Blue Sox move on with win over Lakers

Published 10:24 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Blue Sox took out some frustration in a 6-1 Section B playoff win over Faribault in Marcusen Park Wednesday night.

Austin (17-16 overall) scored early and never looked back in beating a Lakers team that forfeited in the first round before deciding to play Austin in the elimination round.

“It maybe wasn’t as convincing as we wanted, but I think we got our point across that we weren’t very happy and I think we did a tasteful job of it,” Austin manager Josh Kunze said.

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The Blue Sox will now take on the Greyhounds in a state qualifying game Saturday night at 6 p.m. at Marcusen Park. The Hounds won the first three meeting this season.

Dan Swift gave the Blue Sox a two-run lead with a two-out, two-run blast in the first inning over the right field fence.

“Every time Swifty comes up you never know what’s gonna happen,” Blue Sox pitcher Brady Banse said. “When he puts one over the fence he gives you that extra adrenaline to keep on going.”

Banse, who didn’t allow a run with nine strikeouts in seven innings, said he was motivated to beat the Lakers. He never allowed Faribault to have a serious threat as he walked just one and allowed only four hits.

“It was my best start of the year and I wanted to do it against them because of the circumstances,” Banse said. “I came out throwing well and the defense played well behind me. I felt good with all my pitches. I threw good in the bullpen and took that out to the mound.”

The Blue Sox put the game away in the bottom of the sixth when their No. 9 hitter, Jason Denzer, ripped a two-out, two-run double into left field to give his team a 6-0 lead. Casey Toops singled to start the inning and Pat Wolard walked, but Kunze flew out and Andy Swank struck out, putting Denzer in a big spot.

“There was two outs but there was no pressure with a 4-0 lead,” Denzer said. “You just go out and try and hit the ball hard. He came with a fastball and I was looking for a pitch down the middle and I made him pay.”

Denzer said that Swift’s early blast gave the Blue Sox a lot of confidence the rest of the night.

“When you have a lead you’re always going to play a little more loose and with a little more confidence,” he said.

Playing as a designated hitter, Sean Breslin scored on Swift’s homer when he came up with a two-out bloop single in the first. He also knocked in a run in the third on a groundout and came up with an RBI single in the fifth.

Kunze said that it was important for the Blue Sox to get a big night out of Banse, so they can throw Breslin and Joe Huffman on Saturday’s elimination game.

“We took a roll of the dice and went with Brady,” he said. “But it’s not a real roll of the dice because Brady’s leading our team in wins. Our top three pitchers right now are interchangeable. I’ve got about as much trust in Brady as I do in Sean Breslin or Joe Huffman It’s a testament to how deep our pitching is. I think that will go along ways in our state run if we have one..”

Blue Sox 6, Lakers 1

Blue Sox pitching: Brady Banse (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 9 K; Duell Higbe, 2 IP, 1H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K

Blue Sox hitting: Andy Swank, 2-for-4, double, 2 R, 2 SB, BB; Aaron Port, 0-for-4; Sean Breslin, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Dan Swift, 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs, R, BB; Casey Toops, 1-for-3, R; Pat Wolard, 2-for-3, R, BB; Josh Kunze, 0-for-4; Joe Kroc, 0-for-4; Jason Denzer, 1-for-3, double, 2RBIs; Todd Walerak, 1-for-1; Nels Nelson, 0-for-1

Lakers pitching: Nate Rost (L), 6 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 6 ER, 2 K

Lakers hitting: Nate Rost, 2-for-3, double, BB; Adam Kline, 0-for-4; Nick Rost, 0-for-4; Mike Carpenter, 1-for-4, RBI; Jimmy Roberts, 0-for-4; Jeremy Lund, 1-for-4; Mike Johnson, 0-for-3; Phil Lounsbery, 1-for-3; Chris Reuyers, 0-for-2