Austin Post 1216 baseball team wins final tune-up before playoffsPublished 9:15pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The Austin Post 1216 VFW baseball team put the finishing touches on a great regular season with a 9-2 win over the Rochester Knights in Marcusen Park Wednesday.
Eight players had hits and six of them knocked in at least one run for Austin (25-5 overall). Four different pitchers saw time on the mound.
Now Post 1216 can focus on its next season — the Sub-District playoffs. Austin is the No. 1 overall seed and it will host Sub-District games Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Marcusen Park. Austin, which needs three wins in the double elimination tournament to advance to the District tournament, will play Sunday at 12:30 p.m. if it wins at least one game Saturday.
Last season the Austin VFW team was the top seed in its Sub-District, but it was knocked off by losing two straight games after winning its first two contests. Austin’s Alex Ciola said Post 1216 remembers how last season ended all too well.
“We all felt the pain last year and we all learned,” he said. “We’re going to push real hard this year. Last year we died down towards the end of the tournament and now we know we’ve got to turn it up at the end of the tournament.”
Austin is coming off four big wins in the Owatonna tournament and it has dropped just one District game all season. The team has had production from its entire batting order and its pitchers have been solid as well throughout the summer.
Head coach Joe Ciola said his squad needs to make sure it doesn’t lose focus this weekend.
“They’re playing good baseball and now it’s time to turn up to playoff intensity,” he said. “Playoffs are completely different than regular season. They have to play each game as if it was their last and play their hardest. We can’t take anyone lightly because I know no one is going to take us lightly.”
Rochester 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 — 2 5 2
Austin 3 4 0 1 1 0 X — 9 10 3
Austin pitching: Trevor Stevens, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 4 K; Dylan Gasner, 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 K; Alex Ciola (W) 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 3 K; Jake Reinartz, 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R
Austin hitting: Stevens, 1-for-3, 2 R, SB, BB; Gasner, 2-for-4, RBI, R; Daniel Bollingberg, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 R, SB; Nate Conner, 1-for-3, RBI, SB, BB; Ciola, 1-for-3, RBI, 2 SB, 2 R, BB; Reinartz, 1-for-1, 2 RBIs, 2 BBs; Brandon Bickell, 1-for-3, RBI; Jason Stoulil, 1-for-2, R, BB, SB; Eli Kaercher, 0-for-2; Tanner Steene, 0-for-1; Brayden Merritt, 0-for-1; Evan Horstmann, 0-for-1; Forrest Lewis, 0-for-1