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Albert Lea comes from behind to beat Austin baseball team

It started well, but it didn’t end well for the Austin baseball team Thursday.

The Packers scored the first four runs of the game but ended up with a 13-4 loss at the hands of Albert Lea.

The Tigers (6-2 overall, 5-2 Big Nine) took over in the top of the fourth when they hit two triples with two outs in a row to knock in four runs and another run scored on an Austin error. AL finished with six in the frame.

Austin (1-6 overall, 0-5 Big Nine) had just three baserunners after the Tiger rally and nobody got past second base.

“Once they scored those six runs, it’s almost like we stopped playing and you can’t do that,” Austin head coach Troy Watkins said. “You look at the swings before the six runs and the swings after the six runs and there’s a difference there. Guys have to understand it’s a seven inning game and you’ve got to battle.”

Austin pitcher Brady Klingfus cruised through the first three innings, but things unraveled in the fourth when the Tigers caught up to his fast ball. It was a walk that started the inning that got AL rolling.

“Starting with a walk will definitely come back to haunt you,” said Klingfus. “It was pretty given that I wasn’t mixing up my pitches. It was mostly the fast ball and if I was going to throw a fast ball, it had to be inside. I was leaving them out and they were crushing it to the other side of the field.”

Albert Lea added two more runs in the sixth and five in the seventh off of Austin’s relief pitching.

“We just can’t stay out of the big innings. It’s a pattern with this team and we need to stop it,” Watkins said.

Austin opened the first inning with two runs as Jay Ettinger doubled to right field and Klingfus and Mike Tindal came up with two-out run scoring doubles. Tindal was thrown out at third to end the frame.

Austin added two more runs in the third when Preston Higbe and Klingfus each grounded out to score a run.

AL 0 0 0 6 0 2 5 — 13 10 4

Austin 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 — 4 7 5

Austin pitching: Brady Klingfus (L), 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 K, HBP; Robert Wahlert, 1/3 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 ER, HBP, 1 K; Joey Swatfager, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 ER

Austin hitting: Jay Ettinger, 2-for-3, double, 2 R; Preston Higbe, 0-for-3, RBI; Joey Swatfager, 1-for-3; Brady Klingfus, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, R; Mike Tindal, 1-for-3 double, RBI; Jacob Hines, 0-for-2; Quinn Yocom, 0-for-2; Adam May, 0-for-2; Nate Paris, 1-for-3, R; Alex Earl, 0-for-1; Caleb Wahlen, 0-for-1; Jordan Lysne, 0-for-1; Josh Hart, 0-for-1

Albert Lea pitching: Colby Strilaeff (W), 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 K

Albert Lea hitting: Jordan Mondeel, 4-for-4, 2 triples, 3 RBIs; Luke Grossman, 1-for-5, double, RBI; Jordan Cooper, 0-for-3, 2 BBs; Conner Kortan, 0-for-3; Aaron Klatt, 1-for-3, BB; Strilaeff, 2-for-4, RBI; JT Bellrihard, 0-for-3, RBI, BB; Cole Sorenson, 2-for-4, 5 RBIs; Karter Cortan, 0-for-2, 2 BBs, RBI