The Austin Packers baseball team faced a tough challenge at Dick Seltz Field Monday in the personage of the Mankato East Cougars, the No. 9 team in the state in Class AAA, but the Packers were up for the challenge and then some as Teyghan Hovland pitched six strong innings and Bryce Garroway, Dakota Retterath, Lathan Wilson and Jordan Ransom all knocked in a run apiece to push Austin past East 4-2.
Mankato East took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Austin came back with single runs in the second and third innings to take the lead at 2-1. The Cougars tied the game with a run in the top of the third, but the Packers took the lead for good with a run in their half of the third and the eventual game winner in the fifth. Austin wound up with four runs on five hits, two errors and eight men left on base, while East tallied two runs on four hits, two errors and five left on base.
Hovland was strong on the mound for Austin Monday as he gave up the two runs, both earned on four hits, striking out eight and walking one. Nic Robertson pitched a scoreless 7th inning to earn the save, striking out one, and he did not give up a hit or a walk.
With the win, their second in a row, the Packers are now 3-9 in the Big 9 Conference and 4-9 overall. A busy final week of the regular season continues tonight for Austin as the Packers travel to Rochester to take on the John Marshall Rockets, with first pitch at 5:00 p.m. Austin will then host Northfield either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the weather before starting the Section 1AAA tournament Saturday at a time and site yet to be determined.