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Onaga Walks it Off Against Medicine Lodge, Sends Buffaloes to State Semifinals
By Jared Sleppy
Copyright: MSC Sports
05/25/2023

The Onaga baseball team won its first ever state tournament baseball game. They walked it off 8-7 in the 10th inning against Medicine Lodge on Thursday afternoon in Great Bend.

Freshman left fielder Keagan Venneberg was the unlikely hero that hit the game-winning single to left field to clinch the ballgame.

Prior to the team’s program-altering victory, Venneberg hadn’t gotten a base hit in his young high school baseball career.

“The pitcher was just pitching fast strikes,” Venneberg said after the game. “It was unbelievable. I don’t even know how it happened. It was the bat. The bat is magic,” he joked.

The freshman wasn’t even in the hitting order to start the game but filled the nine-spot to pinch hit in the sixth inning. He struck out in his first at bat, but he remained resilient and got his first knock in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Unfortunately, nothing came of it, but he got another chance with runners on second and third with two outs in the tenth; and the rest is history.

Before that, it looked like the Buffaloes already had the game won after junior center fielder Hunter Lamond hit an RBI single with one out to tie the game. The possible winning run, junior first baseman Rayce Fisher, was called out at home on a controversial call.

Fisher was another big reason why Onaga came out on top. He hit a two-run double in the third inning to give them a 3-1 lead. He drove in two more runs with a two-RBI single in the fifth inning.

His heroics continued in the tenth to give them their first run of the inning.

“It was probably the best game of my life,” Fisher said. “I just tried to stay on the first-pitch fastball and hit it somewhere.”

Sophomore second baseman L.J. Koelzer finished with a multi-hit performance as well, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs.

The Buffaloes used all four of their pitchers with their starter Zac Fisher going five innings allowing five hits, three earned runs and four walks while striking out five.

Jackson Kolterman saved the day with his 3.2 innings of relief. He entered the ballgame after the Buffaloes blew a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning. With the game tied and the bases loaded and only one out, he got out of the jam.

Kolterman also struck out four consecutive batters spanning from the eighth through the ninth innings.

He ended up allowing three hits, two earned runs and two walks and struck out eight Medicine Lodge batters.

Onaga will continue their quest for their first ever state title on Friday with their semifinal matchup against St. Mary’s Colgan (13-11) starting at 11:00 a.m.

You can listen to all the action on 92.1 FM KMZA.


©2023 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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