The Osceola Braves lost two out of three games during one of their toughest weeks of the season. The two losses and one victory moved their overall record to 5-8 on the year with a conference record of 2-2.
The first game was played on June 19 at Oakey Park against the Stillwater Loggers, a game that ended in a 12-4 loss for the Braves. The matchup was a non-conference game, a stroke of luck for the Braves as only conference games are used in determining playoff teams.
The Braves managed to keep the game close until the top of the fourth inning when the Loggers scored seven runs to make their lead 9-0. The Braves made an effort to stay in the game and scored four runs before the last inning was over. In the bottom of the fifth, two runs came from Mark Hronski who singled with the bases loaded. The very next inning, the Braves scored their final two runs off of a double, a couple of singles, a walk and a hit batter.
Although the comeback against the Loggers fell short, Braves Manager Brian Hronski was impressed with the team’s effort.
“We made some plays at the end of the game, Brett Nelson chased a double to the gap and he was sprinting after it. I thought our effort tonight was awesome and the attitude on this team is outstanding,” Manager Hronski said.
The second matchup of the week was against the River Falls Fighting Fish on Friday, June 21. The Fish came into the game with an overall record of 15-1. The Braves jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Starting pitching was the main advantage the Braves had over the Fighting Fish. Braves starter Brett Carlson went six innings without giving up an earned run.
“Brett is our number one guy and this team came in 15-1 so we were gearing Brett up for this game. The last two times Brett has gone out his velocity is up three or four miles per hour on his fastball, I thought Brett threw great tonight,” Manager Hronski added.
Carlson’s six innings and no earned runs were not enough for the Braves. Their pitching staff ended up allowing seven runs in the next three innings. The final score of the contest was 7-4 in favor of the River Falls Fighting Fish giving them a 16-1 overall record.
In the final game of the week, the Braves played a conference road game against the Haugen Hornets on June 22. The contest served as an essential game for the Braves, as they attempted to get back to 2-2 in conference play and set themselves up for future playoff contention.
Brady Berg was the main story for Osceola, he went seven innings and held the lead for the Braves at 5-3. In terms of batting, Carlson had a big night with a single, double and two RBIs. The final score was an 8-3 Braves victory bringing their team back to .500 in conference play and giving them momentum going into the next stretch of games.
The Braves have their next game at Oakey Park on June 26 against the Isanti Redbirds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Independent League Standings
Scores from last week in Indy Conference
Hornets 2 11 innings