The Osseo baseball programs continue to uphold the tradition of quality baseball, and have had another successful season in 2014.
The high school program fielded three teams during the spring season. The sophomore team, coached by Eric Weum and Mike Krempa, started out the season 4-0 and finished with an above .500 record with lots of young talent. The JV squad was coached by new head coach Jeff Peterson. They also finished with a .500 season and developed many sophomore and junior players who show great potential and talent.
The high school varsity team continues to be coached by John Groebner, Osseo grad and past baseball and football player. For the first time in nearly a decade, the Osseo High School varsity made it through the playoffs and played at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. Osseo lost to a scrappy Champlin Park team, who went on to beat Maple Grove and Coon Rapids before losing to state champ Mounds View.
Awards for Osseo baseball went to several players. Captains Jon Rudolph-Ludwig and A.J. Lyons, both three-year varsity players, as well as junior Rudy Alexander, a two-year varsity starter, received Northwest Suburban All-Conference honors. Senior Brett Meyer and juniors Justin Clark and Ben Christofferson received All-Conference Honorable Mention honors.
The summer season kicked off with Osseo fielding three teams; the Osseo Legion Post 172 team, the VFW team, and the newly-formed Northwest Orioles Amateur Baseball team.
This town team is comprised of primarily past Osseo high school players, now college-aged and playing in the Minnesota Baseball Association, Class A Riverview league. In their inaugural season, the NW Orioles showed that they could hold their own with the metro’s top teams. In an exciting two-out-of-three game series, the Orioles lost to Chaska in the playoffs, and have a solid foundation to build on for next year.
The VFW team, coached by Groebner, showcased young talent as well as young varsity players from the high school season. The summer included tournaments in New Ulm and an extensive season, ending with a loss to Anoka in the third game of a two-out-of-three game series.
The American Legion team also had a busy summer. For the second year in a row, Osseo hosted the Sub-State playoff tournament. Eight teams played in a double-elimination format to determine who would earn a berth to the Legion State Tournament. Osseo beat St. Michael and Maple Grove to get to the finals with Excelsior, losing a closely fought game. Delano, who lost their first game to Excelsior, fought their way through the loser’s bracket, defeating Osseo and beating Excelsior twice to claim the Sub-State title, with Excelsior finishing in second and Osseo in third place.
The tournament was a great success for the Osseo Baseball Programs and the community, Legion Baseball director Mark Weber, Legion head coach Kevin Kray and great volunteerism, along with good weather, helped this to be another successful tournament.
Especially noteworthy is our volunteer Osseo public address announcer Steve Tripp. Over the course of the high school and summer seasons, Tipp has been there to keep the crowd informed and entertained for almost all home games. During the Sub-State tournament alone, he was on hand to announce all 15 games, and then two Northwest Oriole games, for a total of 154 innings over five days. All who attend can appreciate his enthusiasm for the game, and Delano player Toby Hanson has dubbed him “P.A.” and thanked him for his hard work.
With the addition of the lights and scoreboard last season, and a wonderful foundation of players and families, the Osseo baseball programs show promise for more success and achievement in the future.