Rough first inning slows down Post 91

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ROCHESTER — A disastrous first inning spelled doom for the Austin Legion baseball team in a 9-3 loss to the Rochester A’s at Century High School in a First District playoff game Tuesday.

Austin pitcher John Kirby walked the first two A’s he saw and allowed a total of five hits and four free passes in a first frame that saw Rochester jump out to a 7-0 lead.

“I have no idea what happened. I couldn’t find the strike zone and I kind of get mad a little bit when I don’t have things going the way I want to,” said Kirby, who didn’t allow an earned run in the next five innings he pitched. “I just wish I could take away that inning, because that’s not how I like to pitch. It could’ve been a whole different game.”

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Rochester would’ve only had a 4-0 lead, but a stroke of bad luck hit Austin (7-19 overall). With two outs and the bases loaded, Century’s Matt Pearson hit a ground ball headed for Austin shortstop Joel Swatfager. But the ball hit the umpire and was ruled a dead ball, allowing a run to score.

Michael Hartmann knocked in two more runs with a bases loaded single before Kirby got the final out of the inning.

“The bottom line is we said we can’t give them any free passes, because they put the bat on the ball and they make too many plays,” Austin head coach Bob Stratton said. “They hit the ball OK, but so did we. That’s baseball, if you give free passes teams are going to beat you.”

Austin quickly answered Rochester’s first inning rally in the second when Adam Hemann, Steven Rizzi, and Andrew Orcutt all singled to load the bases with one out. After Preston Higbe struck out, Austin scored on a walk by Jacob Hines and an infield single by Joel Swatfager, but Brady Klingfus struck out to end the rally.

Post 91 also had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, when Steven Rizzi knocked in run with a single, but Kirby and Orcutt both struck out.

“I was pretty happy with our kids. We never gave up and we had numerous chances to score,” Stratton said. “I hate losing, but we didn’t play a bad game. We played a better game then the score indicated.”

Austin will play Winona Friday at 11 a.m. at Century in an elimination game. If Austin beats Winona, it will play again at 2 p.m.

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

Post 91 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 9 2

Rochester 7 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 9 9 1

Austin pitching: John Kirby (L), 6 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 9 R, 7 ER; Robert Wahlert, 2 IP, 1 BB, 0 R

Austin hitting: Joel Swatfager, 1-for-4, RBI, R, BB; Brady Klingfus, 0-for-4; Mark Harber, 2-for-3, BB; Adam Hemann, 1-for-3; Kirby, 0-for-2, R, SB, 2 BBs; Steven Rizzi, 2-for-5, RBI, R; Andrew Orcutt, 1-for-4; Preston Higbe, 1-for-4; Jacob Hines, 0-for-2, BB, RBI; Nate Paris, 0-for-1, BB; Adam McMasters, 0-for-1; Robert Wahlert, 1-for-1; Quinn Yocom, BB

Rochester pitching: Ater Manyan (W), 6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 3 ER, 4 K; Jordan Krause, 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K; Andrew Plevak, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 2 K

Rochester hitting: Matt Pearson, 1-for-3, RBI, BB; Michael Hartmann, 1-for-4, 3 RBIs; Jordan Martini, 0-for-4, BB; Jordan Kangas, 2-for-4, double, RBI, BB; Jared Samuelson, 1-for-3, BB; Plevak, 2-for-3, RBI; Kavika Ascuncion, 1-for-4, 3 RBIs; Eric Sheridan, 0-for-3, BB; Von Patisca, 1-for-4