Huskies Win on Nolan Malo’s Game-Ending Home Run
Owatonna senior Nolan Malo hit the first home run of his high school career Thursday night. The two-run shot in the last of the seventh inning gave the Huskies a 3-1 walk-off victory over Rochester Century and sets up a showdown with Lakeville North Saturday in the winners' bracket final.
Hits were hard to come by for Owatonna, who had just four on the night. Parker Westphal singled in the seventh before Malo delivered his game-ending blow. Sol Havelka pitched into the sixth inning before giving way to Noah Budach. The Panthers had six hits.
Each team scored in the fourth inning. Century got a solo homer from Travis Rittenhouse. OHS answered on a dropped fly ball deep in the outfield that permitted Budach to score to even the game at 1-1.
In a Twitter post, OHS coach Tate Cummins called the ending, "One of the most thrilling moments that I've ever been a part of in baseball. So proud and happy of all our guys."
Owatonna (18-3 and the No. 1 seed) will face No. 2 Lakeville North (14-7) Saturday, June 2 at Memorial Field in Dundas at 11 am on 104.9 FM and the Kat Kountry 105 app. The Panthers beat New Prague 1-0 behind a two-hitter from Collin Denk. The winner advances to the Section 1AAAA title game Tuesday, June 5. The loser will have to play again Saturday at 4 pm.
A pair of elimination games are scheduled for Friday to fill the field for the final four. Century plays Mayo and Farmington goes to New Prague. The winners will play Saturday at 1:30 pm with the winner staying alive.
Saturday's Triton baseball game against Caledonia in the Section 1AA winners' bracket final will be broadcast on KDHL AM 920.