NISSWA -- They too play in the Northwoods League but the Nisswa Parks and Recreation Orioles aren't quiet in college yet.
First they'll attempt to make it to the Babe Ruth Pony League 15 and under state tournament. In order to get there they'll need to make it past the District tournament in Cold Spring July 27-29.
The Orioles advanced to the district tournament thanks to their 7-1-2 record in league play. The team of 13 players has an interesting twist to their roster.
"What's impressed me the most is they're all from different towns," said head coach John Gauerke. "I have three from Pillager, two from Brainerd, one from Merrifield, six from Nisswa and one from Pequot. These guys have all come from different towns.
"If you've played sports you know how rivalries are and that's one thing I've been impressed with these guys, they came together and they've done a real good job with teamwork."
The Orioles have used solid defense from their infield as well to keep in games early. Once their bats heat up there's nothing safe as they've racked up 19 and 17 runs in one game.
"We've had some really good batting," said Gauerke. "They're good all-around players. They are a come-from-behind team. Of the 10 games we've played, six of them we came from behind to win."
Gauerke, who's helped with the managerial duties by Al Moleski and Mark Best, thinks it's exciting to see them stay in games and then come from behind to win but, he would like to see a few early runs at the tournament.
"We need to come out on top right away," said Gauerke. "These guys really don't even show up until the third inning. Then they just start pouring coals. We need to come out on top right off the bat.
"If they do that I think they would be just about unstoppable. We have good fielding. We usually hold the other team down, but they're just not getting runs like they need to be."
The tournament consists of 20 teams from St. Cloud to Perham to Bemidji to Aitkin.
The Orioles roster includes Erick Anderson (C), Travis Best (2B, LF), Jason Borgstrom (3B, LF), Shaun Chisolm (C), Dan Gauerke (P, 2B, CF), Nate Geike (C), Sean Moleski (SS), Jordan Ohotto (LF), Josh Schueller (RF), Dan Vanessen (RF), Dan Walkowiak (P, 1B, 3B), Tim Wilcox (P, 1B), Wayne Compton (RF).
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