Packer baseball team splits with HuskiesPublished 9:58pm Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Packers had two solid pitching performances in their home opener as they split a doubleheader with Owatonna in their baseball home opener in Dick Seltz Field Thursday.
Austin sophomore Nik Gasner scattered seven hits in a 2-1 win in the opener and Marcus Stoulil, a senior, allowed just four hits in a 3-0 loss in the nightcap.
Gasner has now allowed just one run in 12 innings of work. It helped him on Thursday that his younger brother, Dylan Gasner, was catching for him.
“He’s caught for me ever since I was little and we kind have a bond,” Nik Gasner said. “He’s one of those catchers I don’t have to shake off and I feel more confident when he’s behind the plate.”
Austin (1-2 overall, 1-2 Big Nine) took the lead in the opener for good in the third inning when Nik Gasner took a 3-2 pitch for a ball to walk in a run and Ethan Horstmann beat out a two-out, infield single to put the Packers up 2-1.
Austin got a big day from senior Gabe Kasak, who finished 5-for-6.
“We’re feeling like we can put together some wins,” Kasak said. “Once we get into the season, I think we’re going to start hitting our stride.”
Things looked a little rough for Austin early on in the first game as the Huskies had runners at the corners with no outs in the top of the second. Owatonna scored one run off an Austin error, but Stoulil made a sliding catch in center field for the second out of the inning and Hunter Gleason pulled in a fly ball in right field for the third out.
“I think that boosted my confidence, not only in myself but in my team,” Gasner said. “I was kind of getting my head down a little bit and that catch by Marcus brought me up and the whole team got behind me. That catch turned around the game for me.”
Gasner cruised the rest of the way as the Huskies only threat came in the sixth when they had runners on second and third with two outs, when Gasner forced a ground-out.
Austin managed just three hits in the nightcap, but they did have chances to score. They left a runner on third in the third when a runner was picked off and they had another scoring chance end in the fourth when a runner was picked off.
Owatonna (1-1 overall, 1-1 Big Nine) led 1-0 after scoring in the first, but it didn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth, when it added two insurance runs.
“In the second game I thought our base running cost us the game,” Austin assistant coach Craig Braaten said. “We kind of ran ourselves out of some innings and had some base running blunders.”
Austin, which has only been outside once before Thursday’s games, is still getting used to batting against live pitching. The Packers mustered a total of nine hits on the day.
“Some of those bats in the middle of the order will start coming alive,” Kasak said. “We’ve just to get their batspeed up, because there’s a lot of long swings in the beginning of the year.”
Austin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 0
Owatonna 1 0 0 0 0 2 X — 3 4 1
Austin pitching: Marcus Stoulil (L), 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 ER, 4 K, HBP
Austin hitting: Tommy Olmstead, 0-for-3; Gabe Kasak, 2-for-3; Stoulil, 0-for-2; Nik Gasner, 0-for-2, BB; Zach Huntley, 1-for-1, 2 BBs; Ethan Horstmann, 0-for-2, BB; Hunter Gleason, 0-for-2; Isaac Schumacher, 0-for-2, BB; Dylan Gasner, 0-for-3; Steven Clennon, 0-for-1
Owatonna 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 7 2
Austin 0 0 2 0 0 0 X — 2 6 3
Austin pitching: Gasner (W), 7 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 5 K
Austin hitting: Olmstead, 1-for-2, R, BB; Kasak, 3-for-3, SB; Stoulil, 1-for-2, R, BB; Gasner, 0-for-2, RBI, BB; Huntley, 0-for-3; Horstmann, 1-for-2, RBI, BB; Gleason, 0-for-2; Sean Coffey, 0-for-2; Dylan Gasner, 0-for-2; Schumacher, 0-for-1