Hudson Ohm pitches Zumbrota-Mazeppa into Section 1-2A baseball championship game

Jun. 1—ROCHESTER — The Zumbrota-Mazeppa baseball team has had a lot of motivation this season after falling in section play a year ago. The Cougars are playing with a lot of emotion during the 2024 playoffs and it is paying off.

Z-M advanced to the Section 1, Class 2A championship game on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over Cannon Falls. The Cougars, the No. 3 seed, are now 4-0 in section play. A year ago Z-M was the No. 1 seed in the section only to fall short of a state berth.

"It feels good coming off of last year," Z-M sophomore Hudson Ohm said. "We had two disappointing losses last year. We had one goal in mind and we still have to accomplish that goal."

No. 8 Cannon Falls (13-11) defeated No. 2 La Crescent 6-1 later on Saturday to earn its way back into the title game. Z-M (16-6) and the Bombers will play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Mayo Field with Z-M needing one win to earn a state berth and Cannon Falls needing two wins.

"The guys bring energy over and over again and they just keep tapping into that well," Z-M coach AJ Yusten said.

Ohm continued his stellar postseason pitching on Saturday as he threw six shutout innings. He had thrown three scoreless innings in the last Z-M section win as he earned the victory in relief.

"I always have trust in my pitches," Ohm said. "Cannon Falls is a really good team so I just had to throw strikes and let my defense play."

The right — hander shut the Bombers down on just three hits while striking out 10 in his six innings. Ohm had his slider working well Saturday and was also popping his fastball. He also showed a lot of emotion on the mound, pumping his first after recording some big outs. He stranded four runners in scoring position.

"It helps me stay in a groove and keep the energy going," Ohm said.

"He brought his intensity that he always brings," Yusten said. "He spotted low in the zone which really helps him. He's a hard enough pitcher to hit, but when he hits the bottom of the strike zone and mixes up his pitches, he's extremely tough."

Cannon Falls had defeated the Cougars in section play a year ago en route to a section title and a Class 2A state berth. This time Z-M was ready and up to the challenge against the lower-seeded Bombers, who have been playing well in the section tournament.

"We've been telling them not to overlook any game," Yusten said. "And they did a good job of focusing on this particular game and not looking past it. Because anytime you play (coach) Bucky (Lindow) and the Bombers, they always bring their 'A' game no matter what."

The Cougars broke through against Jack Meyers with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Kaleb Lochner with a fielder's choice grounder, Jack Krier with a single and Wilson Nordquist with a double all drove in runs.

"We knew if we got some runs we were going to win the game so it was nice to get those three runs on the board," Ohm said.

Hudson Ohm, along with older brother Preston Ohm, a senior lefty, has formed a strong 1-2 pitching punch for Z-M all season. Yusten said he went with the younger Ohm in this game because he was a bit more fresh.

Preston Ohm is expected to pitch in the championship game against Cannon Falls on Tuesday.

"That's the goal," Yusten said.

Winners bracket final

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 3, Cannon Falls 0

Cannon Falls#000#000#0#—#0#3#2


No. 8 Cannon Falls: Ryan Hjellming 1-for-3, 1 2B; Aaron Melhouse 2-for-2 1 2B. Pitchers: Jack Meyers (LP) 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; Ryan Hjellming 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.

No. 3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa: Wilson Nordquist 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI; Owen Hoefs 1 R; Oliver Liffrig 1-for-3; Preston Ohm 1-for-3; Jack Krier 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 R. Pitchers: Hudson Ohm (WP) 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K; Kaleb Lochner (Sv) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.

Elimination bracket semifinal

La Crescent-Hokah 2, Pine Island 1

Pine Island#000#100#0#—#1#7#1

La Crescent-Hokah#100#000#1#—#2#6#2

No. 4 Pine Island: Nick Bauer 2-for-3, 1 SB; Brandon Week 2-for-4, 1 2B; Luke Sems 1-for-4; Landon Lowrie 1 R; Ben Grabau 1-for-2; Nick Thein 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Pitchers: Nick Bauer (LP) 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.

No. 8 La Crescent-Hokah: Alex Von Arx 2-for-3, 1 RBI; Mitchell Reining 1-for-4, 1 RBI; Maddux Tomten 1-for-3, 1 R; Kale Baker 1-for-3; Mayes Boyer 1-for-2, 1 R. Pitchers: Mayes Boyer 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Drew Peters (WP) 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K.

Elimination bracket final

Cannon Falls 6, La Crescent-Hokah 1

Cannon Falls#031#011#1#—#6#8#1

La Crescent-Hokah#100#000#0#—#1#2#2

No. 8 Cannon Falls: Jack Meyers 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI; Dylan Banks 1-for-4, 1 R; Ryan Hjellming 1-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R; Preston Schoenfelder 1-for-3, 1 R; Aaron Melhouse 1-for-3, 2 R; Jackson Ekstrom 1-for-3, 1 R; Caiden Huebsch 2-for-2, 1 RBI. Pitchers: Ryan Hjellming (WP) 4 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K; Abram Tennessen (Sv) 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.

No. 2 La Crescent-Hokah: Ethan Myhre 1-for-1; AJ Donovan 1-for-3; Mayes Boyer 1 R. Pitchers: Drew Peters (LP) 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; Kale Baker 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.