Hounds launch 3 homers to beat TwinsPublished 5:23pm Sunday, July 10, 2011
Major League Baseball is holding its homerun derby Monday night, and the Austin Greyhounds held an amateur baseball homerun contest in the fifth inning of an 8-6 win over the Mankato Twins in Marcusen Park Sunday.
Tyler Leopold, Matt Raso and Dan Zielke each hit homers over the left fence in the fifth inning to turn a 3-3 game into an 8-3 Hounds’ lead that they never gave up.
Leopold, who had three RBIs and scored two runs, started the rally with a two-run blast.
“He gave me a slider and I was a little out in front of it, but I got the barrel on it,” he said. “It went and it kind of pumped everybody up. I’ve never seen three people hit a homerun in one inning in my three years here and it was phenomenal.”
Raso hit a two-run homer and Zielke added a solo shot.
Mankato closed to within 8-6 when Jay Nessler launched a two-run homer over the right field fence to end Austin starting pitcher Nels Nelson’s day with no outs in the seventh. Zach Schara came in and slammed the door shut as he allowed just one hit in three innings to pick up the save.
“I told Nels at the beginning of the game that I had his back,” Schara said. “I think he trusted me and he worked extremely hard. Throwing strikes against these guys is huge, they couldn’t hit Nels when he was throwing strikes and that’s what I tried to do when I got in.”
Austin (15-6 overall, 4-1 Section 2B) trailed 3-1 early, but Leopold hit a sacrifice fly to score Andy Swank in the third and Steve Hovland belted a 3-2, two-out pitch for a run scoring double down the left field line in the fourth.
The Hounds were pleased to pick up a win against the Twins — who have been one of the tougher teams in the Class ‘B’ over the past few years.
“We know we can compete with them even though they’re one of the best,” Leopold said. “We expected to win today. They’ll be waiting for us again I’m sure, but we’ll come ready again.”
The win capped a big weekend that also saw the Hounds knock off section opponent Marshall 9-0 on Friday.
“After that long break, it was really important for us to start the second half of the season with a couple of big wins,” Schara said. “We’re looking better for the future and we’ll keep plugging away.”
Mankato 0 2 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 — 6 9 0
Hounds 1 0 1 1 5 0 0 0 X — 8 9 2
Hounds pitching: Nels Nelson (W), 6 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 R, 4 ER, 5 K; Zach Schara (S), 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K
Hounds hitting: Andy Swank, 2-for-3, triple, 2 R, 2 SB, BB, HBP; Tyler Leopold, 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R, 2 BBs; Matt Cano, 1-for-5, double, R; Craig Braaten, 1-for-3, RBI, BB; Matt Raso, 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 R; Dan Zielke, 1-for-4, HR, RBI, R; Bryan Toov, 0-for-4; Steve Hovland, 1-for-3, double, RBI, BB; John Frein, 0-for-4