The Lyle/Pacelli Athletics baseball team, the No. 6 team in the state in the last Class A poll and the No. 2 seed in the Section 1A tournament took on third-seeded Southland in the Section 1A winner’s bracket semi-finals from the Riverland Community College baseball complex in Austin Saturday, and the Athletics grabbed the early momentum and never relinquished it the rest of the way as they downed the Rebels 10-0 in six innings.
After starting pitcher Cole Walter retired Southland in the top of the first, he kickstarted the Lyle/Pacelli offense in a big way in the bottom half of the inning when he belted a leadoff triple, and when Zach Bollingberg reached on an error, Walter scored to give the Athletics a 1-0 lead. Left fielder Sam Nelson followed with another triple to score Bollingberg to make the score 2-0, and a two-out double from right fielder Jake Truckenmiller increased LP’s lead to 3-0 after one.
The bottom of the Lyle/Pacelli order, which would play a huge role in the win got things going in the bottom of the second when freshman nine hitter Dane Schara doubled, went to second on a grounder to second by Walter and scored when Bollingberg lofted a sacrifice fly to center to increase LP’s lead to 4-0. The Athletics increased their lead to 6-0 in the fourth when they sent eight men to the plate and scored two runs with two outs as Schara started another rally with a single, Cole Walter followed with another single, Zack Bollingberg walked to load the bases and Sam Nelsen then dropped a two-RBI single into shallow left center.
While Cole Walter was holding Southland at bay on the mound by allowing only two baserunners in the first four innings, Lyle/Pacelli struck again in the fifth when Truckenmiller and Meyer started the inning with singles. Eight hitter Jayden Lewis then belted a RBI double to score Truckenmiller to increase the Athletic’s lead to 7-0, and after a one out walk to Walter loaded the bases, LP pushed the lead to 9-0 when Bollingberg rapped a RBI single and Nelsen followed with a sacrifice fly to left. The Athletics then ended the game in the bottom of the sixth when, with two outs, Landon Meyer walked, Jayden Lewis and Dane Schara, who belted out five hits between the two of them at the bottom of the order both singled and Walter then pulled a grounder into left field to score Meyer for the 10-0 final.
Lyle/Pacelli piled up 16 hits in the game, led by Sam Nelsen, who was 3 for 3 with a triple, a double a single, four RBI’s and a run scored, Cole Walter went 3 for 4 with a triple, two singles, a RBI and two runs scored, Zach Bollingberg went 1 for 2 with a single, two RBI’s and a run scored, Jake Truckenmiller was 2 for 4 for the Athletics with a double, a single, a RBI and a run scored, Jayden Lewis was 2 for 4 with a double, a single, a RBI and a run scored, Dane Schara was 3 for 4 out of the nine spot in the order with a double, two singles and two runs scored and Landon Meyer was 1 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored.
Cole Walter and Zach Bollingberg on the mound, along with the Lyle/Pacelli defense stymied the Southland attack as Walter picked up the win as the pitched the first four innings and gave up no runs on one hit, struck out three, walked one and hit one batter, and Bollingberg went the last two innings and gave up no runs on one hit, struck out three and walked one.
Alec Bissen was tagged with the loss on the mound for the Rebels as he pitched the first three innings and gave up four runs, three earned on six hits, striking out three and walking one. Gavin Nelson and Jonas Wiste picked up the only two hits in the game for Southland, who falls to 15-6 on the season with the loss. The Rebels were forced to get right back into action Saturday against United South Central in the elimination bracket semi-finals, with the winner moving on to play either Wabasha-Kellogg or Rushford-Peterson in the eliminiation bracket final Monday at 5:00 p.m.
With the win, the Athletics move to 19-2 on the season, and they will play No. 1 seed and undefeated Hayfield in the Section 1A winners bracket final Monday at 5:00 p.m. at Dick Seltz field. The Vikings, the No. 1 team in the state in the last Class A poll downed Wabasha-Kellogg in the other winner’s bracket semi-final Saturday 13-0. You’ll hear the game on AM 1480 KAUS, also online on our webpage at myausitnminnesota.com, and on the I Heart Radio and Radio.com apps.