Hounds lose; face elimination Saturday

Published 9:56 pm Friday, August 12, 2011

Austin shortstop Joe Kroc fires to turn a double play as Burnsville's Roddy Hjort slides into second during the Hounds' 3-2 Supersection loss at Dundas Friday. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

DUNDAS — Just when it looked the Austin Greyhounds were going to come up with a classic comeback, things turned bad in a hurry and the Hounds now face an elimination game after falling to the Burnsville Bobcats 3-2 at the Supersection Tournament in Dundas Friday.

“We’re going to come back and face them again and beat them,” Hounds manager John Frein said. “We don’t feel like we’re done and this is our tournament to win.”

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The Hounds (25-11 overall) had just two hits off of Burnsville’s Grant Larson in the first seven innings, but they piled together five hits off him in the last two frames — although they scored just one run off those hits.

Dan Swift had a two-out double and Craig Braaten walked in the eighth inning for Austin (25-11 overall), but Braaten was picked off of at first as Tyler Leopold was batting with runners at the corners to end the frame.

Austin's John Frein slides back into first base to avoid the tag of Burnsville's first baseman Roddy Hjart in Dundas Friday. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

In the ninth, Leopold and Raso singled to lead off the inning and Mitch Mullenbach knocked in a run with a pinch-hit single to left. Andy Swank singled to center and pinch Alex Kasak held up at second and waited for the ball to drop, which left the bases loaded with one out.

With a chance to win the game with a single, Nick Rohne, who had knocked in Austin’s first run with a two-out single, hit into a game ending double play against Burnsville reliever Garrett Walters.

“We don’t want to blame it on any single play, but any time you make a mistake, it can come back to haunt you and we had a few of them tonight,” Frein said. “I thought we battled back and we put them against the ropes. They had control the whole game and we were ready to pounce at the end, but we just couldn’t get it done.”

Austin pitcher Nels Nelson allowed just four hits in the last seven innings, but a dropped fly ball helped give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead and Burnsville’s Scott Linder snuck a fly ball just over the left field fence to make it 3-1 in the seventh inning.

“Nels threw well enough to win this game. That guy barely hits it over the fence and that’s a big insurance run,” Frein said.

The Hounds, who turned three double plays Friday, will play in an elimination game Saturday at noon at Dundas. The Hounds must win two games on Saturday to advance to the Class ‘B’ state tournament.

Bobcats 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 — 3 7 1

Hounds 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 2 7 2

Hounds pitching: Nels Nelson (L), 9 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K

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