After a slow start to the summer season, the Osakis Legion baseball team is starting to hit its stride.
After beating Willmar 5-4 in extra innings on July 8, Osakis took care of business on Thursday with a 10-0 win over Prairie River Baseball Association in five innings. The PRBA team is comprised mostly of athletes from the Brandon-Evansville, Ashby and West Central Area programs.
"To be honest, we weren't happy with the way we started this summer," head coach Bill Infanger said. "I think these guys are starting to gain some confidence and it's showing up and down the lineup. I think there's a lot of really dangerous players on this team and more of them are finding their game at the right time of the summer."
Osakis led 3-0 heading into the fifth inning. Luke Imdieke drove in two more runs with a double over the left fielder's head. Isaac Froemming would make it 6-0 on a bases-loaded infield single. After two runs scored on a fielder's choice, Bauer Klimek drove in a run with an RBI single. He would later come in to score and end the game on an RBI-single from Hunter Infanger.
"Hitting is contagious with us," Imdieke said. "When we put up a big number in an inning it feels like we are feeding off each other and the runs keep coming."
Imdieke started the game on the mound and threw a five-inning shutout. He was able to get out of the few situations when PRBA was able to put runners in scoring position.
"We weren't going to let him go for long tonight," Infanger said. "He's thrown a lot of innings for us this summer and we had some other guys that could throw. He had some quick innings and he was in his zone out there. He's the kind of guy that always wants the ball in his hand. We just had to let him run with it."
Imdieke also made his presence known at the plate. He went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.
"Coach always talks about helping out your own cause," Imdieke said. "I saw the ball well today. A lot of the guys are seeing the ball well right now. When we hit like we did today, we are going to win a lot of games."
As Osakis heads into district play, they feel like they're playing the best baseball at the best time.
"It feels like we can beat any team we play that steps on the field with us right now," Infanger said. "This is a confident group of players right now. We have a lot of depth at pitching. I feel like I can throw any one of my guys out there and trust him to get three outs right now. It's a good position to be in as a coach."
PRBA looking to bounce back
The PRBA baseball team has had a productive summer despite the 10-0 loss on Thursday night. PRBA was 5-3 after the game and showing some promise heading into the postseason.
"Even though these guys play for different schools, they play youth baseball together growing up," head coach Andy Koloski said. "I think the chemistry is building. Obviously, it was a tough game for us tonight but (Osakis) is a really good team and we hung in there for a while."
One of the reason's PRBA was able to keep it a close game for so long was starting pitcher Tiegen Moritz. He pitched over four innings and gave up six runs - three of them coming in the big fifth inning. He was able to strand several Osakis runners on base throughout the night.
"He's kind of having an extension of his high school season," Koloski said. "He was called on to step up a lot and he's turned into one of our most reliable players."
Even after suffering a 10-run loss, Koloski feels like his guys are capable of surprising people before the season ends.
"We are feeling good about ourselves right now," he said. "We have a lot of talent in the dugout. We need to build some confidence after tonight. But like I said, Osakis is a good team and I thought our guys played well for the most part."