A week ago the Osceola Chieftain baseball team was on a four game winning streak in Middle Border conference play. Osceola had climbed to a second place tie with the St. Croix Central Panther in the MBC.
Last week the Chieftains went on the road for a pair of conference matchups. Although Osceola was in both games they eventually fell to Baldwin-Woodville and Prescott to drop to 6-6 in the conference. The pair of road losses dropped the Chiefs to fifth place with two games left in the regular season.
New Richmond clinched the top spot in the MBC with a perfect 13-0 mark. Osceola could still climb to as high as second place before the WIAA playoffs begin on May 23 when the Chieftains will play the 5-seeded Ashland Oredockers. Osceola earned the 4-seed for the Regional tournament.
The winner of that game will travel to Northwestern to take on the top seeded Tigers on May 28.
Osceola jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks. Matt Schultz opened the game with a single and was moved up to second base on a sacrifice by Aaron Schmidt. Logan Clark then singled to put runners on the corners with one out.
After a Chieftain strikeout Josh Schultz delivered a two-run double to left-center field.
Unfortunately the Osceola bats went silent after the opening inning. The Chieftains managed just three more hits the rest of the way and were held off the scoreboard. The Blackhawks pecked away at the Osceola lead with a run in the second inning and two in the third to take the lead. BW got a pair of insurance tallies in the fifth to win the game 5-2.
Matt Schultz pitched a complete game for Osceola giving up just one earned run. Schultz did not walk a batter and stuck out five.
“Once again Matt Schultz pitched very well, well enough to win that’s for sure,” Osceola coach Kyle Collins said. “Quite simply, Baldwin executed and came up with more clutch hits and we did not. Scoring first is always our goal but we need to do a better job of adding runs throughout the game if you want to beat quality teams like Baldwin.”
Osceola broke to a 2-0 lead when they traveled to Prescott to take on the Panthers. The Chieftains scored a deuce in the second inning. Nick Carlson led the inning with a triple and scored on a single by Josh Schultz. Schultz stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Logan Maxon. Peter Bjerke drove home the second Osceola run of the inning with a two-out single.
Prescott took the lead with four runs in the third and three in the fourth. The Chieftains added a single tally in their half of the fourth to make the final score 7-3.
“We made a hard game even harder against Prescott,” Collins said. “It’s frustrating to know that you are the better team but didn’t look like it. Offensively, we were good enough to win but our defense and pitching let us down. Nick Carlson and Matt Schultz were great again at the plate like they have been all year. Peter Bjerke impressed me starting in right field for his first start on varsity and collected his first varsity hit and RBI with two outs in the first inning.”
Osceola played a pair of contests earlier this week against St. Croix Central to wrap up MBC play and now it’s on to the playoffs beginning with Ashland on the Chieftains home field.
“I’ll tell you what,” Collins said, “I’m excited to play a home game after being on the road four games in a row.”