The Osseo Legion baseball team, sponsored by the Osseo Legion Post 172 in Osseo, has had a busy start to their summer 2013 schedule.
League play began with a win over Excelsior, where Charlie Hohenstein pitched seven good innings, Zach Bahl finished the game and Grant Sealock opened up the scoring with a three-run triple. Justin Philippon provided great speed in base running for the season opener. League games continued with wins over Andover, Armstrong, Champlin and Anoka, and an exciting win over Maple Grove. With a big hit in the bottom of the seventh, Bret Moody scored the winning run to put the Orioles over the Crimson and earn the victory.
The next part of the season started more tournament play, with the Osseo squad going to Delano to defend their championship in the Stars and Stripes Wood Bat Tournament.
In game one, Osseo faced Elk River, with Ben Johnson pitching a complete game for the locals. Offensively, Sealock hit a single and stole two bases to get into scoring position for the first run. Moody and Sam Christofferson got timely hits, with Christofferson getting the game-winning double to put the boys ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh.
In game 2 against Providence Academy, the site was moved to the Loretto Lions baseball field. Hohenstein pitched a complete game and earned the 8-1 victory. Haven Williams provided strong offense with a big double in addition to two other hits, and AJ Lyons gave a great defensive effort at third base.
Game 3 of the Stars and Stripes tourney pitted Osseo against Minneapolis Southwest. It was a very tight game and after tying it up 1-1, extra innings and international tie-breaker rules were used. After Winston Lane got on base with a walk, Sealock scored him with a walk off single and the 4-3 victory. Joe Daher pitched well, with Brendan Botzet coming in to pitch through pressure-packed finish. Moody also had an acrobatic tag out at second base during the extra innings to help secure the victory.
After going 3-0 in pool play, Osseo faced Waconia in the semifinals. Bahl pitched for the win, with Johnson earning the save. The game-winning run occurred with Jon Ludwig stealing home, and Osseo finished with the 5-3 victory.
Reaching the championship game, Osseo faced a very strong Edina team. Edina has a strong offense and includes several Division I players on its roster. Ludwig both pitched well and had a big double to provide Osseo with great offense and defense. Botzet also pitched well, not allowing any runs from the Edina squad. However, in the end it was not enough, and Edina came away with a 4-2 victory and the championship.
Throughout the tourney, Mac Pierce, Tony Stein and Andrew Cronin also contributed with solid defense and offense, with Pierce, Stein, Brett Meyer and Sealock sharing the outfield duties, and Cronin and Lyons covering the home plate duties throughout the warm temperatures and humid weather.
The Osseo Legion team is managed by Tyler Heimark, and coached by Case Paxton, Kean Paxton and Brett Christofferson.
With an overall record of 12-5, the Osseo Legion looks forward to more tournament and league play, with league games against Maple Grove and Centennial, and the Gopher Classic starting July 12. Osseo will also be hosting sub-state legion play starting July 24, and would love the community to come and support the team.