Kasson gone #039;Fisch#039;ing
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 19, 2002
Brock Threinan made a major mistake by plunking Lee Aadahl with a two-out 0-2 pitch, but it wasn't his biggest blunder.
Four pitches later, Kasson's Threinan threw a 2-1 fastball over the heart of the plate and Hayfield/Austin cleanup hitter Matt Juncker knocked it out of the park for what would prove to be the game-winning runs in the Athletics' 3-1 Twin Rivers League playoffs victory Wednesday night at Marcusen Park.
"It was pretty much the best pitch to hit you've ever seen in your life," Juncker said. "It was perfect, a B.P. (batting practice) fastball."
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Juncker gave Hayfield/Austin (11-18) the first lead, and A's starter Luke Fischer worked himself out of his own jam in the seventh inning by striking out three straight would-be hitters with the bases loaded and Kasson's first run already across.
"I just bucked up I guess," Fischer said. "I kind of had a brain lapse there for a while, but everything kind of smoothed out for me."
The Athletics advance into a double-elimination Zumbro Division semifinal against the top-seeded Rochester Blues. Rochester will host game one Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Hudson Field, while the A's will entertain Saturday at 5 p.m. in Hayfield. Jon Severson and Fischer -- Zumbro Division All-Stars -- are slated to pitch for the A's. If necessary, a deciding third game would be back at Hudson Field Sunday night.
Tom Jeznach led off with a single and DeeJay Dorschner's sacrifice bunt attempt bounced right back to Fischer, who wheeled and fired wide of second base. Josh Burton singled to left to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Alex Gruhlke walked to plate the Coyotes' first run.
After a brief visit to the mound from A's player/coach Troy Holtz, Fischer fired fastball after fastball past Kasson's hitters, striking out the side to strand the bases loaded and basically end the game.
"The first eight innings I didn't have anything," Fischer said despite striking out the side in the third and seventh innings. "You do your best pitching when you don't have your best stuff. I had to actually pitch tonight."
Fischer allowed only five hits and two walks while striking out 11 -- including all three he faced in the top of the ninth. After walking in Kasson's only run, Fischer struck out six of the final nine batters that came to the plate.
"He was bringing it, maybe 85, 86," said Juncker, the A's catcher. "Maybe it was just time to win."
Threinan had the hardest time hitting Fischer, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and gave up 10 hits to the A's bats. Holtz and Eric Schmeling, both Zumbro All-Stars, had two hits apiece.
Hayfield/Austin took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single by Nick Bowe. Holtz singled to lead off the inning and moved to second when the center fielder misplayed the ball. Bowe followed with a single to left-center to drive in Holtz.
Burton was the only Kasson batter with two hits as Fischer struck out eight of the 11 hitters he faced at least once.
ATHLETICS 3, COYOTES 1
Threinan p4000Linbo lf4010
Fitch ss3010Beck 1b4010
KyMcDrmt c4000Aadahl 2b3110
ChrNlsn 2b4000Juncker c4112
Jeznach rf4110Schmlng cf4020
Drschnr 1b4010Holtz dh3120
Burton 3b4020 Fischer p0000
Anderson lf2000Bowe ss4011
Gruhlke lf1001Dahlen 3b3010
ChaNlsn cf2000Morrison rf3000
E -- Anderson, Burton, Cha.Nelson, Linbo, Fischer. Team LOB -- Kasson 7, H/A 8. HR -- Juncker. S -- Holtz. SB -- Bowe 2. CS -- Aadahl.
HBP -- Aadahl (by Threinan).
Call Ross Thede at 434-2234 or e-mail him at :mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.