With inclement weather forcing area high school Activities Directors to juggle schedules for spring sports, the Austin Packers baseball team found themselves hosting a multi-team doubleheader at Dick Seltz Field on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Game 1 featured the Packers taking on Southeast Conference foe Mankato East, and Game 2 versus Section 1AAA rival Byron was moved from Thursday, May 25th to Saturday to acommodate a make-up Big 9 Conference game with Rochester John Marshall, and Game 1 saw the Cougars blank the Packers 9-0, and Game 2 saw the Bears open things up with a five-run top of the fourth inning on their way to a 13-6 win.
In the matchup with Mankato East, the Cougars parlayed a single, a double and a two-RBI single to take a 2-0 lead, and they added three more runs in the top of the fifth with a double, two singles, a walk, four stolen bases and a sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead. East’s lead increased to 8-0 in the sixth as with two outs, the Cougars used two singles, a stolen base, three wild pitches and a two-RBI double to score three runs, and they added an unearned run in the top of the seventh to account for the 9-0 final.
Cougar lefthander Owen Studman pitched six innings for the win and gave up only three hits while striking out four and walking two. Leadoff hitter Nick Robertson was 1 for 2 for Austin with a walk, pitcher Blake Cummings went 1 for 1 with a double, and centerfielder Sam Oelfke was 1 for 2.
In Game 2 versus Byron, the Bears tallied four unearned runs in the top of the first for a quick 4-0 lead, only to see Austin rally back with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to cut the deficit to 4-3. Byron then opened the game up with five more runs in the top of the fourth, all unearned as the Bears used seven Packer errors overall to take a 9-3 at that point, and they added two more runs in the fifth and two in the seventh before Austin countered with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to account for the 13-6 final.
Offensively for the Packers, three players rapped out two hits apiece, led by Robertson, who was 2 for 4 with a double, a triple, two RBI’s and two runs scored, Dakota Retterath went 2 for 4 with two RBI’s and two runs scored, and Peyton Ransom went 2 for 2 with two runs scored.
Austin now sits at 7-10 overall on the season, and the Packers will close out the regular season with a doubleheader at Red Wing versus the Wingers Tuesday, with the first game scheduled for 4 p.m., and they will then host Rochester John Marshall at Dick Seltz Field on Thursday at 5 p.m., before starting the Section 1AAA tournament on Saturday, at a time and location yet to be determined.