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Resorters baseball: Hawks' rally falls short in ninth

Osakis' Lane Berberich goes to his knees to field a ball at short during a game against Millerville on June 30. Berberich and the Hawks are 7-4 now after a loss to Kensington this past weekend. (Eric Morken / Osakis Review)

The Osakis Hawks had a five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Kensington on Sunday afternoon as the Norsemen won a 6-4 contest.

The Hawks were down a few of their top hitters in the lineup with Ky Zimmel and Aaron Noetzelman out and a couple others battling some injuries. They couldn't get the bats going until the ninth inning. Osakis rallied in that frame, scoring four runs with the help of singles from Derek Waldvogel and Jason Schueler and a double by Brandon Giesler. But with the bases loaded, Kensington got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat and the game.

"We hit the ball hard, but it was right at people too," Osakis player/coach Doug Zimmel said. "It's not like the bats were super quiet, but in run-scoring opportunities they were quiet until the bottom of the ninth."

The Norsemen (3-8) built a 6-0 lead. Doug Zimmel went six innings for Osakis (7-4) on the mound and gave up a pair of two-run home runs, both to Kensington first baseman Cody Weisel. Offensively, Zimmel got on first base early in the game and said he chatted with Weisel, who told him he had struggled offensively much of the year.

"I thought, oh, perfect. Get ahead in the count," Zimmel said. "(The home runs) were on the very first pitch of the at-bats. He crushed them. The wind was coming crossways too, but he stuck the bat out there and they went. I was just trying to get ahead of him in the count and throw waste pitches."

The second Weisel home run came in the seventh inning and made it 4-0, and Zimmel pulled himself from the mound. He brought in Jason Schueler, but the Norseman's Eric Elbe greeted Schueler with a solo home run, as well.

Kensington had just a couple wins on the summer coming into the game, but Zimmel knew he and the Hawks could not overlook the Norsemen.

"On paper, we were the better team, but they're not just K-Town anymore," Zimmel said. "They have good ball players. They have a solid four or five guys in the lineup and now they have pitching too. They're a pretty decent ballclub. Look at last year, they won a game in regions and nobody thought they were going to upset Dent."

The Hawks have one more game in the regular season to bounce back. They play again on July 21 at 5 p.m. at Millerville during the Butter Days Festival.

The regional tournament starts July 27 where the bottom eight seeds in the 12-team field face off in the opening round. The top four seeds earn a first-round bye before the tournament moves to Dent for the rest of the playoffs.

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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