Column: Post 91 has learned some lessons

Published 8:04 pm Monday, July 20, 2009

The Post 91 baseball team had seen it all before.

Up two runs going into the last inning, and the first two opposing hitters reach base to start that inning.

Cue implosion.

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That’s what happened when Austin played New Ulm June 24 at Marcusen Park. Post 91 had led 6-4, when New Ulm started the seventh and final inning by getting two straight runners on base. New Ulm went on to score seven in that frame and walk away with an 11-6 win that made Austin 1-9 at the time.

That game was in my head Sunday night, when Post 91 was once again clinging to a two run lead entering the final inning.

Once again, the first two opposing hitters reached base as Rochester put runners on second and third with no outs. This time the script was changed.

Austin forced three straight outs and allowed just one of the two runners to score and it walked away with a 5-4 win to keep it’s season alive.

There was also a different feel to the game against Rochester. It just didn’t seem like Austin’s Adam Hemann — who didn’t a walk batter or throw a wild pitch all game — was going to give in. The Austin defense also played error-free ball, which made Rochester earn everything they had. Austin committed four errors in the loss to New Ulm.

Plus Post 91 has done some winning since that fateful loss to New Ulm, which was Post 91’s eighth straight loss at the time.

Since then, Austin has gone 6-9 and it is starting to learn how to close out games. I’m not predicting a state title, but I don’t think this team is done yet and they won’t be easily eliminated by any of the teams they face.

Post 91 has also played in its share of tight contests as it has competed in nine games decided by three runs or less, and won four of those games. Just the experience in those battles will give Austin an edge as the postseason rolls on.

Especially if they have a two run lead in the ninth.