The deep run in the postseason came to a close on July 31, for the Ottertail Central 15U baseball team at the Midwest Regional Babe Ruth Tournament in Rapid City. After picking up an opening round win, OTC fell 10-9 to the Fargo 61’s on July 29. They rebounded with a 7-3 win against the Rapid City Sliders, on July 30, before dropping a heartbreaker 11-9 to Chaffee, Mo.
Against Fargo, Ottertail found themselves down 5-0 after the first two innings. The comeback got started with a four-run third. Three straight singles loaded the bases before Ayden Olson ripped a two-run double. Kale Misegades produced an RBI sacrifice fly and a two-out RBI single from Drew Evavold drew them within one.
OTC would tie the game at five in the fourth, as Owen Harig came up with a two-out single to score Ryan Despard. Fargo would come up with five runs over the next three innings, to take a 10-6 lead heading into the seventh.
Ottertail scored three runs and had the tying run in scoring position, but a fly out ended the threat and the game.
“We put together a lot of really good at bats, but couldn’t string enough together to get the win,” stated OTC coach Evan Meece. “We stranded too many runners on base and also allowed them too many extra bases defensively.”
Misegades started on the mound, going an inning and two thirds. He allowed five hits and three walks, while giving up five runs. Gavin Pausch pitched the rest of the way, scattering seven hits and giving up five runs.
Harig was 4-5 with an RBI and a run scored, Eric Fick and Evavold both had three hits in the game and Misegades drove in two.
OTC 7 Rapid City Sliders 3
Looking to rebound, a big late inning helped Ottertail to a win over the Rapid City Sliders. Trailing by a 3-2 score, OTC scored five runs in the sixth inning on their way to victory.
With two down and runs at first and third, OTC scored a run with Fick at the plate and then took the lead on a double. An error and a single continued the inning and after an unearned run scored, Harig drove in a pair on a single to left field.
Fick went the distance on the mound, giving up three runs on five hits and one K.
Pausch was 3-4 with three runs scored, both Harig and Misegades drove in two. OTC benefitted from six errors by the Sliders.
“I am so proud of the way these boys came out and played. We had a tough loss, but rebounded with a great team win,” said Meece. “Fick pitched phenomenally and battled through the whole game. We had several clutch hits in the sixth to take the lead back for good.”
Chaffee, Mo. 11 OTC 9
The final game of pool play was a back and forth affair between the two sides.
Chaffee scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, only to see OTC respond with four of their own in the second.
Connor Thompson, Collin Lukken and Pausch all delivered RBI singles in the frame and an unearned run rounded out the rally.
The two teams exchanged runs in the third. Chaffee then pushed three runs across in the fourth, only to be answered by OTC’s two runs in the home half. In the sixth inning the two sides both scored two runs, giving Ottertail a 9-8 lead heading into the seventh.
With two on and two out, plus a full count, Chaffee came up with a two run single to grab the lead and then added on an insurance run on an error.
A double to begin the home half of the seventh was a promising start for OTC, but that was all they could muster, as a pair of groundouts and a strikeout ended the game.
Evavold started the game on the hill. He went four innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and one walk. Pausch came on in relief and finished the game, scattering six hits and a walk with five runs.
Thompson was 4-4 with a run and an RBI, Harig was 3-5 with two runs and Misegades scored twice.
“I am extremely proud of the way these guys not only played, but more importantly represented themselves in Rapid City this weekend,” stated 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.”
OTC ended their season with a 22-17 record.
OTC HITTING VS FARGO: Gavin Pausch 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, K; Owen Harig 4-5, R, RBI; Ayden Olson 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, K; Kale Misegades 1-5, R, 2 RBI; Kaleb Hammes 0-4, BB, 2 K; Drew Evavold 3-4, RBI, BB; Conner Thompson 0-2, R, BB; Bradyn Roisum 1-2; Eric Fick 3-3, BB; Collin Lukken 1-2, R; Ryan Despard 0-0, R.
OTC HITTING VS RAPID CITY: Gavin Pausch 3-4, 3 R; Owen Harig 1-4, 2 RBI; Ayden Olson 0-3, K; Kale Misegades 1-2, 2 RBI; Kaleb Hammes 1-4, K; Drew Evavold 1-4, R, RBI; Conner Thompson 1-3, 2 K; Bradyn Roisum 0-1, R; Eric Fick 2-3, RBI; Collin Lukken 0-3, R; Ryan Despard 0-0, R.
OCT HITTING VS CHAFFEE: Gavin Pausch 1-4, R, RBI; Owen Harig 3-5, 2 R, K; Ayden Olson 0-4, 3 K; Kale Misegades 1-2, 2 R, RBI, BB, K; Kaleb Hammes 2-4, R, RBI, 2 K; Drew Evavold 0-1, 3 BB; Eric Fick 0-4; Conner Thompson 4-4, R, RBI; Collin Lukken 1-4, R.