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Region 16C baseball: Hawks season ends after first weekend

Osakis' Ky Zimmel takes an at-bat against Millerville in a game played on June 30. Zimmel got the pitching win in the Hawks' playoff opener against Carlos on July 27. (Eric Morken / Osakis Review)

The Osakis Hawks saw their season come to an end on Sunday after a three-game weekend in the Region 16C double-elimination tournament.

The Hawks got things going with an 8-0 win over Carlos in the first round last Friday night. That sent them to Dent on Saturday for a game against Pelican Rapids that they lost 4-0. Then with the summer on the line, Frazee won a 4-3 game back in Dent on Sunday to end Osakis' run.

"We had our opportunities," Osakis player/coach Doug Zimmel said. "It's tough. It's always our goal to make it to the second weekend and beyond that. We ran out of gas. We played three games, starting at 8 Friday night against Carlos. Then we came back and had to play at 11 a.m. in Dent, which is about an hour and 45 minutes away. Then Sunday we had to come back at 11 a.m. again in Dent."

Frazee forfeited its opening game last Friday against Long Prairie, which set up the Flames with their ace to throw at the Hawks on Sunday. Jason Schueler started for Osakis and kept his team in the game through all nine innings. The Hawks had runners on second and third with two outs, but a fly out to center field ended the game in a one-run loss.

Derek Waldvogel started on the mound in the 4-0 loss to Pelican Rapids and went all nine innings. The Osakis offense had just one hit in that game.

"We thought we had a shot against them, and we did have a shot," Zimmel said. "The bats just went cold. Derek threw a great game. It was little flares that landed in front of the outfielders. It's not that they hit him hard all day. It was just timely hits for them."

Ky Zimmel dominated his way through a complete-game shutout against Carlos in the opener. The Cougars bounced back in their only other game of the weekend to beat Urbank-Parkers Prairie 7-1 on Sunday and end the Bombers' season.

The Region 16C Tournament is set up as a 12-team, double-elimination format. That made it so the losers of the first games on Friday played again on Sunday, while the teams who won on Friday and lost on Saturday were playing their third games of the weekend on Sunday.

"It sucks because we won our first game, but it's essentially hurting us," Doug Zimmel said. "We were down pitching then and (Frazee) could throw their ace (after forfeiting their first game)."

Osakis was also missing a couple starters throughout the weekend. The Hawks wrapped up their season with a 9-6 overall record.

"I think we had a great year," Doug Zimmel said. "It's always tough getting guys there, but the core guys who show up every week, we had a lot of fun. Schueler and (Aaron) Noetzelman (who both played in Carlos last year) said they had a blast playing with us. Sounds like they'll be back next year."

The Hawks have put together winning seasons like this one in recent years. One thing they still have left to do is make a deep playoff run together. That's the goal as they look to keep building on the roster and get back at it again next summer.

"We have a good core group. We just need to get over that hump," Zimmel said. "I say that every year, but we are still young. Average team age is same age as me, 23. Maybe we can get a couple more guys who are willing to play next year from around the area to help us out."


Four other Resorters League teams are still going in the Region 16C Tournament, with Alexandria and Sauk Centre leading that group into the winner's bracket.

Alexandria won its only game of the opening weekend by beating Dent, 3-1. The Black Sox will now play Pelican Rapids on Aug. 4 at 8 p.m.

Sauk Centre beat Long Prairie in its opening-weekend game and will play Fergus Falls in Dent at 5 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Carlos' win over Urbank-Parkers Prairie on Sunday advanced the Cougars to another elimination game against Long Prairie on Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. in Dent. Frazee and Dent are the other two teams alive in the loser's bracket.

The region tournament continues both Aug. 4 and 5 before a champion is decided from Aug. 10-11 in Dent. The title game is set for 5 p.m. on Aug. 11.

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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