Second trip to State in three years
The Osseo American Legion baseball team, sponsored by Osseo Legion Post 172, advanced to the American Legion State Tournament with a 4-0 showing at the Sub-State Region 11 Tournament, played at Memorial Field in Osseo July 25 to 28.
Osseo played its first game on Thursday, beating play-in winner Rogers 14-3 in seven innings. A strong offensive effort by all players, along with a convincing win by Ben Johnson, brought the Osseo Legion team into the semi-finals of the double elimination tournament.
In that game, Osseo faced a strong Anoka squad. In an exciting victory, Tony Stein stepped in and came through with a huge hit to get the team an 8-7 victory. Johnson earned the win and the Orioles moved on to the finals of the winner’s bracket.
Their opponent for game 3 was St. Michael, also undefeated and posing a good offensive threat. In a very defensive game, Osseo won 2-1, with an RBI by Sam Christofferson, heads up base running by Bret Moody, and eight great innings pitched by Zach Bahl. Johnson earned the victory as Osseo now awaited the winner of the loser’s bracket for the final game of the tournament.
Maple Grove defeated St. Michael and faced the Orioles on Sunday, needing to win two games to advance to state. Charlie Hohenstein was on the mound for Osseo, and pitched through seven innings. Osseo was down 5-1, and after narrowing the deficit to 5-3, they had a rally inning, producing five runs and taking over the lead. Big hits by Winston Lane III, Bryce Sealock and Brett Meyer, as well as timely walks and great base running brought the Orioles on top 8-5. Hohenstein earned the win, Johnson came in for the save and Osseo held off the Crimson 8-6 for the championship and the state berth.
The State Legion Tournament is played in Edina (and other sites), and starts Friday, Aug. 2. Osseo faces Mahtomedi in the first game of the 16-team double-elimination event, with their game at Chanhassen High School at 1 p.m.
This is the second trip to state in the three years that coach Case Paxton has had the managerial duties. The members of the Osseo American Legion Baseball Team are: Zach Bahl, Brendan Botzet, Sam Christofferson, Andrew Cronin, Joe Daher, Charlie Hohenstein, Ben Johnson, Winston Lane III, Jon Ludwig, A. J. Lyons, Brett Meyer, Bret Moody, Justin Philippon, Mac Pierce, Bryce Sealock, Grant Sealock, Tony Stein, Haven Williams, and manager Tyler Heimark. Coaches are Case Paxton, Kean Paxton and Brett Christofferson and Mark Weber is the Legion Baseball Director.