Hounds crush Royals 14-3

Published 5:28 am Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Greyhounds' Craig Braaten scores in a three-run first inning against the Rochester Royals Wednesday night at Marcusen Park. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The Austin Greyhounds took a stranglehold on of the No. 1 seed in Section 2B when they pounded out a 14-3 win in seven innings over the Rochester Royals in Marcusen Park Wednesday.

Craig Braaten knocked in five runs and Dan Swift had four RBIs in the win as the middle of the Hounds’ order had its way with Rochester’s pitchers.

“I’m starting to see the ball a little better at this point in the season,” said Braaten, who also homered in a 12-6 loss at Miesville Tuesday. “It’s all about the team right now and things are coming around. We kept the pressure on them and kept the runs coming (tonight).”

The Austin Greyhounds' Andy Swank is safe at third under the tag of Rochester Royals third baseman Jordan Stokes on a lead-off triple Wednesday night. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

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Austin (21-9 overall, 6-1 Section 2B) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Braaten doubled in two runs with a blast to left field. Braaten knocked in two more runs with a two-out single in the second and Dan Swift made it 8-0 with a homer over the left field fence.

“I was just looking for something to go the other way with it, and I got just enough of it,” Swift said. “This is why we put this team together the way it is. We wanted to put the best possible team on the field and we have most of the pieces. We don’t have an easy out in the lineup and our pitching is solid.”

Austin went on to lead 14-0 before the Royals scored three runs of relief pitcher Zach Schara in the top of the sixth.

Joe Huffman picked up the win by striking out four in five innings.

With the win, the Hounds have most likely locked up homefield advantage throughout the Section 2B playoffs — which take place Aug. 6 and Aug. 7.

“Right now, the way we’re playing, we feel like we can beat anybody,” Braaten said. “(Rochester) is a good team and we’ll probably see them in the playoffs.”

Royals 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 — 3 6 1

Hounds 3 5 0 2 4 0 X — 14 9 1

Hounds pitching: Joe Huffman (W), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 4 K; Zach Schara, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 K

Hounds hitting: Andy Swank, 2-for-3, triple, 4 R, SB; Nick Rohne, 2-for-3, triple, 2 RBIs, 3 R, BB; Craig Braaten, 2-for-3, double, 5 RBIs, R, BB; Dan Swift, 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBIs, R, BB; Tyler Leopold, 0-for-3, RBI; Matt Raso, 0-for-4; John Kirby, 1-for-4, R; Joe Kroc, 0-for-2, R, BB; John Frein, 0-for-1, R, BB, HBP; Mitch Mullenbach, 0-for-1; Nick Bowe, 0-for-1