Austin's Brandon Bickell tries to slide past Albert Lea catcher Sam Moyer while attempting to score Wednesday at Marcusen Park. Bickell was tagged out on the play. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Austin's Brandon Bickell tries to slide past Albert Lea catcher Sam Moyer while attempting to score Wednesday at Marcusen Park. Bickell was tagged out on the play. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin VFW baseball team clinches top-seed with win over AL

Published 7:27pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Austin Post 1216 VFW baseball team put up one of its biggest rallies of the season to put Albert Lea away and clinch the top seed for the Sub-District and District playoffs in Marcusen Park Wednesday.

Austin second baseman Trevor Stevens turns to tag Albert Lea's Jake Kilby during VFW action Wednesday at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Austin second baseman Trevor Stevens turns to tag Albert Lea’s Jake Kilby during VFW action Wednesday at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Just after AL scored a run in the top of the sixth inning to tie things up at 1-1, Post 1216 bounced back with eight runs in the bottom of the sixth and it won the contest 9-1.

The first 10 hitters reached base for Austin (20-5 overall, 11-1 District) in the sixth, and Brandon Bickell had the biggest hit of the game when he launched a two-run triple into deep right field to put Austin up 3-1.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play to score the run from third,” Bickell said. “It was basically down the middle and I just swung, hoping for a good hit. It felt great to put the team up and get everybody going, especially against Albert Lea.”

Forrest Lewis, Trevor Stevens, Dylan Gasner, Daniel Bollingberg, Alex Ciola and Jake Reinartz all had one RBI in the inning as well.

Austin had struggled to get any rallies going until the sixth, when the floodgates came open.

Austin pitcher Jake Reinartz pitches against Albert Lea Wednesday night at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Austin pitcher Jake Reinartz pitches against Albert Lea Wednesday night at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“We hit the ball hard, we continued to push, and we broke it open,” Austin head coach Joe Ciola said. “Everyone up and down the lineup had good at-bats, Jake [Reinartz] pitched well, and we played a great game defensively.”

Reinartz struck out eight and allowed just four hits in seven innings. But he knew he was in a little trouble when AL had runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth. Reinartz retired the next three batters in order to hold AL to one run.

“They started off with a double and I knew that guy was probably going to score,” Reinartz said. “Any time you give up a lead-off double, there’s not a very good chance you’re going to get out of it. [After the inning] I got back in the dugout, I picked the team up off the bench and told them to get talking. We had a lot of energy.”

Austin’s defense stepped up many times in the game as catcher Dylan Gasner caught two runners stealing early on.

“A big part of this game was the defense,” Reinartz said. “The defense played absolutely incredible. I was throwing strikes and they were making plays behind me.”

Albert Lea's Jake Kilby dives back into first base on a pick-off attempt before Austin' Alex Ciola can get the tag down during VFW baseball action Wednesday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Albert Lea’s Jake Kilby dives back into first base on a pick-off attempt before Austin’ Alex Ciola can get the tag down during VFW baseball action Wednesday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin has a tournament in Owatonna and a home game against the Rochester Knights July 16, before it hosts the Sub-District tournament July 19 and July 20.

AL 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 4 1

Austin 1 0 0 0 0 8 X — 9 7 1

Austin pitching: Jake Reinartz (W) 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 HBP

Austin hitting: Trevor Stevens, 2-for-2, RBI, 2 R, 2 BBs; Dylan Gasner, 1-for-4, RBI; Daniel Bollingberg, 1-for-3, double, RBI, BB; Alex Ciola, 0-for-2, RBI, 2 BBs, R; Shane Johannsen, 0-for-3; Brandon Bickell, 1-for-2, triple, 2 RBIs, R, 2 BBs; Reinartz, 0-for-2, RBI, BB, HBP, SB, R; Forrest Lewis, 2-for-3, RBI, R, SB, HBP; Riley Olson, 0-for-1, R, BB; Evan McAlister, R


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