Hounds still swinging

Published 11:09 pm Friday, June 24, 2011

The Austin Greyhounds Andy Swank races down the first base line, trying to beat out a bunt in the first inning against Onalaska, Wis. in the Spamtown Challenge Friday night at Marcusen Park. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Bats come alive late as Austin downs Onalaska, Wis.

The Austin Greyhounds won their second straight game of the Spamtown Classic, beating the Onalaska A’s, 10-5 at Marcusen Park Friday night.

Greyhounds pitcher Nels Nelson delivers in the first inning against Onalaska, Wis. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Hounds opened the flood gates with seven runs in the fifth inning, capped off by a two-run homer by Matt Cano, which made it 8-2. Cano went 1-for-4 on the game.

It was a long inning though, as Hounds’ starting pitcher Nels Nelson started slipping after four solid innings.

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Nelson said his fast ball was working well, and he was hitting all the spots. However, Onalaska caught on to Nelson’s pitching in the middle innings, as he allowed seven hits and two walks before getting the win.

“I’ve got to throw more off-speed for strikes,” he said. “When you throw fast ball in a fast-ball count — and they know it’s coming — they’re going to hit it.”

Nelson’s outing was padded by a one-run lead that started in the first and carried through the fourth.

The Austin Greyhounds Dan Swift singles in the bottom of the first inning against Onalaska, Wis. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Yet in the sixth, Hounds pitcher John Halverson allowed three runs, and was replaced by Steve Hovland, who finally got the last out.

Austin’s bats were hot in the fifth and sixth, and they finished with 12 hits on the game. Several errors by the A’s helped add to the Hounds’ lead.

Second baseman Nick Rohne led the way at the plate for Austin, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

“Getting those early runs has really helped us the last two games,” he said.

Though the Hounds left eight runners stranded for the game, they fixed that late in the game after honing in on Onalaska’s pitcher, Scott Bahr.

The Hounds’ Joe Kroc, Dan Swift, Andy Swank and Matt Raso all pitched in with RBI singles, as well.

Rohne said after three times at bat, it was easier to see what Bahr was throwing. Now, the team has high hopes for the rest of the tournament after two convincing wins.

“We’d like to finish strong. … We haven’t made it to the final Sunday the last few years,” Rohne said about the tournament.

The Hounds played their third tournament game against the Kewaskum, Wis., A’s Saturday afternoon at Marcusen Park. The final four will play on Sunday.

Results will be in Monday’s edition of the Austin Daily Herald.