by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell Muskies baseball team scored a resounding championship in the annual Omann Invitational Tournament held last weekend in Sartell.
In the tournament’s three games, the Muskies gave up only one run. So far this season, the Muskies have had no errors in their last six games and only two errors out of 12 games.
The co-hosts of the tournament, now in its 12th year, were the Muskies and the St. Stephen Steves.
The Omann Invitational Tournament took place at St. Cloud Orthopedic Sports Field (formerly Champion Park in Sartell). On Friday, the Muskies defeated the St. Stephen Steves 7-0; on Saturday, they won over the Brainerd Bees also 7-0; and they clinched the championship Sunday with a 2-1 victory over the Nisswa Lightning.
All three games were seven innings each, a requirement for the Omann Invitational.
The Muskies’ long-time manager Randy Beckstrom attributed the championship to expert pitching by three pitchers – David Deminski; Dave Kroger, Jr.; and Adam Wenker. All three were named “Most Valuable Players” after the tournament win.
“That tournament just blew us away,” Beckstrom said. “The pitching definitely dominated.”
During the third and final game, an agony of suspense hung in the hot, humid air. The Nisswa Lightning led by 1 point, with the Muskies not having scored at all. Then, at the bottom of the sixth inning, it was a bolt from the blue when Muskies player Jace Otto had a two-out double for the winning run. A commotion of wild cheers and yells erupted from the spectators.
During the hot weekend, with temperatures into the 90s, other baseball games were played by other teams in both Sartell and St. Stephen.
The Muskies, now with 27 players, was formed in 1979. Beckstrom joined them in 1989 but stopped playing 14 years ago and became the team’s manager in 2006.