Blue Sox ride past HoundsPublished 11:31pm Friday, July 30, 2010
Joe Huffman struck out 12 and allowed just five hits as his Austin Blue Sox got the best of the Austin Greyhounds in a 6-1 win at Marcusen Park Friday night.
Matt Cano singled and Matt Raso doubled for the Hounds to make it 3-1 in the fourth with no outs, but Huffman retired the next three Hounds in order to get out of that frame. The Hounds’ only other big threat came in the fifth when Huffman beaned Joey Swatfager and Nick Rohne with one out, but he struck out John Frein and got Cano out on a groundout to end that frame.
“It always feel like a bigger game against these guys and you want to step up,” Huffman said. “Every pitch was pretty much working tonight, I had the curve ball and the hard one was working to get the strikeout.”
The Blue Sox (4-0 Section 2B), who scored all six of their runs with two outs, got their offense rolling the second time through the order against Hounds’ pitcher Zach Schara. Andy Swank stretched a bloop hit into a double to start off the bottom of the third, then Dan Swift singled in a run and Craig Selk blasted in a run with a deep two-out double to center field to make it 3-1.
“We’ll always take that risk no matter what the situation is,” said Swank of his double. “I saw it skip by him a little bit, so I took off to see what would happen, if we get thrown out we don’t worry about it too much.”
Swank struck out his first at-bat, but ended up with three hits and a walk on the night.
“I just swung through a ball (on the strikeout) and I don’t know how I missed it,” he said. “I was seeing the ball very well and (Schara) left a few pitches up that I took advantage of. He did throw a great game, so you have to give him some credit.”
All 11 of the Blue Sox hits came from their top five hitters as the middle of the order had its way.
“All of us are swinging the bat well,” Swank said. “Craig Selk absolutely crushed the ball tonight and he was locked in. If it’s not one guy, it’s the next guy and that loosens you up.”
The Blue Sox took a 4-1 lead in the fifth when Selk singled in a run with two outs and they took a 6-1 lead in the sixth when Duell Higbe doubled in a run and Swank singled in a run.
The Blue Sox were able to clear their bench late in the game as Chris May, Alan May, Duell Higbe and Preston Higbe all got into the game.
“We’re still trying to fine tune a lot of stuff,” Blue Sox manager Josh Kunze said. “It wasn’t that we emptied the bench, we just strategically substituted some guys to get them big game experience. It’s a lot different than playing with your own age group and the lights are kind of bright for them out here.”
The biggest substitute of the night didn’t even take the field for more than a second. Blue Sox pitcher Brady Banse made his return to the team by stepping on the field for a moment as a pinch runner and then leaving before he got to the base. Since he will likely get his necessary league games in, Banse, who pitched for Riverland two years ago, will give the Blue Sox a much needed arm in the postseason.
“We’re feeling good about him. He pitched really well at Red Wing the other night and we’re optimistic,” Kunze said. “With Nels Nelson, Joe, Brady and Sean Breslin, we’ll be pretty deep with pitchers for a double elimination tournament.”
The Hounds (0-4 Section 2B) have a doubleheader at Rochester Saturday and they will likely be the bottom seed of the Section 2B tournament, which starts Sunday, Aug. 8.
Hounds 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 5 3
Blue Sox 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 2 0 — 6 11 2
Blue Sox pitching: Joe Huffman (W), 9 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 12 K, 2 HBP
Blue Sox hitting: Andy Swank, 3-for-4, double, RBI, R, BB; Aaron Port, 2-for-4, R, SB; Nate Johnson, 0-for-3, BB; Dan Swift, 1-for-3, RBI, R, BB; Craig Selk, 3-for-4, double, 2 RBIs; Josh Kunze, 0-for-2, BB; Darin Wagner, 0-for-3; Joe Kroc, 0-for-4; Casey Toops, 0-for-3; Steve Serratore, 0-for-1; Duell Higbe, 1-for-1, double, RBI; Alan May, 1-for-1, R; Preston Higbe, R; Chris May, 0-for-1
Hounds pitching: Zach Schara (L), 8 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 6 ER, 11 K
Hounds hitting: Nick Rohne, 0-for-3, HBP; John Frein, 1-for-4; Matt Cano, 2-for-4, R; Matt Raso, 1-for-4, double, RBI; Craig Braaten, 1-for-4; John Kirby, 0-for-4; Mitch Mullenbach, 0-for-4; Pete Korfage, 0-for-2; Joey Swatfager, 0-for-2, HBP; Mike Tindal, 0-for-1; Gabe Kasak, 0-for-1