Greyhound defense delivers quarterfinal victory

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Dave Meyer may not have had his best stuff, but his defense did.

The Austin Greyhounds amateur baseball team played flawless defense and Meyer struck out 10 in a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Southern Minny League foe Waseca in the Class B State Tournament Friday night in St. Cloud.

The left side of Waseca's defense accounted for four of the Braves' five errors, and left fielder Kevin Woites misplayed a pair of line-drives that led to the Greyhounds' late game-winning rally. Austin (35-17) came back from a 1-0 deficit to score once in the sixth and twice in the seventh, aided in the game-winner by Waseca's defense.

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"Our defense was the difference," said Greyhounds' player/coach Joe Serratore. "We made four fantastic plays in the field, and they made the difference."

After allowing Waseca's lone run in the bottom of the third inning, Meyer (8-0) allowed the Braves (23-11) to put runners on the corners with no outs in the fourth. But the defense held up and Meyer recorded one of his double-digit strikeouts to get out of the jam.

"That's generally a spot where they go up 2-0 and go on a roll, especially with the wooden bats," Serratore said.

Instead, the Greyhounds got a late rally and advanced into the state semifinals. Austin plays Apple Valley (29-5) Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Cold Spring, while the Rochester Royals (27-9) meet Jordan (23-11) in the other semifinal Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

Comeback trail

Matt Cano walked with one out in the top of the sixth, stole second, and scored on Bryan Toov's double one out later. Toov, playing as the Greyhounds' designated hitter, was one of two Austin players with two hits.

"It was his first game in a month," said Serratore, Austin's normal designated hitter. "I made the old man sit. I just had a good vibe about Toov."

The tying run sparked the Greyhounds back into the game, and Waseca's defense gave way in the seventh. With one out, Mitch Mullenbach slapped a line-drive into left field, but Woitas fell down in pursuit of the ball. Ryan Hanson stepped up one out later and ripped a liner into left, allowing Mullenbach to score the go-ahead run.

"If they're both singles, we don't score," Serratore said.

Nick Rohne, who also finished with two hits, drove an RBI-single to left to plate Hanson for insurance. Meyer allowed singles in each of the final three innings, but the defense did not relinquish any unearned runs and Austin advanced past rival Waseca.




Dave Meyer and Nick Rohne; Nick Rathmann, Cory Ranweiler and Chris Case. WP -- Meyer 8-0, LP -- Rathmann. 2B -- AUS: Toov, Mullenbach, Hanson; WAS: Case.

Call Ross Thede at 434-2234 or e-mail him at