakis falls to the losers bracket and has a chance to keep going in the double-elimination tournament.

The Silverstreaks play eighth-seeded Sauk Centre (10-12) at Putz Field in St. Cloud at 5 p.m. on Thursday. These two teams played in the season opener on April 5 when Osakis won a 5-0 game.

ALBANY 3, OSAKIS 2 (F/11 innings)

OSAKIS PITCHING - Carter Rost - 7IP, 10H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 8SO; Luke Imdieke - L, 3IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 3SO

OSAKIS OFFENSE - Rost - 1-5; Hunter Infanger - 0-4, 2 BB, 1 run; Imdieke - 1-6, 1 run; Logan Hartshorn - 3-6, 2B; Luke Staloch - 2-6, 3B, 2 RBI; Mason Moore - 1-4, BB; Isaac Froemming - 1-4, BB; Waylon Muenzhuber - 1-4, BB; Bauer Klimek - 1-3

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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