Austin All-Stars play in two state tourneys

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Austin All-Stars 13 year old Knights of Columbus team competed in two state baseball tournaments over the past two weekends. July 8-10 found the local All-Stars competing in the 40 team Minnesota Baseball Tournaments (MBT) State Tournament held in Lakeville. Austin began pool play on Friday against Hastings and scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to record a 2-1 victory. Trailing 1-0, Daniel Bollingberg began the rally with a single and stole second base. Jason Stoulil then laid down a perfect bunt between first and second base, Bollingberg scored when Hastings could not get Stoulil at first and ended up overthrowing at third. Brandon Bickell next hit a double to the right centerfield gap scoring Stoulil with the winning run.

Trevor Stevens and Jake Reinartz handled the pitching chores with Dylan Gasner behind the plate. In game No. 2, the K of C team took on Inver Grove Heights and pounded out an 11-3 win. Trevor Stevens had the hot bat, going 2-for-3 with 2 doubles and scoring 3 times. Alex Ciola helped the offense, going 2-for-2 with 4 RBIs. Bollingberg, Stevens, and Reinartz shared the mound duties with Gasner again behind the plate.

The last pool game found the local team taking on Centennia, where the All-Stars scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to win 9-8.

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Jake Reinartz worked a one out walk and stole second base. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored when Josiah Rohne hit the game winning single. Reinartz had a tremendous game at the plate going 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs. He had a double and a homerun and also scored 4 times. Rohne was perfect at the plate going 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs.

Brandon Bickell, Reinartz, and Bollingberg split the pitching duties with Dylan Gasner handling the duties behind the plate.

The 3-0 record in pool play advanced the team to the round of 16 where they took on Big 9 rivals, the Mankato Royals. In the win or go home bracket play, Mankato scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a 3-2 Austin lead. Mankato shut down the local team in the top of the seventh to notch the narrow 4-3 win.

Daniel Bollingberg and Jake Reinartz handled the pitching with Gasner catching.

“The boys competed very hard and lost a tough one at the end,” Austin head coach Rick Stoulil said. “This tournament has the best 40 teams in the state at this age level and I’m very proud of how we played.”

This past weekend found the K of C All-Stars at the 32 team Gopher State Baseball Tournament of Champions in Burnsville. Due to the torrential rains, all the pool games were moved to Saturday and shortened to five innings.

In the first game, Austin took on Coon Rapids White and prevailed by an 8-2 score. Trevor Stevens was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs to lead the offense. Daniel Bollingberg pitched a complete, five inning game striking out seven.

In game No. 2, Austin faced the Sioux Falls Titans. Having beaten the Titans in two close games already this year, Austin could not close the deal and Sioux Falls prevailed 3-2. The local team held a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Sioux Falls hit a two-run homerun that lead to the 3-2 win.

Stevens and Reinartz were the pitchers and Gasner behind the plate. This put Austin in the position of having to beat last week’s MBT Champion, Lakeville North, to advance out of pool play. At the end of a hot, muggy Saturday, the local team came up just short by the score of 3-2. Lakeville took a 2-0 lead but Austin scored two runs in the top of the third on consecutive singles by Alex Ciola, Nathan Conner, and Dylan Gasner. Lee Bauer worked a bases loaded walk to score Ciola and Conner scored on a failed pick-off attempt at first base. The game stayed tied and went into extra innings where Lakeville was able to scrape out a run in the bottom of the sixth for the victory.

Ciola and Gasner lead the hitting, both going 2-for-2. Jake Reinartz went the distance on the hill, doing a phenomenal job in the 105 degree heat index.

“I can’t say enough about the job Jake did pitching that game in the heat. I kept asking him how he felt and if he wanted to come out, but he was throwing as hard at the end as he was at the beginning, so he just kept going out there,” Stoulil said. “Dylan Gasner was also a workhorse behind the plate. He caught all 16 innings on Saturday in that heat. Just a great, great effort.”

The Austin Knight of Columbus All-Stars finish up their season this weekend participating in the Minnesota Sports Federation (MSF) State Tournament in St. Cloud. The team’s record for the year is 22-8.