A lot of members of the Osakis Legion baseball team are multi-sport athletes who are getting pulled in a lot of directions this summer, but when it came time to play baseball this past weekend, they were locked in on that.
Osakis won its four-team pod in the opening round of the playoffs to secure its spot at the sub-state tournament this coming weekend at Minnewaska Area High School. The winner of that sub-state tournament will advance to the Legion state tournament.
“We have a lot of guys who are three-sport athletes doing summer basketball stuff and doing football camps and there's a lot of things going on, so I was really impressed last weekend,” head coach Bill Infanger said. “There was a lot of intensity when it was time to play baseball. We have a strong team and a lot of these kids have played Legion for three, four years and never made it this far. We have a chance to move forward, and I think they’re excited about that.”
Long Prairie, Minnewaska and Sauk Centre joined Osakis in its tournament pod in an event that was played in Long Prairie. Osakis got a big start on the mound right off the bat from Luke Imdieke. He led his team to a 1-0 win over Sauk Centre as he matched up against Sauk Centre’s Jake Zollman in a pitcher’s duel.
Osakis was the second seed in the tournament and took on top-seeded Minnewaska in the semifinals. Carter Rost started on the mound for that one and helped his team to a 7-1 lead before Osakis held on for the 7-5 win.
Sauk Centre and Minnewaska played each other then to determine who would meet Osakis in the title round. Sauk Centre beat Minnewaska but could not get past Osakis in the championship as Osakis finished things off to complete a 3-0 weekend and secure its spot at the sub-state tournament.
“It was timely hitting, but it was the pitching,” Infanger said. “Pitching is always a big part of it. For Luke to pitch a shutout the first game and set a tone like that was a big deal for us. Then Carter came out and pitched really well and handed a 7-1 lead over to us in the fifth inning. Luke and Carter both pitched pretty well and gave us a chance.”
Mason Moore and Hunter Infanger followed suit from the mound in the title game to help Osakis wrap up the championship.
The bracket for the sub-state tournament at Minnewaska this weekend was not finalized as of the morning of July 22. Osakis will open up the tournament at either 5 or 7:30 p.m. on Friday with the tournament running through Sunday.
It’s down to four teams total vying for that spot at the state tournament as Breckenridge, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg and Morris join Osakis in the field. Osakis is 2-0 against Morris on the season and has not played Breckenridge or KMS.