OTTER TAIL CENTRAL BASEBALL


OTTER TAIL CENTRAL "BULLDOG" BASEBALL HISTORY 
HISTORY OF OTC BASEBALL

The OTTER TAIL CENTRAL Baseball program, established in 1992, is a cooperative effort between the Battle Lake, Henning and Underwood High Schools in Otter Tail County Minnesota.  Battle Lake and Underwood joined forces in 1986 to make up a team called the "Cyclones".  The Cyclones were coached by the late Battle Lake Baseball Coach Richard Buntje  until 1989 when coach Sam Bellig took over coaching the Cyclones from 1990 to 1991.  Henning joined the program in 1992, also lead by Coach Bellig, to form what is now called the "Otter Tail Central Bulldogs".  Steve Bradsteen took over the coaching reigns in 1995 and continued to coach the Bulldogs until 2016.
 
While the primary OTC High School team colors are Red and Black, the Legion and Babe Ruth Programs are free to choose the color of their liking.  The Legion Teams' current color is Carolina Blue while the Babe Ruth Team is OTC's traditional Red and Black.  The OTC Baseball Team plays in the the Park Region Conference with teams from Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, Menahga, NY Mills, Parkers Prairie, Pillager and Sebeka .

The Otter Tail Central/Cyclone American Legion Baseball program was dissolved in 1995 due to low player interest with the Legion post being based out of Battle Lake. 

In the late 1990's to early 2000's, Ron Shebeck formed a legion team based out of Ashby/underwood.  The Falcons(A/U) were made up of Underwood and Ashby players with a few Battle Lake and Henning players asked to play but this team was not affiliated with the Otter Tail Central program.

In the mid 2000's, Henning formed a legion team for several years which included some Battle Lake and Underwood players but once again was discontinued due to low player interest.  This legion post was based out of Henning. 

In 2010, a group of dedicated players and parents organized and formed an American Legion team, creating the  current OTC Legion Baseball program.  The legion post is based out of Battle Lake but supported by Battle Lake, Henning and Underwood community members.  This team currently participates in the Minnesota Lakes Conference, a Division 2 legion format.

Players from Battle Lake, Henning and Underwood  make up the OTC Legion team which plays in the District 9 tournament along with teams from Pelican Rapids, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, NY Mills, Frazee, Barnesville, Hawley, Parkers Prairie and Breckenridge.

The OTC 13-15 Year Old Babe Ruth Baseball program also started up in 2010 and also consists of players from Battle Lake, Henning and Underwood (non-advancing intact league). The Babe Ruth team plays in the Lakes Region League made up of two divisions with teams from Fergus Falls, DGF, Parker's Prairie, Breckenridge, Barnesville, West Central Area, Brandon-Evansville, Hawley, Lake Park Audubon and Detroit Lakes.

The Babe Ruth team had been coached by Steve Bradsteen from  2010 through 2013 while the Legion team is coached by Ryan Hendrickson since 2010.

The 2010 OTC Babe Ruth team finished third in the district tournament with Fergus Falls and Ashby advancing to the State Tournament in Fergus Falls and the 2011 team placed second to Wheaton in the district tournament, losing to Hawley in the third place game.

The 2012 OTC Babe Ruth team was the first OTC baseball team to advance to the State Tournament by defeating DGF Black in a district runner up game. The 2012 OTC team placed 4th at the non-advancing intact State Tournament in Fergus Falls.

The 2013 13-15 Babe Ruth  team won the Southern Division District 6 Tournament for the first time in OTC team history advancing to their second consecutive State Babe Ruth Tournament. The 2013 State Tournament was held in East Grand Forks, MN from August 1st-4th.  Cold Springs Black defeated DGF 10-8 for the state title.  Cold Spring also defeated OTC in the opening round of the tournament.

The 2013 Legion Team advanced out of the sub-district tournament held in Parkers Prairie, MN to the District Tournament which was held in Ada, MN.

The OTC Babe Ruth Baseball program added a 13 year old team to the organization in 2013.  The teams involved in this league along with OTC included:  Breckenridge, Pelican Rapids, Fergus Falls, Barnesville, Hawley and DGF.  Double Header games are played on Wednesdays.  This team coached by OTC Baseball Alumni Aaron Butler, could only muster one win on the season over Hawley but showed considerable improvement throughout the season.

OTC baseball Alumni Ben Woodman, takes over the reigns of the 13-15 year old Babe Ruth team in 2014. A 13 year old Babe Ruth team couldn't get enough interest to form a team in 2014.  The 13-15 year old Babe Ruth team had a new coach for the 2015 in Evan Meece. Evan is a Teacher within the Underwood School system.

OTC took the Park Region Conference Championship in 2015 with an 11-1 conference record, the first in team history.   The Bulldogs recorded a team high 17 win regular season,  capping the spring season off with a 6-1 win over the Fergus Falls Otters to advance into Section 8 AA play.   OTC suffered a pair of losses to Hawley and Perham in Section play to finish their successful season with an 18-3 mark.

OTC Legion coach, Ryan Hendrickson, named 2017 OTC High School Baseball Coach.  Hendrickson is the third High School Head coach in OTC history, who also coaches the Legion Baseball Team.
2017 was the first year of the addition of a Junior Legion Baseball team. Qualified for the State Tournament as a District Runner up in 2017.



Jeff Albert- Hitting Coordinator Blog

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Website created in Fall of 2011 by Steve Bradsteen