Albricht throws seven innings to lead Okabena to victory

HERON LAKE -- The Okabena American Legion baseball team found the right formula for victory Saturday. Okabena used timely hitting, near-perfect defense and a pair of solid pitching performances to defeat Worthington, 9-3, in a nine-inning contest...

HERON LAKE -- The Okabena American Legion baseball team found the right formula for victory Saturday.

Okabena used timely hitting, near-perfect defense and a pair of solid pitching performances to defeat Worthington, 9-3, in a nine-inning contest.

"We hit the ball well," Okabena head coach Kevin McBreen said. "We didn't have too many strikeouts, and in the top of the order we didn't have any. We were running well, and played good in the field, and didn't make too many errors."

Post 5, which hadn't played since defeating Jackson July 1, couldn't find its rhythm and managed three runs on eight hits.

"We practice plenty, so I don't think it was the lack of baseball that hurt us too much," Worthington head coach Joe Rezek said. "I think you have to give credit where credit is due. They got on base and were aggressive, and when they got on base, they took second. They had the timely hits and scored some runs, which we didn't do today."


Thomas Albricht started on the hill for Okabena, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six in seven innings.

"We hit the ball real well," Okabena catcher Ben Scheevel said. "Thomas was pitching real well at the beginning of the game. He pitched really well the whole time and gave us seven strong innings."

Scheevel threw the final two innings, allowing one hit while striking out two.

"I haven't pitched for a long time, so it was good to get out there and pitch a few innings," Scheevel said. "We have playoffs coming up, so it will feel good to get in the playoffs and pitch a few innings, too."

While the two paired up to combine for a gem on the mound, the two were also deadly at the plate.

Albricht had three hits, drove in a pair of runs and, with help of courtesy runners, scored three times.

Scheevel had three RBIs and was on base four times, including a double and a triple.

"I've been hitting the ball really well; (Friday) night I hit a home run and today I stayed pretty hot," Scheevel said. "I hadn't played for a while, but I've been pretty hot lately."


Kirk McBreen and Garet Rogers each had a pair of hits for an Okabena team that roughed up a trio of Worthington pitchers for 13 hits.

"We threw three pitchers today because we have a big game which is kind of a measuring stick coming up against Mankato and Eagle Lake, so I wanted to get the pitching arms ready to go for that," Rezek said. "I definitely didn't want to take a loss today, but I wanted to make sure we were ready."

Matt King started on the hill for Worthington and allowed three runs in three innings while striking out two. Joe Ahrens threw the middle three innings and allowed three runs, while Kyle Vaske allowed three runs in two innings of work.

While it was Okabena that ended on top, it was Post 5 that took the early lead.

In the top of the first inning, Vaske singled and advanced to second when Ahrens was hit with a pitch. Vaske later stole third, and Derek Busswitz came up with an RBI single to drive in the first run of the game.

"Thomas threw strikes today," McBreen said. "He didn't look too good in the first inning, but he got through it."

The Okabena defense turned a double play to get out of the first inning before any more runs could be scored.

"Some days you're on, and some days you're off," Rezek said. "The bats just weren't clicking today."


Trailing by a run, Okabena answered in a big way in the bottom of the first.

With one out, Lon Eichenberger walked and Albricht singled. Both were driven in by a Scheevel triple to give Okabena the lead.

Tyler Timko added an RBI groundout as Okabena had a 3-1 lead after the first inning.

After a scoreless second and third inning, Okabena added a run in the fourth as Octavio Jimenez drove in Rogers to push the lead to three runs, 4-1.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Riley Van Westen doubled and scored on Brandon Schroeder's single to cut the deficit to 4-2.

However, Albricht and Scheevel produced another run in the bottom of the fifth to maintain the three-run lead.

"Ben had a real good game on offense, and so did Tom," McBreen said. "I think they each had two or three hits."

Worthington's final run came in the top of the sixth inning.


Vaske walked, went to second on an error and later scored on a Busswitz single to cut the lead to 5-3.

Okabena added a run in the sixth and the seventh before adding its final two runs in the eighth.

McBreen singled with two outs, and Eichenberger followed with a single of his own to put two runners on base. Albricht then delivered a two-run single to give Okabena a comfortable lead.

Worthington will travel to Mankato for a doubleheader today, while Okabena will travel to Pipestone Tuesday.


Worth. 100 011 000 -- 3 8 2

Ok. 300 111 12X -- 9 13 1

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