Post 91 rallies past Northfield

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Austin runner Caleb Whalen slides safely in the second as Northfield second baseman Adam Yetzer fields the throw during the third inning Wednesday night at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

It looked like another meltdown early on for the Austin Post 91 baseball team, but this time the ending was much different in a 17-7 win in six innings over Northfield in Dick Seltz Thursday.

After taking a 6-0 lead in the first inning, Post 91 (8-14 overall) committed two early errors in the top of the second and allowed seven unearned runs to fall back.

In other games, the team may have folded, but this time they bounced back and pitchers Jacob Thompson and Marcus Stoulil allowed just two hits the rest of the way as the defense committed no errors.

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“I told them they just found out how to win a game,” Austin assistant coach Mike Raso said. “They’re M.O. is when things go wrong, they die. Tonight we didn’t.”

Austin batter Nate Paris connects on a pitch against Northfield Wednesday night at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

As the defense stepped up, the offense caught fire. Austin tallied 17 hits and No. 9 hitter Caleb Whalen had his best game of the summer — going 4-for-4 with 5 RBIs.

“I just focused and said, I’ve got to put the ball in play. I got a single (in my fist at-bat) and that was huge,” Whalen said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen us hit that well after being down. It was almost like a pandemic.”

Right after giving up the lead, Austin took it back in the third when Joey Swatfager, who was 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs, laced a single to center to score two runs with two outs to make it 9-7.

Mike Tindal helped set up the 10-run rule when he blasted a two-out, three-run double to deep center field to make it 16-7 in the fifth.

Tindal recently returned from a week-long vacation and he’s stepped his game since coming back.

“I just needed a break,” said Tindal, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs. “My arm was just dead. Between this and the Blue Sox, I didn’t have much left. I needed a week off just to clear my head and now it’s just another day at the ball park and it’s good to be back.”

Whalen put the 10-run rule into effect with an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

Austin will open its postseason on Sunday or Tuesday — pending on how other district teams do. Right now, Post 91 is feeling pretty good about its chances.

Jacob Thompson delivers in the second inning against Northfield Wednesday night at Riverland Community College. - Eric Johnson/

“We haven’t always gone into the playoffs picking up a lot of wins,” Tindal said. “I think we’re a team that’s ready to win for the first time in a long time. “

Northfield 0 7 0 0 0 0 — 7 6 5

Austin 6 1 2 3 4 1 — 17 17 2

Austin pitching: Quinn Yocom, 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 R, 0 ER, 1 K; Jacob Thompson (W), 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 1 K; Marcus Stoulil, 2 IP, 4 BB, 0 R, 1 K

Austin hitting: Mike Tindal, 3-for-4, double, 4 RBIs, 2 R, SB, BB; Yocom, 0-for-1; Joey Swatfager, 3-for-4, double, 3 RBIs, 2 R, BB; Zach Wilder, 0-for-2, SB, BB; Adam McMasters, 1-for-4, double, BB; Joey Raso, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 R, SB, BB; Luke Mallory, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 R; Nate Paris, 1-for-2, double, RBI, R, HBP; Caleb Whalen, 4-for-4, 5 RBIs, 2 R, SB, BB; Thompson, 0-for-2; Stoulil, R, BB; Preston Higbe, 0-for-2; Gabe Kasak, 1-for-2, 2 SB, 2 R; Zach Huntley, 1-for-2; Aaron Goetz, 0-for-1, R, HBP