In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers baseball team, the No. 5 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament played host to eighth-seeded Faribault at Dick Seltz Field in the first round of the tournament’s elimination bracket, and it was the Packers jumping out to an early 9-0 lead and holding off a Falcon comeback to win 10-7.

The biggest storyline of the game took shape early as Faribault left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, while Austin scored early and often.  The Packers sent nine men to the plate in the bottom of the first inning as Ethan Anderson singled to center for an RBI after the Packers had loaded the bases with a hit batsman and two walks for a 1-0 lead.  With the bases still loaded, Isaac Stromlund picked up an RBI by drawing a walk to make the score 2-0, and third baseman Kody Blom then belted a two-RBI double to deep left to make the score 4-0 at the end of one.

The Falcons again filled the bases with two outs in the top of the second on two walks and a single, but Packers starter Brayden Bishop caught pitcher Hudson Dillon looking on strikes for the third out to keep the score at 4-0.  Austin again captialized in the bottom half of the inning when, with one out, Nick Robertson and Dakota Retterath belted back-to-back triples to make the score 5-0.  Retterath scored when Ethan Anderson, the next hitter singled to boost Austin’s lead to 6-0, and with two outs, Kody Blom drew a walk, and Bishop followed with a two-RBI double off the center field fence to score Anderson and Blom to give the Packers an 8-0 lead.  Bishop then scored when left fielder Isaiah Conway blasted Austin’s third triple of the inning to the gap in left-center to make the score 9-0 Packers after two.

Faribault then parlayed four walks, a sacrifice fly and an error to score three runs to cut the Packer lead to 9-3, but Austin scored what would turn out to be their last run of the game in the bottom half of the inning when Dakota Retterath singled and scored when Ethan Anderson reached base on a two-base error in center field a batter later to make the score 10-3.  The Falcons then continued to chip away at the Austin lead the rest of the way, scoring one in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh, but they wound up leaving 14 men on base for the game to help the Packers to the victory.

Offensively for Austin,  Dakota Retterath wound up going 2 for 3 with a triple, a single and three runs scored, Nick Robertson was 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and two runs scored, Ethan Anderson went 2 for 4 with two runs knocked in and two more scored, Isaiah Conway was 2 for 2 with a double, a triple and an RBI, Kody Blom wound up going 1 for 3 with his two-RBI double and a run sccored, and Brayden Bishop was 1 for 2 with a double and two RBI’s.

Bishop on the mound for Austin went two innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits, striking out six and walking seven, lefthander Blake Cummings then pitched the next three innings for the Packers and was credited with the win as he gave up one run, which was earned, on two hits, striking out one and walking three, and Sam Oelfke worked the final two innings for Austin and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits, striking out three and walking one.

With the win, the Packers are now 9-13 on the season, and they advance into the second round of the elimination bracket Thursday as they will travel to Stewartville to take on the Tigers, who fell to No. 1 seed Northfield Tuesday by a score of 7-2.  First pitch for the game is scheduled for 5 p.m., and you’ll hear the game live on AM 1480 KAUS, with the pre-game show scheduled to start at 4:50 p.m.

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