Prep Baseball: BOLD, Osakis to battle for Class A title Monday
At the banquet kicking off the Minnesota State Baseball Tournament last week, the BOLD and Osakis baseball teams couldn’t have known they’d eventually meet in the championship game. But the two teams sized each other up anyway.
“They’re little guys, but they’re good little baseball players,” said BOLD head coach Mike Kingery, whose Warriors play the Silverstreaks at 10 a.m. today at Target Field for the Class A title. “It’s like (Minnesota Twins General Manager) Terry Ryan said at the banquet: You don’t have to be big to play baseball.”
Osakis head coach Shad Schmidt knows that to be true. His Streaks team, in the state tournament for the first time, is 20-2. But he couldn’t help take notice that the Warriors don’t look a lot like his squad.
“They’re a good team and, holy cow, they’re the opposite of us — they are big,” Schmidt said. “I said at the banquet, ‘Is that a football team or a baseball team?’ They look like baseball players, put it that way.”
But, big or small, the Warriors and Streaks have reached this point playing the same kind of ball.
They hit well, they both can bring in two excellent pitchers and they play solid defense.
The Streaks entered the tournament hitting .361 and they had outscored opponents by 135 runs in 20 games prior to the state tournament. Through two tournament games, they are hitting .307 and have scored 13 runs on 12 hits.
The top three hitters in their lineup — Jordan Frederick, Lane Berberich and Drew Fearing — are hitting between .400 and .500 in the tournament, and top hitter Douglas Zimmel (.166 at state) has yet to get going. Zimmel hit .642 with 36 runs batted in entering the state tournament.
BOLD was hitting .324 entering the state tournament and has been on an offensive tear going 7-0 in the postseason while outscoring their opponents 66-7. The Warriors have scored 25 runs on 21 hits (they’re hitting .344) in their two state tournament wins.
In two tournament games, Logan Sandgren is hitting .714 with a home run and 5 RBIs, Trevor Nissen is hitting .500 with 3 RBIs and Riley Kramer, Trent Athmann, Tyler Seehusen and Austin Weis all have driven in a pair of runs.
“They’re a good team,” said Osakis pitcher Kilar Zimmel, who may start today’s game. “I think it’ll be a good matchup.”
It would be difficult to find two teams pitching better at this point in the season.
The Streaks came into the tournament with a team earned-run average of 1.55 but Kilar Zimmel (6-0) and Frederick (9-0) have combined on two shutouts, each pitching six innings in the two games. Zimmel had a 1.63 ERA coming in and Frederick’s ERA was 0.89. Berberich and Douglas Zimmel also have a couple of wins this season.
“They have three really good pitchers, they’re all about the same, and there’s no let-down any way they go,” Kingery said. “You saw it (in a 3-0 semifinals win over New York Mills). One goes five strong innings and they have the next guy, who’s a stud, ready to go.”
But BOLD can match arms with any team right now. Kramer (6-1) and Sandgren (5-0) both threw no-hitters in the section playoffs and Sandgren threw another no-hitter in the state quarterfinals. They have allowed two earned runs in 13 state tournament innings, an ERA of 1.08.
“That’s why it should be a fun game, a good game,” Kingery said.