Thursday, 21 March 2019
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Oskaloosa Baseball Earns Spot at Class 3A State Tournament
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

Weather once again this baseball season played a factor as the Regional action in Sabetha in Class 3A was moved up to avoid storms later in the day and the action got rolling with a State bid up for grabs. The Oskaloosa Bears behind a 2-1 Semifinal win over Nemaha Central and 9-1 win the Championship over Maur Hill-Mount Academy earned a spot at State for the first time in school history. Maur Hill won their Semifinal 5-1 over Sabetha to make the Championship. 

The action opened up with Oskaloosa and the defending 3A State Champs Nemaha Central in Sabetha and in the bottom of the first inning the Thunder looked to take the early lead getting the first two batters on but came up empty and it remained scoreless until the fourth. A leadoff walk followed by a double by Heath Knopp then a two RBI double from Jared Miller gave Oskaloosa a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Nemaha Central threatened in the bottom of the fourth but stranded a pair and while Oskaloosa tried to added runs in the sixth and seventh leaving two and three guys on each half inning the Bears led 2-0 entering the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff single got the inning going for Nemaha Central but a spectacular diving catch in centerfield led to a double play for the Bears defense and there were two-outs. Chase Kramer was then hit by a pitch and Luke Reitz pinch hit coming up with an RBI double to get the Thunder on the board but ultimately the tying run was left at third for the Thunder as Oskaloosa finished the game to earn the 2-1 win. 

In the loss Nemaha Central had starter Paul Enneking toss five innings, while Austin Gerety pitched the final two frames and offensively a 2-3 games by Lucas Schraad led the offense. The Thunder close baseball season 16-4.

Hunter Reed was strong on the mound for Oskaloosa going all seven innings to earn the win giving up one run on six hits, two walks, a hit batter and struck out three. Miller led the offense going 2-2 with a double and two RBI, while Cooper Thurston drew four walks. The win moves the Bears the title game. 

Game two on the day saw Maur Hill and Sabetha square off and it was a five run outburst in the top of the second that was the deciding factor in the contest. In the top of the second the Ravens set all nine to the plate and behind five hits scored five runs getting a two RBI single by Tate Vowels and an RBI single by Ayden Black, while scoring the final two runs of the inning on a pair of wild pitches. Sabetha looked to answer but managed only one run in the bottom of the second on three walks and a RBI single from Braden Agrabright, leaving the bases loaded in the frame. Both teams had a couple opportunities the rest of the way but neither were able to get a run and the Bluejays ultimately left the bases loaded again the sixth and fell 5-1. 

Sabetha with the loss closed out their first high school baseball season with a 13-7 record. Gabe Graber led the offense going 1-1 with two walks, while Joe Gruber tossed five and two-thirds of relief giving up five hits, two walks and struck out five. 

Maur Hill in the win was led by Noah Baniewicz who tossed five and one-third as the starter giving up just one run on four hits, six walks and struck out six, while Abe Seibenmorgan tossed the final inning and two-thirds. At the plate Siebenmorgan was 3-4 with a double, while Jack Caudle was 2-4. 

In the Championship both teams got a run early but Oskaloosa batted around in the fourth and sixth inning to score three and five runs in those frames to earn the 9-1 win over Maur Hill. The Bears used a leadoff walk and infield single to get a run in the top of the first, but Maur Hill answered with an RBI single by Siebenmorgan in the bottom of the first. The Bears flipped the game to their favor in the fourth batting around scoring three on three hits, two hit batters and a walk and then scored six more in the sixth on two-hits, four walks and a hit batter. After scoring in the first Maur Hill spread out six runners over the final six innings but were unable to score and Oskaloosa earned the 9-1 win. 

Maur Hill finished the season 12-7 and managed only four hits in the loss to Oskaloosa with a 2-3 day coming from Siebenmorgan at the plate, while he started the game and went four innings. 

Oskaloosa got another strong pitching performance as Jerod Shufflebarger gave up just one run on four hits, a walk and hit batter while striking out a pair to earn the win. Miller once again the led offense going 2-4, while Thurston drew two walks and had two RBI's. 

With the win the Bears earn a spot in the Class 3A State baseball tournament on Thursday and Friday, May 25-26th in Manhattan and will carry a 15-6 record into State competition. 

©2019 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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