The Otter Tail Central 15u baseball team opened the Babe Ruth state tournament at Tony Kawlewski Field in Henning by going 2-0 in convincing fashion against Nevis and Warroad.
OTC defeated Nevis 11-2 and Warroad 14-2 behind great pitching and timely hitting. The Bulldogs played fantastic defense and ran the bases extremely well.
A solid fourth inning helped the Bulldogs defeat Nevis in the opening game of the state tournament.
OTC’s offense in the fourth inning was led by Collin Lukken, Gavin Pausch, Lane Dilly, Kaleb Hammes, and Kale Misegades, all knocking in runs in the 7 run inning.
Hammes pitched OTC to victory as he went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out three. Eric Fick threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
OTC racked up eight hits in the game. Misegades and Pausch each collected multiple hits for OTC.
In the second game a big first inning was all the Bulldogs needed as they blew past Warroad.
OTC knocked in 10 runs in the first inning on its way to a 14-2 victory over Warroad on Thursday night. Owen Harig, Soren Floden, Kale Misegades, Riley Perleberg, Drew Evavold, and Collin Lukken each had RBIs in the big inning.
Garrett Kuhn-Rice led the OTC to victory on the mound as he pitched four innings, allowing one hit and two runs while striking out one and walking zero. Eric Fick threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
OTC saw the ball well, racking up 13 hits in the game. Misegades, Floden, Harig, and Gavin Pausch each had multiple hits for OTC. Floden and Misegades all had three hits to lead OTC.
“What a great day of baseball today! Our pitchers threw strikes and we made the plays defensively. Our bats really came alive and it was great to see us keep the pedal to the metal. I’m excited to see what this team can continue to do this weekend. Kaleb, Garrett, and Eric did a fantastic job on the mound, putting us in great position tomorrow.”Evan Meece, OTC baseball coach
OTC 15U stole the lead late and defeated Holdingford 6-3 on Friday. The game was tied at 3-3 with OTC batting in the top of the sixth inning when Nick Liebold induced Owen Harig to hit into a fielder’s choice, but one run scored.
Holdingford took an early lead in the second inning with 3 runs.
Drew Evavold led the OTC to victory on the hill as he surrendered zero runs on one hit over three innings, striking out one and walking zero. Kale Misegades threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Gavin Pausch started the game for OTC and allowed four hits and three runs over two innings, striking out one and walking zero
OTC had nine hits in the game with Lane Dilly and Misegades collecting multiple hits for OTC. Dilly led OTC with three hits in four at bats.
“What a great two days of ball for this team,” said coach Evan Meece. “We played our best baseball when it matters the most. We’ve had fantastic pitching, great defense, and timely hitting. We’re going to use this momentum into the weekend and go compete for a championship.”
The OTC 15u season came to a heartbreaking end with an 8-inning loss to Barnesville in the quarterfinals of the state tournament in Henning. OTC ended up going 3-1 in the state tournament, outscoring their opponents 33-11.
Saturday’s game against Barnesville was a heartbreaker for OTC 15u, as they lost the lead late in a 4-2 defeat. The game was tied at 2-2 with Barnesville batting in the top of the eighth inning when Tommy Slette doubled on a 3-2 count, scoring two runs.
Barnesville knotted the game up at 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning, when Asher OBrien doubled on a 2-1 count, scoring two runs.
Kale Misegades took the loss for OTC as he surrendered four runs on five hits over two innings, striking out two and walking zero.
Lane Dilly started the game for OTC and went six innings, allowing zero runs on five hits and striking out 10.
Misegades went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead OTC in hits.
“This was such a tough way to end the season. We battled all the way to the end, but a few balls didn’t bounce our way and in the end Barnesville ended up ahead,” said coach Evan Meece. “Lane threw an outstanding game, but his pitch count kept him from finishing it. A few more timely hits and less defensive miscues and the result is different.
“This was such a fun season of baseball and it was a joy to work with this group of young men,” Meece continued. “Every day at the ballpark was a pleasure and I look forward to the bright future of the OTC program. More good things are on the way. This definitely won’t be our last state tournament.”