Resorters baseball: Hawks show what they can do at full strength
The Osakis Hawks finally got a chance to showcase almost everybody in their lineup on Saturday afternoon against the Millerville Millers.
That's been tough to do in recent years. Getting everyone on the roster to games is a struggle that almost every Resorters League team goes through. The Hawks had their team almost entirely intact against the Millers and it showed in an 11-1 win in seven innings.
"I think we played great," Osakis player/coach Doug Zimmel said. "We had our full team there finally, minus Matt Kruse, our starting left fielder. That was the strongest lineup we've had all year, probably the last three years. We really haven't had a full lineup here in the last three years, so that was nice."
The Hawks got seven strong innings from Derek Waldvogel. The defense played error-free ball behind him, and the offense built a 5-0 lead through three and piled on late with a five-run seventh inning.
Brandon Giesler started that seventh frame with a single. Nine batters later, he was up again with the bases loaded and two outs. Needing a hit to drive in a run and end the game by the mercy rule, he laced a single up the middle to bring in Lane Berberich.
Giesler is a constant voice for Osakis behind the plate and from the bench with his carefree approach. He added three hits in his final three at-bats to continue what Zimmel said has been a good summer season for Giesler.
"He's kind of our energizer bunny," Waldvogel said. "That's kind of what he is for us. When he's playing well, it seems like our whole team is playing well too. It's nice having him around."
Giesler was Waldvogel's batterymate on his way to the complete-game win. Waldvogel did not give up a run until the top of the seventh when Craig Campbell hit a solo home run to left field for the Millers. He finished the day scattering six hits, five of them singles, and striking out 10.
"I had a lot better command of my curveball today, so it felt good to get back out there," Waldvogel said. "It's been a couple weeks since I pitched."
Osakis bunched together a four-running inning in the second. Colter Fortenberry, Waldvogel and Lane Berberich all drew walks in the inning against Millerville starter Nolan Bartholomew. An error at second base also allowed two runs to score.
The Millers dropped to 2-6 after the loss, and player/coach Dan Schaffer pointed to errors and the inability to bunch together hits as the biggest reason for their struggles. Millerville features a mix of young players and guys who have played in this league for a few years now.
"I don't think it should be an excuse anymore," Schaffer said of youth being a factor. "We have some younger guys coming up, but at the same time there's a lot of guys who have played. There's a lot of older guys who aren't there anymore too, but that's part of baseball. We've been in the league long enough where we should be able to get some more wins, I think."
For the Hawks, the victory moved them to 7-3 overall. Osakis features many recent graduates from town and also brought in a couple of new recruits this summer in veterans Jason Schueler and Aaron Noetzelman. Both guys played for the Carlos Cougars in the past.
"It brings in two good hitters," Zimmel said. "They can play wherever. Great baseball minds came over, so that was a good addition."
The Hawks have now won five straight games and have not lost since May 27 in a 2-0 contest against Urbank-Parkers Prairie. Their three losses came consecutively as Alexandria and Sauk Centre edged Osakis in late May, as well.
The Hawks believe they have the talent to put together a strong run here at the end of the season. Their pitching rotation sets up with Ky Zimmel and Waldvogel anchoring the rotation with Schueler, D. Zimmel and L. Berberich all providing solid depth.
This year's playoffs will again feature eight teams from the nine-team Resorters League playing with the Countryside League in a 12-team double-elimination tournament. The Hawks won their playoff opener last year, but saw their season end with a 1-0 shutout at the hands of Alexandria and a 4-0 loss to Pelican Rapids. This is a group that is eager to get another shot at putting together a run through the postseason.
"The last couple years we've been right there," Waldvogel said. "We've come close in the playoffs. It's just a matter of tying it all together. I think our pitching has always been there and our defense has been there. It's just coming up with those big hits when it's late in games. That's what's big for us, and we've been doing that now the last few games."
MILLERVILLE 000 000 1 - 1 6 1
OSAKIS 041 010 5 - 11 10 0
PITCHING - Millerville - Nolan Bartholomew - L, 5IP, 4H, 6R, 3ER, 7BB, 5SO; Jake Nohre - 1 2/3IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 1HB, 1SO; Osakis - Derek Waldvogel - W, 7IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 10SO
MILLERVILLE OFFENSE - Nohre - 2-3; Kevin Campbell - 2-3; Brandon Christianson - 0-3; Dan Schaffer - 1-3; Blake Satterlie - 0-2; Brandt Bitzan - 0-1; Kevin Roers - 0-2; Craig Campbell - 1-1, HR, 1 run, RBI; Nick Thorstad - 0-2; James Huisman - 0-1; Jake Hintermeister - 0-3; John Huisman - 0-2
OSAKIS OFFENSE - Brady Berberich - 0-5, 1 run, RBI; Lane Berberich - 1-3, 2 BB, 2 runs, RBI; Aaron Noetzelman - 0-1, BB; Zach Weir - 0-1; James Cowdery - 1-2, RBI; Ky Zimmel - 1-4, Sac., RBI; Jason Schueler - 1-4, HBP, 1 run; Brandon Giesler - 3-5, 1 run, RBI; Colter Fortenberry - 0-0, 3 BB, HBP, 3 runs; Waldvogel - 2-2, 2 BB, 2 runs, RBI; Doug Zimmel - 1-2, 2 Sac., 1 run, 3 RBI