Otter Tail Central defeats Albany 2-1 in third place game at home tournament

Otter Tail Central captured third place after defeating Albany at the third annual OTC Father’s Day Tournament at Tony Kawlewski Field in Henning. 

The day saw six games played through rainy and wet conditions throughout the day and began with the eventual champion Fergus Falls defeating Albany 5-2 in Pool B action. The second game of the day was the final game of Pool A action.  This game ended in a 5-5 tie between Bagley and Detroit Lakes. The tie sent Bagley to the fifth place game and Detroit Lakes to the championship game, while sending OTC to the third place game.  

After a lengthy rain delay, the last game of pool play featured Fergus Falls and Crosby-Ironton. A pitchers duel ended in Fergus Falls winning 3-1 as they advanced to the championship game, while Crosby-Ironton fell to the fifth place game against Bagley.

After the lengthy rain delay before the last pool play game, the skies opened and the sun emerged to allow the rest of the tournament to play on. The fifth place game featured Crosby-Ironton and Bagley. Crosby-Ironton prevailed to take fifth place by a score of 5-3.

The third place game featured the host OTC and Albany. A pitcher’s duel entailed, with OTC claiming third place in a 2-1 final.

The championship game featured familiar enemies with league opponents Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes.  After Fergus Falls had a big third inning, weather once again made itself known and ended the championship game early, with Fergus Falls winning 10-0 and claiming the championship.


OTC 15 stayed in it until the end, but Detroit Lakes pulled away late in a 13-11 victory on Friday. The game was tied at 6-6 with Detroit Lakes batting in the top of the fifth inning when Max Boit singled on a 1-1 count, scoring 1 run.

OTC lost despite out-hitting Detroit Lakes 12 to 11.

OTC got things started in the first inning when Olin Link singled on a 2-0 count, scoring one run.

OTC scored 3 runs in the seventh inning. The offensive onslaught by OTC was led by Quenton Beske, Colton Shjerve and Ryan Despard, all driving in runs in the frame.

Ayden Olson took the loss for OTC as he went 3 innings, allowing 9 runs on 9 hits and striking out 1.

Kaleb Hammes started the game for OTC as he went 4 innings, allowing 2 hits and 4 runs, while striking out 4 batters. 

OTC collected 12 hits in the game with Link, Max Mekalso, and Despard each leading the way with multiple hits apiece. Link led OTC 15U Black with 3 hits and 2 stolen bases. 

In their second game of the day, OTC got out to a 5-run lead in the sixth inning and held on for an 8-7 win over Bagley. 

OTC earned the victory, despite allowing Bagley to score 4 runs in the seventh inning. 

OTC got on the board in the first inning when Olin Link singled on a 3-1 count, scoring 1 run. They scored 3 more runs in the sixth inning with Ayden Olson and Max Mekalson, all driving in runs in the inning.

Dawson Bushman led the OTC 15U Black to victory on the pitcher’s mound as he allowed 7 hits and 7 runs over 6 1/3 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1. Quenton Beske threw 2/3 of an inning in relief out of the bullpen. Beske recorded the last two outs to earn the save.

OTC scattered 9 hits in the game. Mekalson and Ryan Despard each collected a pair of hits to lead the way offensively.

“Errors really plagued us today. We were able to overcome them in our second game, but not in our first,” said coach Evan Meece. “We need to clean it up defensively moving forward to continue to compete.  Our hitting and baserunning were both good, but we need to clean up our defense. I was really proud of the way the bottom of our order produced today.”


Both teams were strong on the mound Saturday, but OTC defeated Albany 2-1 in the third place game. Kale Misegades allowed just 1 hit on the mound. Albany’s lone run came in the top of the first inning. 

OTC tied the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning, when Ayden Olson doubled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring 1 run. They pulled away for good with 1 run in the second inning when Dawson Bushman’s sacrifice fly scored 1 run.

Misegades was the winning pitcher for OTC as he allowed 1 hit and 1 run over 5 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1.

“Kale was fantastic on the mound tonight,” said coach Evan Meece. “He kept the hitters off balance and attacked the strike zone.  Offensively, we were aggressive early and attacked the fastball. Albany made some plays on hard hit balls to limit our scoring attack.”

Ryan Despard, Olson, Max Mekalson, and Quenton Beske each collected one hit to lead the way offensively. 

“It was another successful tournament for us at Tony Kawlewski Field.  The weather made things really dicey early, but our ground screw of players and parents and coaches did a fantastic job of making the field playable throughout the day,” said Meece. “I am super proud to be a part of this community and to be able to continue to put on events like this.”