Titans’ season ends at hands of defending state champs as Merchants advance in WBA playoffs
The Tomahawk Titans’ season came to an end on Sunday in Altoona as they fell to the defending state champion Osseo Merchants by a score of 8-1. The game actually started on Saturday evening as the teams played two innings of scoreless baseball before the skies opened suspending the game.
Action resumed on Sunday morning and the Titans stuck with the champs through five innings with the Merchants holding a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Osseo used 11 walks and a few timely hits to build their lead and end the season for Tomahawk.
The game started out great for Tomahawk as Isaac Weber and Jared Jarvensivu laced back to back singles in the top of the first inning. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, but unfortunately Osseo’s pitcher got two consecutive strikeouts and a ground out to wiggle off the hook with no damage. Tomahawk threatened again in the second inning as Jacob Jarvensivu and Kory Brietzke reached base with one man out, but they ended up stranded at first and second.
Meanwhile, Titans’ starter, Cody Brietzke, was cruising on the mound, holding the Merchants scoreless through four innings. However, Tomahawk couldn’t hit paydirt either and the score was 0-0 through four innings. In the top of the fifth, Logan Hile led off with a single to right field and advanced to third on a couple of ground balls, but was stranded there as Osseo pitcher, Luke Eide got a big strikeout to end the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Osseo finally tallied a run using a leadoff walk and two singles to gain a 1-0 advantage. Cody Brietzke pitched five strong innings allowing a run on 2 hits while striking out 3. The Titans’ bullpen ran in to trouble in the sixth. Caleb Armstrong got the leadoff batter to ground out to second, but then walked the next two batters and hit the third to load the bases. Osseo’s Ryan Freitag then ripped a grounder down the first base line just out of the reach of Tomahawk’s first baseman to drive in two runs. After a strikeout, the Merchants lined a single to center scoring two more runners and making the score 5-0.
Tomahawk finally got in the scoring column in the top of the seventh. Kory Brietzke led off and was hit by a pitch. He advanced to third on a couple of ground outs and scored when Jared Jarvensivu lined a single to center to make the score 5-1.
Osseo tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to bring the final score to 8-1. Both teams finished the game with 6 hits, but Osseo used the 11 walks given up by Titans’ pitchers to build their lead. Seven of the eight runners who scored for Osseo reached base via the walk. In addition, Tomahawk left nine runners on base as the Titans struggled to come up with clutch hits.
“The final score does not really indicate how close the game was. We competed with the defending state champions and gave them more trouble than they wanted, stated Titans head coach Jack Jarvensivu. “I am really proud of the way this group of guys represents Tomahawk.They play solid, fundamental baseball, they hustle, and they have a lot of fun with each other.”
Jared Jarvensivu led the Titans at the plate going 2-for-4 with the lone Tomahawk RBI. Isaac Weber, Caleb Armstrong, Logan Hile, and Jacob Armstrong each contributed a base hit in the loss.
Although the 2019 season ended with the loss, it certainly is considered a successful year for the Titans as they qualified for the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Titans would like to thank all of their game sponsors and fans for their support this season. With another year of experience, Tomahawk will hope to make another playoff run in 2020.