Pine Island pounds Merchants, 11-1

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2002

An 11-1 loss to the Pine Island Pioneers on Tuesday night left Austin Merchants manager Nate Hansen in a thoughtful mood.

"Sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes it rains," he said. "Tonight it rained."

The Merchants couldn't find an answer to Pioneers pitcher Brad Smoley, who went seven innings and gave up only one earned run despite scattering 12 Austin hits. With the win, Smoley picked up his eighth victory of the summer.

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"He's been great for us all year," said Pioneers manager Merle Sorum. "And he pitched great for us again tonight."

Brian Parlin pitched for the Merchants and struggled in the early innings, going seven innings in the loss.

Chad Schroeder and Jamey Strand led the way with three hits apiece for Pine Island. Dave Barnett scored three runs and drove in two for Pine Island, and Schroeder added three RBIs in the game.

"We left 11 runners on tonight, so there's still room for improvement," Sorum said. "But overall we were satisfied with our effort tonight."

The Merchants offense struggled all game long, scoring their lone run on an RBI-double by Josh Kunze in the fifth. Mark Toov was a bright spot for Austin, going 4-5 with a double and scoring the only run for the Merchants.

With the victory, the Pioneers improved their record to 14-4 in the Twin Rivers League, while the Merchants dropped to 7-10 and 7-11 overall. Austin is at home tonight against in-town rival Hayfield/Austin Athletics. Game time at Marcusen Park is set for 6:30 p.m.


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WP--Smoley. LP--Parlin.