Hounds open SPAMTown with win

Published 10:11 pm Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Greyhounds Matt Cano is met at home after his homerun in the second inning Thursday night against Carroll, Iowa in the first round of the Spamtown Challenge at Marcusen Park. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Austin Greyhounds opened the SPAMTown Challenge with a solid performance in the field and on the plate.

The Hounds (10-5 overall) rattled off nine hits and turned two double plays in an 8-2 win over Carroll, Iowa in the first game of play in Pool ‘A’ in Marcusen Park Thursday.

Nick Rohne singled in a run with two-outs in the second inning to make it 3-0 and Matt Cano added a two-run homer over the right field fence to make it 5-0 in the same frame.

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“It was a nice fast ball down the middle and it’s good to see those,” Cano said of his homer.

Cano said the Hounds are starting to come together as a team.

Greyhounds shortstop Joe Kroc gets the front end of a doubleplay on Carroll, Iowa's Matt Mercir and looks to relay in the first inning of their opening-round game in the Spamtown Challenge at Marcusen Park. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“During the Red Wing tournament you could kind of feel us coming together and getting to know each other,” he said. “We’re starting to get in the groove. Everybody was trying too hard early on and now everybody’s kind of settling down and we feel good about where we’re at.”

Joe Huffman picked up the win in six innings, despite walking four and hitting two batters. He was able get a strikeout to escape a bases loaded jam in the third and he forced a fly-out with runners on second and third to get out of the fourth inning.

“I didn’t have much control, but I was effectively wild. The curve ball felt pretty good tonight,” Huffman said. “It’s huge to get that first win (in this tournament). It’s tough to keep playing after you lose the first one with a round robin format.”

The Vikings pulled to within 5-2 in the fourth, but the Hounds put it away when Nate Johnson tripled in a run to make it a six-run game in the sixth.

Austin will play the defending SPAMTown champion Onalaska, Wis. A’s Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Marcusen and they will play Kewaskum, Wis. Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Marcusen.

Greyhounds pitcher Joe Huffman delivers in the first inning against Carroll, Iowa during the first round of the Spamtown Challenge at Marcusen Park. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Nels Nelson will throw against Onalaska and Zach Scahra will take the mound on Saturday. Austin will most likely have to win both games to get to Sunday’s final four.

“I’m excited. This is going to be a good weekend and it’s a tournament that we want to compete in and play well in,” Cano said.

Vikings 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 — 2 5 2

Hounds 2 3 0 0 3 0 X — 8 9 0

Hounds pitching: Joe Huffman (W), 6 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 2 ER, 8 K, 2 HBP; John Halverson, 1 IP, 0 R

Hounds hitting: Andy Swank, 1-for-3, R, SB, BB; Nick Rohne, 1-for-3, RBI, 2 R; Matt Cano, 3-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs, R; Dan Swift, 1-for-3; Craig Braaten, 1-for-3, R; Matt Raso, 0-for-3, RBI; Nate Johnson, 2-for-3, double, triple, RBI, R; John Frein, 0-for-3; Joe Kroc, 0-for-1, R, 2 BBs; Nick Bowe, R; Dan Zielke, 0-for-1