Revenge had by Packer baseball

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 16, 2003

Nate Johnson won his first varsity start and Andy Swank hit a three-run homer that proved to be the game-winning blast as the Austin baseball team ended the regular season with a 6-3 victory over host Rochester Mayo Thursday night at Mayo Field.

The Packers took revenge on Mayo starter Vince Anderson, who threw a three-hit shutout against AHS at Marcusen Park earlier this year. Austin chased Anderson from the hill after five innings, thanks in great part to Swank's three-run shot in the fourth to give the Pack a 4-2 lead.

Swank also helped preserve the win with 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief for the save. Johnson allowed five hits in 4 1/3 innings after coming from the bullpen for his first start. He struck out four and walked none.

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"He's done a good job in relief this year, so that was definitely a highlight to get a nice start out of Nate," said AHS first-year coach Troy Watkins. "This is just a nice win heading into the playoffs, hopefully give us some momentum going into the postseason."

The Packers were outhit, 6-5, by the Spartans, but manufacturing runs became the means to Mayo's end in this particular game. Austin (9-10, 9-8) scratched together solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take the 6-3 lead and eventually the Big Nine Conference victory.

Swank finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Adam Edge and Paul Leathers had Austin's only other hits.

"It was nice to get back and hit the ball against (Anderson) and score some runs," Watkins said. "Swank's homer was a big blow for us, it really got the team going."

The seeding meeting for Section 1AAA is next Tuesday and the first round starts Thursday at 5 p.m. with the top-seeded teams scheduled to host.



WP--Johnson. LP--Anderson. Sv--Swank.