Greyhounds in it to win it

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2002

The Austin Greyhounds mean business.

The Class B amateur baseball team opened their round-robin tournament with a 2-1 win over the Lyon's Pub Warriors, a Class A team out of Minneapolis, Saturday night at Marcusen Park. Nick Dolan reared back and fired fastballs past the state's 10th-rated Warriors and delivered the complete-game victory by allowing only one hit.

Three Class A Twin Cities teams -- two of which are rated in the state -- made the trip south on Saturday for the Austin Tournament, which because of one team dropping out had to be reduced from a three-day event to a one-day affair. All six games were limited to seven innings to accomodate for time.

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Austin, currently rated fifth in Class B, topped Lyon's Pub in the first game Saturday morning. The Greyhounds (23-11) played two late games Saturday night to complete the tournament. Results from the remainder of the tournament games will be in Monday's edition of the Herald.

Out of the gate

The 'Hounds took the early advantage on Craig Selk's bloop single to right field in the top of the third inning. Nick Rohne singled to right with one out and took second when Tim Kaplan was plunked in the leg.

After a strikeout, Selk delivered the clutch single to plate Rohne from second. Bryan Toov followed with an infield single, but Lyon's Pub pitcher Mark Elics struck out Dave Meyer to end the bases-loaded threat.

Meyer would get another shot at hitting with the bases loaded, and this time Elics was not up to the challenge. With the score tied 1-1, Meyer got what would prove to be the game-winning RBI with a four-pitch walk. Rohne was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tim Kaplan. Tate Cummins singled to left and Toov was plunked to fill the bases for Meyer.

"We're not here to mess around, we're in it to win it," Meyer said.

Dolan dominating

Dolan cruised into the bottom of the third with a 1-0 lead and a no-hitter still intact. But after walking the Warriors' No. 9 hitter, Dolan left a mistake pitch out over the plate and Lyon's catcher Garrett Ratka rocked a double to the fence in right-center, just beyond the outstretched glove of Meyer.

Meyer, who threw a one-hitter in Friday's 12-0 non-league victory over the Rochester Blues, nearly kept Dolan's no-hitter on track with an over-the-shoulder grab.

"To me it looked like I was this close," Meyer said, holding his hands inches apart.

Dolan buried an 0-2 splitfinger pitch in the middle of Dennis Schildgen's back to load the bases, and a grounder to the right side by Andy Hunter eluded Kaplan long enough to drive in the Warriors' only run.

With the bases still loaded, Dolan enduced a tailor-made 4-6-3 double-play to end the threat.

"I was just pretty much throwing fastballs the whole game," Dolan said. "I think I threw two sliders the whole game, and the one splitfinger I threw hit a guy.

"I was just determined to win the game pretty much. I kept throwing fastballs until they proved they could hit it, and they never did."

Dolan threw 99 pitches -- 63 for strikes -- in the seven-inning game.

Eight Ks apiece

Austin racked up eight hits off Elics, who matched Dolan with eight strikeouts. The Lyon's Pub left-hander hit three batters, walked one, and allowed two earned runs. Cummins and Toov each accounted for two of the Greyhounds' hits.

Toov doubled to lead off the second inning but was unable to score even after Meyer sacrificed him to third. Frein roped a one-out double to left, but Elics got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

Toov was 2-2 with a hit-by-pitch and an intentional walk, while Cummins was 2-4 with a stolen base.