Post 91 blanks Faribault

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Austin runner Marcus Stoulil slides in to third under the tag of Faribault third baseman Marty Evans during the fourth inning Tuesday night at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin Post 91 Legion baseball team showed what a difference playing solid defense can make as it picked up its first shutout of the summer in a 5-0 victory over Faribault in Seltz Field Tuesday.

Austin (7-14 overall) didn’t commit an error the entire night and pitcher Preston Higbe scattered six hits in five innings to get the win.

“The curve ball was working good and my fast ball control was decent, not great. It was effective,” said Higbe. “The fact that we just got a shutout gives us big confidence. We didn’t commit an error for the first time in a long time and that gives us confidence in the defense.”

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Higbe got a boost from his outfield in the top of the third when center fielder Mike Tindal made a diving catch and threw out a runner who was tring to advance from second to third for a double play to end a possible a Faribault rally.

“Tindal made a huge play and that was big,” Higbe said.

Austin's Preston Higbe delivers against Faribault Tuesday night at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

Austin had just seven hits, but it made them count. Tindal legged out an infield single in the first and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Gabe Kasak. In the third, Kasak knocked in a run with a single and Austin scored two more runs on a Faribault error and a double steal.

“We did a lot of fundamental things today,” Austin assistant coach Mike Raso said. “I told the guys right away that we’re going to do this right tonight. We had some excellent bunts and we played solid defense. I like to see this before Districts and maybe we can surprise some people.”

Austin’s defensive surge came at the right time for a squad that has been struggling with miscues all season. The postseason starts for Post 91 next week.

“We’re focusing more towards the end of the season,” Stoulil said. “These games are more important and we need to focus more and this is where we’re going to surprise people. We’re making plays.”

Austin second baseman Adam McMasters looks to throw on a grounder against Faribault Tuesday night at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

Stoulil stole three bases as he took third twice.

“You’ve got to at least get into scoring position and sooner or later (you’ll get in),” he said.

Faribault 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 7 4

Austin 1 0 3 0 1 0 X — 5 7 0

Austin pitching: Preston Higbe (W), 5 IP, 6 H, BB, 0 R, 3 K; Jacob Thompson, 2 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 0 R, 2 K, HBP

Austin hitting: Mike Tindal, 2-for-4, R, SB; Quinn Yocom, 1-for-3, R, 2 SB; Gabe Kasak, 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, R; Joey Swatfager, 0-for-2; Higbe, 0-for-2; Adam McMasters, 0-for-4, R; Marcus Stoulil, 1-for-2, 3 SB; Joey Raso, 0-for-2; Aaron Goetz, 0-for-1, BB; Josh Hart, 1-for-2, double, R; Jordan Lysne, 0-for-1, HBP; Jacob Thompson, 0-for-1; Nate Paris, 0-for-1; Luke Mallory, 0-for-1; Zach Huntley, 1-for-1; Zach Wilder, HBP