Owatonna played great defense and had stellar pitching in their section baseball playoff game at New Prague Tuesday. They also put plenty of runners on base, but came up short 1-0 to the Trojans in the winner's bracket semifinal at Memorial Field. New Prague turned a triple play, threw out a runner at home and caught a player off of second to snuff out several Huskies scoring chances. Owatonna faces a must-win scenario Thursday at Farmington in Section 1AAAA.

New Prague scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the first on a two-out single from designated hitter Cade Pavek. OHS left fielder Isaac Gefre made a diving catch on the next batter to end the inning. Gefre had hit a long double in the top of the first, but got caught off the base on a nifty defensive play by New Prague's Jake Deutsch on a ball hit deep into the hole at short.

In the second, Owatonna started with back-to-back singles by Jon Klecker and Ethan Rohman. A soft hit line drive was snagged by Trojans' second baseman Drew Picka who threw to first for the second out and the ball was relayed to second base to complete the triple play.

Owatonna had another scoring chance in the third inning after Matt Williams reached first base on an error and stole second. Huskies coach Tate Cummins sent Williams scurrying home on a two-out single to center field by Jake Miller but Nathan Osborne made a great throw to Will Busch who applied the tag to end the inning. It was the only time Owatonna had a runner touch third. Cummins said before the game that New Prague was very good defensively.

Bradyn Truelson had a great start on the mound for Owatonna. After giving up the run in the first inning, Truelson retired ten straight batters. He pitched into the sixth inning, giving up five hits. Matt Segler surrendered three singles before getting a fly out to end the Trojans effort to add insurance. Rohman threw out a runner attempting to steal second in the inning, his second caught stealing of the afternoon.

In the visiting seventh, Rohman singled for his second hit. Payton Beyer came in to run for him. Owatonna's first out came on a bunt attempt that went foul with two strikes. A roller to first resulted in the second out with Beyer advancing to second. A fly out to right gave the Trojans their second straight 1-0 victory and moves them to the winner's bracket final Saturday morning at 11 am at Dundas against defending section champ Lakeville North.

Owatonna plays an elimination game at Farmington Thursday at 5 pm. The Huskies topped the Tigers 6-2 in nine innings on Friday.

Tuesday's results:
No. 3 New Prague 1, No. 7 Owatonna 0
No. 4 Lakeville North 3, No. 8 Mayo 1
No. 2 Farmington 6, No. 6 Lakeville South 0 (South eliminated)
No. 5 Rochester JM 5, No. 1 Rochester Century 4 (Century eliminated)
Thursday's schedule
Owatonna at Farmington
Rochester Mayo at Rochester JM