#039;Hounds slip in two straight

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2003

The defending Class B state champion Austin Greyhounds have a non-league game scheduled for tonight against Southern Minny League rival Rochester Royals, and the 'Hounds had hoped to have more momentum going after Tuesday's game at Shakopee.

A low-scoring host Indians squad, a Class C team, led 1-0 for six innings until the Greyhounds knotted it at 1-all in the top of the seventh. Shakopee responded with a pair of four-run innings, ending Austin's attempt at a comeback.

The 'Hounds (12-6) committed three errors, including a costly miscue that all but assured no comeback would be made. A two-out error in the bottom of the eighth led to Brannon Weigel's three-run home run that sealed the 9-2 affair.

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"It was a poor outing on our part," said Greyhounds player/manager John Frein. "We didn't play our best ball by far."

Austin had just seven hits -- all singles -- from seven different batters. Former University of Minnesota pitcher Tim Theis worked eight strong innings for Shakopee (9-9), raising his record to 3-0. He struck out four and walked none.

"He's a big tall lefty, but he didn't throw super-hard," Frein said. "We faced him last year and didn't do too hot against him."

In addition to Weigel's three-run shot, a 15-minute rain delay helped alleviate any chance Austin had at a come-from-behind victory. Matt Raso and Clint Ripley led off the top of the eighth, trailing 5-1, with consecutive hits. Matt Dixon then reached on an error to load the bases for the Greyhounds.

And then the rain came.

A steady downpour stopped 15 minutes later and play resumed, but Austin's momentum had been dampened. Grant Lunning drove in Raso with a groundout to the right side, but both Ripley and Dixon were stranded.

"Fortunately the rain stopped and we were able to play, but unfortunately the outcome wasn't what we wanted," Frein said.

Ripley took the loss for Austin, dealing six strikeouts and five walks over seven innings. He surrendered eight hits and five earned runs.

Catcher Tom Schleper had the Indians' hot bat, driving in at least one run in all three of Shakopee's scoring innings. His two-run double in the bottom of the seventh accounted for the game-winning runs. The Shakopee varsity baseball coach finished with three hits and four RBIs.

Nick Rohne pitched the eighth for Austin, surrendering four hits and the unearned three-run shot to Weigel. Rohne scored Austin's first run of the game after leading off the seventh with a single. Frein followed with a hit that moved Rohne to third, and Craig Selk delivered the RBI with a sacrifice fly to center.

Austin, now 12-6 overall, meets the Rochester Royals (6-2) tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Marcusen Park. This is the first of four meetings between the teams, and the only home game for the Greyhounds. The remaining three games will be played at Mayo Field in Rochester, with the latter two serving as league games.

"Even though it's a non-league game, we like to play them," Frein said. "Hopefully we can put together a good game."




Ripley, Rohne (8) and Rohne, Lunning (8); Theis, Nelsen (9) and T.Schleper. 2B--S: Siedow, T.Schleper, Ries. HR--S: Weigel.