Kiel's heroics lead Owatonna to rally over Red Wing
Owatonna - It took a while to happen, but the bats woke up for the Owatonna High School baseball team at the right time.
And when it did, the result was demoralizing.
Led by Kodey Kiel’s bases-clearing double, the Huskies managed to register six runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to rally from a 3-0 deficit to down the Red Wing Wingers 7-3 Thursday night at Dartt’s Park in Big Nine Conference action.
“To be down in any game, when you’re down 3-0, 4-0, its difficult,” added Huskies skipper Tate Cummings. “We’re pretty optimistic; it’s a testament to their work ethic and having great at-bats we were able to have that late-game rally.”
Kiel was the catalyst for the Huskies’ late-game surge. Only it didn’t start with his bat, but rather his arm. After being sent in to relieve Matt Bothun just three batters into his duration on the mound, Kiel struck out the final two batters of the innings.
When it was Kiel’s turn at the plate, the senior drive a hard line-drive into the gap in left-center scoring Spencer Glynn and Dawson Leer to tie the game at 3-3. Kiel finished the contest with 3-for-3 with four RBIs. When asked about his senior’s performance, Cummings simply noted that it’s just who he is.
“That’s Kodey. He’s our bulldog, he’s our player. He can definitely make this team go in a hurry and that was an example of that tonight; he’s a player,” added Cummings.
In Owatonna’s monster fifth inning, the Huskies rolled through the order with third baseman Abe Havelka delivering a two-run double that bounced on the warning track in centerfield as the final hit in the inning for the Huskies. The junior third baseman rebounded from a strikeout in his first at-bat to go 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Through the first four innings the Huskies managed just three hits, in large part to getting under the ball too much. While the Huskies only had four strikeouts on the day, they had seven fly balls that delivered easy outs. A pair of them didn’t even leave the infield.
Despite a throwing error with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Kiel managed to record the final two strikeouts for the win. In three innings pitched, he recorded an ERA of 0.0 and collected seven strikeouts.
Owatonna’s starter, Jacob Gauthier, was relieved by Bothun to start the top of the fifth. In his first start of the season, the senior had a few moments that were joyous and a few that tested the team's ability to face adversity. In four innings of work, Gauthier collected an ERA of 6.0, allowing two runs while surrendering six hits. he also walked three batters as well.
Owatonna will be in action again April 11 in Winona.
Red Wing 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 7 2
Owatonna 0 0 0 0 6 1 x 7 11 3
WP: Kiel, 3 IP, ERA: 0.0, 7 K
Batting: Kiel 3-3, Havelka 2-4, Hanson 1-2, Leer 1-2, Budach 1-1, Glynn 0-2, Alstead 1-2, Deason 1-3, Staska 0-3, Mensink 0-3.