OSGOOD – It would appear a still young Oldenburg Academy baseball team is starting to come into its own for head coach Doug Behlmer.
After taking some lumps in the postseason the last couple years, the Twisters controlled host Jac-Cen-Del in the Sectional 60 opener May 22 to win their 15th game. A three-run first proved to be enough offense as OA went on to post the 8-2 victory.
Starter Chris Hautman pitched into the sixth inning for OA, which was a considerable improvement over the starting effort by the Eagles' Logan Drockelman. The latter pitched to a total of five batters to begin the game, walking three of them. By the time Dylan Swinney came on in relief to get the last two outs, JCD faced a 3-0 deficit.
Andrew Oesterling coaxed a walk to begin the frame and Adam Huber bunted him to second. Hautman shot a single to right-center to score Oesterling with the game's first run. Cleanup hitter Matt Sedler drew a base-on-balls, as did catcher Michael Hoff to load the bases. First baseman Riley Schebler lifted a fly ball to right field, scoring courtesy runner Pros Moorman from third. An errant throw on the play allowed Sedler to scamper home with another run.
Hautman worked around some wildness in the bottom of one (hit-batsman, BB) to maintain the 3-run lead. Swinney tossed solid frames in the second and third, allowing just a single to Oesterling.
After TJ Menchhofer singled to start the last of the second, Hautman blew away the bottom portion of the Jac-Cen-Del lineup. He battled to strike out Drockelman, Miles McAdams and Nate Scoggins – all called third strikes – to leave Menchhofer at second. Hautman added a fourth straight backward K in JCD's next at-bat, catching Jacob Jines looking. A diving play by senior Jordan Stenger in right ended the third.
The fourth turned out to be OA's most lucrative. The Twisters batted around against Swinney, collecting four more runs.
Hoff singled to short left to start the rally. Schebler laid down a bunt and Swinney's throw was off target to second, putting a pair of runners on. Race Carle walked to load the bases, leading to Patrick Thompson's two-run single to center. Stenger's fly ball to center was deep enough to score Carle as OA went ahead 6-0. Oesterling laced a single to left and Huber sent one to right, the latter plating Thompson. Hautman's single reloaded the bases, but JCD turned a nice double play to escape more harm.
Hautman put a pair of runners on in the fourth via walks, and two more in the fifth (BB, 1B). Each time he kept JCD scoreless, adding another called third strike in the fifth. Singles to right by Schebler, Thompson and Oesterling were left unsupported in OA's fifth and sixth.
Behlmer elected to pull Hautman after a walk and hit-batsman to start the bottom of six. Oesterling came to his relief, allowing a sacrifice fly and unearned run (throwing error).
OA tacked on a run in the seventh. Hoff beat out a single to third and Schebler singled to left. Courtesy runner Nick Hoff would score on a wild pitch. Oesterling put JCD down in order to end the game, finishing with a called third strike on cleanup hitter Dustin Herbert.
Hautman fanned six in the win and gave up just two hits, also walking six.
Oldenburg (15-7-1) will meet the Hauser Jets in the semifinals. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Memorial Day. Rising Sun and South Decatur play in the other semifinal. Winners would square off at 7 p.m. that night for the championship.
AT RUSHVILLE (May 18)
OA broke a 4-4 tie in the season finale at Rushville last Saturday, scoring a run in the seventh to win 5-4. Each side had 7 hits.
Oesterling's 2 hits included a triple and Carle added 2 knocks (RBI, double). Huber doubled and drove in 1. Sedler and Schebler had one RBI single each.
Oesterling started, striking out 2 in 4 innings. Schebler earned the win despite walking a pair and hitting 3 Lions.
Will Fehlinger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.