Blue Sox are ready for statePublished 7:28pm Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Austin Blue Sox will get an early chance to prove themselves at the Class ‘B’ state amateur baseball tournament in Willmar this Saturday.
The Blue Sox will open single-elimination play in the 10-team tournament with a matchup against Shakopee, the defending ‘B’ champs at 7:30 p.m.
The Blue Sox lost to Shakopee 5-1 in the Spamtown Challenge earlier this summer and they watched Shakopee beat Chaska 6-5, so they know what to expect.
“We know what they have and we have a good idea of what their lineup is,” Blue Sox manager Josh Kunze said. “It doesn’t really change our approach, we just worry about ourselves and what we can control.”
Austin (20-9 overall) will see the return of third baseman Kyle Young this weekend and the Blue Sox also drafted Greyhounds catcher Matt Raso and pitcher Dave Meyer to bolster their roster.
On Saturday, both Joe Huffman and Nels Nelson will be available on the mound.
“We’re pleased with our depth and our bullpen’s pretty deep,” Kunze said. “We’re ready for a long tournament if it goes that way.”
Shakopee (32-15 overall) will likely throw left-hander Chris Rupert against the lefy-heavy lineup of the Blue Sox.
“We’re ready to go and we’re excited about our chances,” Kunze said. “It’ll be a good test for us.”
If Austin wins it will move on to the double-elimination round and play the winner of Blaine and Hastings Saturday, Aug.. 28 at 7:30 p.m.