Winona tops local Legion
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 31, 2002
A 1 1/2-hour rain delay kept the Austin Legion Post 91 baseball team off the field long enough to knock the squad off its recent hot streak as host Winona took a 12-4 victory in the opening round of First District playoffs Tuesday night at Gabrych Park.
The contest was moved from its originally scheduled site at Winona State University's Maxwell Field. Once both teams awoke in the third inning, Winona got on top and stayed there.
Eric Belter connected for his second grand slam of the season as the LeJetz advanced into the First District quarterfinals behind the six-run inning. Austin had jumped to a 4-0 lead after the top half of the frame, but Winona battled back with two runs before Belter emptied the bases.
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Belter's shot stopped any momentum Austin had after taking the lead on Matt Johnson's RBI-double and two Winona errors. The LeJetz, seeded fourth, toppled the fifth-seed Austin Legion team to move into Thursday's second round.
Sean Zaborowski pitched Winona to the complete-game victory. He retired the final 10 batters he faced, and 13 of the last 14. Zaborowski struck out 10 while allowing only four hits.
Austin (19-11) will face eighth-seeded Owatonna Thursday morning at 11 a.m. at Mayo Field in Rochester. Winona takes on the top-seeded Rochester A's at 7 p.m.
The local Legion team, having won six of their last seven to end the regular season, fell to Winona for the third time in as many meetings. Both teams ended the season with 10-6 league records. Austin, however, is now one loss from leaving the postseason.
Call Ross Thede at 434-2234 or e-mail him at :mailto:email@example.com.