Austin pitcher shines in debut

Published 10:52 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Austin pitcher Isaac Schumacher fires a pitch during his first career mound victory for the Austin Post 91 Legion baseball team Wednesday. -- Rocky Hulne/

Isaac Schumacher had his coming out party for the Austin Post 91 Legion baseball team Wednesday, but he couldn’t have done any of it without his trusty catcher, who got him started six months ago.

Schumacher shut down the Rochester Redhawks for six innings and he made enough pitches to escape with a 3-2 win in the second game of a doubleheader after Austin dropped the opener 9-1 in Dick Seltz Field.

Austin's Nik Gasner tags out Rochester's Bailey Kazcek during a Legion baseball doubleheader in Dick Seltz Field Wednesday. Austin lost the opener 10-1 to the Redhawks, but won the nightcap 3-2. -- Rocky

The Redhawks, who feature players from Rochester Mayo, put up two runs in the top of the seventh but Schumacher struck out Luke Dozier to end the game with the tying run on first.

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“I’ve heard so much about (the Redhawks),” said Schumacher, who will be a sophomore at AHS this fall and was making his first career legion start. “To come in and throw a near shutout felt good and it’s a huge confidence builder. I’m playing with a bunch of upper classmen who I look up to and to be this successful is amazing.”

Schumacher got a little help from his catcher Gabe Kasak who threw out Rochester’s Christian Rosenow on a steal attempt to open the seventh. It was fitting that Kasak would be a factor, since he still recalls when he and Schumacher first started throwing this past December.

Kasak was calling pitches on Wednesday and he was glad to see how far the young hurler has come.

“It was fun to see him come out and actually do well. He’s gotten a lot stronger and he’s picked up some speed and accuracy,” Kasak said of Schumacher. “It’s always fun to catch when a pitcher’s on, because a ball in the dirt doesn’t seem to hurt as much.”

Schumacher, who allowed just four hits in the first six innings, said he felt a lot better about making his first start of the season when he found out Kasak was catching for him.

“Gabe’s been a mentor to me since the beginning of school ball and he’s been a huge help,” Schumacher said. “I was glad he was going to be with me through this to help me out.”

Austin head coach Bob Stratton said Schumacher and sophomore Jacob Kempen, who picked up a two-hit win against Owatonna Sunday, both proved that pitchers don’t have to be overpowering to get the job done.

“You don’t have to throw through the backstop to be effective,” Stratton said. “This week we’ve had two solid wins from young pitchers in Jacob Kempen and Isaac Schumacher who pitched their spots well and let the defense make plays.”

Austin (2-3 overall) took the lead when Zach Wilder delivered a two-out RBI-single in the fourth and it padded its lead when Michael Gaines drilled a two-out, two-run single down the right field line to make it 3-0 going into the top of the seventh.

“Those are a couple of kids who don’t always get to play, so you feel really good for them,” Stratton said of Wilder and Gaines.

Austin fell behind 5-0 after three innings in the opener and never got its offense going.

Rochester 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 — 2 8 2

Austin 0 0 0 1 0 2 X — 3 7 3

Austin pitching: Isaac Schumacher (W), 7 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 4 K

Austin hitting: Steven Clennon, 2-for-3; Gabe Kasak, 0-for-3; Marcus Stoulil, 0-for-3, R; Nik Gasner, 1-for-3, double, R; Zach Huntley, 1-for-3, R; Zach Wilder, 2-for-3, RBI; Michael Gaines, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Jacob Kempen, 0-for-2, BB; Josh Karsjens, 0-for-3

Rochester 1 4 1 0 3 0 1 — 10 16 1

Austin 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 2 0

Austin pitching: Stoulil (L), 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 ER, 1 HBP; Huntley, 3 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 ER, 1 HBP; Luke Mallory, 2 1/3 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 2 K

Austin hitting: Ethan Horstmann, 1-for-2, 2 BBs; Kasak, 0-for-3; Stoulil, BB; Wilder, 0-for-4; Jacob Gardner, 0-for-2, BB; Huntley, 0-for-1, BB; Gasner, 0-for-2, BB; Schumacher, 0-for-2, BB; Kempen, 1-for-2, R, HBP; Clennon, 0-for-1, 2 BBs; Karsjens, 0-for-1; Mallory, 0-for-1