Post 91’s season ends as it can’t finish off Winona

Published 5:36 pm Friday, July 24, 2009

ROCHESTER — A lack of consistent hitting came back to haunt Austin Post 91 as its season came to an end in a 5-4 loss to Winona at Century High School in a First District elimination game Friday afternoon.

Post 91 (7-20 overall) stranded five runners in scoring position and left nine total runners on base in the loss. Winona took the lead for good in the seventh when it took advantage of three Austin errors in the frame to score twice to go up 5-4.

Winona had two outs with no runners on when three straight hitters reached base on errors to tie the game. A double by Dave Miller scored one run to give Winona the lead, and Austin stayed within one run when they threw out Kyle Kowalewski at the plate to end the seventh.

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“I was just trying to make them put it in play, but it didn’t play out so well. It happens,” said Austin pitcher Adam Hemann, who allowed just three hits and no earned runs in six innings of relief.

Austin had a chance to break the game open in the seventh and sixth when it had two runners on with one out in each frame. But it couldn’t add to it’s lead.

“We had chance after chance after chance, we just didn’t put the bat on the ball,” Post 91 head coach Bob Stratton said. “When you don’t put runs up, those errors get emphasized. We haven’t hit consistently good enough to win a lot of games all year.”

After a two-hour rain delayed start, Austin jumped out to a 4-0 lead after John Kirby hit run scoring singles in the first and third innings. Another run scored on a throwing error on Kirby’s third inning single, and Steven Rizzi came up with a sacrifice fly to score the fourth Austin run.

Winona scored three times in the third. After Robert Wahlert allowed a single, two walks and a hit batter to score a run, he was relieved by Hemann.

Hemann got Kowalewski to pop out for the first out of the inning, then Miller laid down a suicide squeeze bunt that scored two runs when Austin couldn’t handle the play.

Hemann recovered to give Austin six strong innings, despite not thinking he was going to pitch unless Post 91 advanced to a second game on Friday.

He quickly warmed up and turned in a solid performance after battling arm pains early on.

“I just dug through it and it stopped hurting,” Hemann said.

Hemann added that it was frustrating that Post 91 couldn’t add to a one-run lead in the late innings.

“We got unlucky, I guess,” he said. “We knew we had to score more runs, but it didn’t work out for us. We didn’t play all that great, but we played well.”

Stratton was pleased with how his team closed the season.

“The last half of the season we played very good baseball, it just wasn’t good enough,” he said.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

Austin 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 5

Winona 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 X 5 5 4

Austin pitching: Robert Wahlert, 2 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K; Adam Hemann (L), 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, HBP

Austin hitting: Joel Swatfager, 0-for-5; Quinn Yocom, 1-for-3, R, SB, 2 BBs; Mark Harber, 0-for-5, R; Hemann, 1-for-4, double, R; John Kirby, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, R; Steven Rizzi, 1-for-4, RBI; Andrew Orcutt, 1-for-4, double; Adam McMasters, 1-for-4; Dylan Monson, 0-for-4

Winona pitching: Tom Kreidermacher (W), 9 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 K, HBP

Winona hitting: Devon Grossell, 1-for-5; Jake Walther, 1-for-5; Jeff Walter, 0-for-2, 2 BBs; Matt Wolfe, 0-for-3; Trevor Semann, 1-for-3, RBI, BB; Kyle Kowalewski, 0-for-4; Dave Miller, 1-for-4, double, 2 RBIs; Scott Ryan, 0-for-4; Austin Rumpca, 1-for-3, BB