Bulldogs go 2-2 in pool play at Rapid City-based baseball tournament
The Otter Tail Central 15U baseball team snatched the lead late in the game in a 7-3 victory over Rapid City Sliders on Saturday, July 30. OTC 15U trailed 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning when Eric Fick doubled on a 1-1 count, scoring two runs.
“I am so proud of the way these boys came out and played tonight. We had a tough loss on Friday, but rebounded with a great team win today. Eric pitched phenomenally and battled through the whole game,” said coach Evan Meece. “We had several clutch hits in the sixth to take the lead back for good. We’ll prepare for another battle tomorrow and be ready to go and play our game.”
OTC fired up the offense in the first inning, when Kale Misegades’s sac fly scored one run for the Bulldogs.
After OTC scored one run in the top of the third, the Rapid City Sliders answered with one of their own. OTC scored when Misegades’ sac fly scored one run for OTC 15U. Rapid City Sliders then answered when Nolan Williamson grounded out, scoring one run.
The Bulldogs pulled away in the sixth inning, putting five runs on the board. The scoring all happened with two outs, starting with an RBI pinch hit double by Garrett Kuhn-Rice. After Collin Lukken reached on an error, Gavin Pausch singled in another run. Owen Harig followed with a 2-run single to get the lead to 7-3, which held to the end.
Fick led the OTC 15U to victory on the pitcher’s mound as he surrendered three runs on five hits over seven innings, striking out one and walking zero.
OTC collected 10 hits. Gavin Pausch and Fick each collected multiple hits for OTC 15U. Pausch went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the way offensively.
OTC’s season came to an end as they lost a back and forth battle with Chaffee, Mo. to finish off pool play 2-2 and miss out on bracket play. The final tilt featured seven different lead changes, as Chaffee came out on top 11-9. The Bulldogs held a lead going to the top of the seventh inning, but couldn’t hang on for victory.
“I am extremely proud of the way these guys not only played, but more importantly represented themselves in Rapid City this weekend,” said coach Evan Meece. “We played with heart and battled all the way to the last pitch every game. The final out didn’t go our way, but both on and off the field, these guys represented not only the communities of OTC, but the state of Minnesota in great fashion. I couldn’t be prouder to have coached this team and be able to bring this team to represent OTC and Minnesota at the Regional Tournament.”
Chaffee trailed 9-8 in the top of the seventh inning when Ross Peters singled on a 3-2 count, scoring two runs.
Despite the loss, OTC collected 12 hits in the high-scoring affair. Unfortunately, Chaffee had 14 hits on the way to victory.
OTC captured the lead in the second inning. Gavin Pausch singled on a 1-2 count, scoring two runs.
The Bulldogs evened things up at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Kaleb Hammes doubled on a 1-1 count, scoring one run.
After Chaffee cored two runs in the top of the sixth inning, OTC answered with two runs of their own.
The Bulldogs notched four runs in the second inning. The big inning was thanks to singles by Conner Thompson, Collin Lukken and Pausch.
Pausch took the loss for OTC as he lasted three innings, allowing six hits and five runs while walking one.
Drew Evavold started the game for OTC and surrendered six runs on eight hits over four innings, walking one.
OTC racked up 12 hits in the game. Thompson, Owen Harig, and Hammes all collected multiple hits for OTC 15U. Thompson went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the team in hits.