In a postseason of tight games, Osseo battled to the end with conference rival Champlin Park for playoff survival.
After taking the lead in a three-run inning, the Orioles looked primed to play another day with a 3-2 lead through four innings Wednesday, May 28. While they expected a tough game from Rebels star pitcher Brandon Rushmeyer, it took base running to end Osseo’s season. Kip Youngquist scurried home on an error in the sixth inning to help secure a 5-3 victor for the Rebels.
“It was an up and down season,” Orioles coach Groebner said. “A lot of kids came to play once the playoffs came. They really showed up and battled it out.”
The Orioles went 2-2 in Section 5AA tournament play, including the May 28 loss to the Rebels. Osseo had the strong start, but the Rebels put up another three runs in the fifth and six innings.
“They got us down on our heels again,” Groebner said.
Jon Ludwig and A.J. Lyons had put the Orioles ahead 3-2 in the fourth with sacrifice flies that brought home three runs. Rudy Alexander, Charlie Hohenstien and Ben Christofferson all scored runs in the inning.
“In that second time through the order against Rush, guys were starting to see the ball a little better and put the ball in play,” Groebner said.
Osseo finished the season 10-14, but they made noise in the Section 5AAA tournament. The Orioles took top-seeded Totino-Grace to 11 innings in a 1-0 loss. Osseo also beat Centennial 5-4 before giving the Rebels a challenge.
“At the beginning of the year, we were one of those teams that everyone wanted to play,” Groebner said. “We got to this time of the year, and we were at team that they were afraid to see.”