Brad Staska

Owatonna Aces’ first baseman Brad Staska makes a catch in foul ground on Saturday afternoon in a non-league game against Westmont (Ill.) at Dartts Park. Staska, a recent Blooming Prairie High School graduate, broke up a no-hitter with a single in Game 1 of the doubleheader. (Jon Weisbrod/People’s Press)

An early crooked number by visiting Westmont, Illinois made the difference in Owatonna’s 5-3 loss in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Dartts Park.

Before settling down and tossing six solid innings, Cody Johnson surrendered four runs in the top of the first, three of which came with two outs.

The Red Sox — who were added to the schedule last week — scored their final two runs on a bloop single to right field and a seeing-eye basehit that glided just out of reach of Dawson Leer’s glove at second base.

Recent Blooming Prairie High School graduate, Brad Staska, broke up Westmont’s no-hitter when a flared a single to shallow right field that glanced off the second baseman’s glove. Five batters later, Kodey Kiel — who struck out in his first two at bats — ripped a two-run single to centerfield with two outs to cut the Red Sox’s lead in half at 4-2.

The teams traded runs in the final inning to cement the final score.

Johnson allowed just one hit in the second through six innings, setting down eight straight batters starting in the top of the second. Five of the six total hits he gave up came in the first inning. He struck out one, walked one and plunked two batters.

Kiel and Staska each had one single to account for Owatonna’s offense. Dexter Leer reached base twice and scored one run.

Westmont, which boasts a roster filled with players from all three levels of the NCAA, started the game with a single and clubbed four consecutive hits with two outs to grab a 4-0 advantage.

SATURDAY NOTES: Westmont won the nightcap, 6-5...With several of its regular players unable to attend, 2018 Blooming Prairie High School graduates, Brad Staska and Peyton Simon, occupied the corner infield spots at first and third, respectively, while 2018 OHS graduate, Dawson Leer, took over at second base...Owatonna, which plays again on Friday at home against the Stewartville Sharks, falls to 4-8 overall.

FRIDAY RESULT: After drawing within 3-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, the Aces were out-scored 4-1 in the final five innings in a 7-3 non-league loss to Waterville.

Brian Simon and Dexter Leer each drove in one run with a sacrifice fly and a single, respectively.

Recent W-E-M graduate, Dallas McBroom, and current pitcher at Division II Concordia-St. Paul, earned the victory on the mound.

GAME 1: Westmont (Ill.) 5, Owatonna 3

WEST 400 000 1—5 6 0

ACES 000 002 1—3 2 0

Owatonna pitching: Cody Johnson, L (6IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 1K, 1BB, 2HB), Matt Jensen (1IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, 0K, 4BB)

Owatonna leading hitters: Brad Staska 1-3, Kodey Kiel 1-3 (RBI)

GAME 2: Westmont (Ill.) 6, Owatonna 5

Reach sports editor Jon Weisbrod at 444-2375, or follow him on Twitter.com @OPPJonW

Award-winning Sports Editor for the Owatonna People's Press, Weisbrod has worked in daily newspapers his entire career. He writes a regular column called Beyond the Box that delves into local, regional and national sports storylines.

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