Baseball: Packers use a monster inning to get past Rockets
Published 11:07 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2015
The Austin baseball team was looking at its fourth straight loss to start the season when it dug deep and put together a rally that it won’t soon forget to beat Rochester John Marshall 12-9 in Dick Seltz Field Tuesday.
The Packers (1-3 overall, 1-3 Big Nine) trailed 4-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, when they sent 19 hitters to the plate, they collected eight hits and they tallied 12 runs to put the game away. The 12 runs in that inning were more than Austin had scored than its first three previous games combined and the last time Austin senior Isaac Schumacher could remember being involved in a 12-run inning was when he was on an Austin All-Stars team that beat Lake Elmo 38-3 in three innings many years ago.
Schumacher started the Packer rally from the No. 9 spot in the batting order when he tripled in a run to make it 4-1 Rockets and he later came up with a two-run single to put Austin up 7-4.
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“We just kind of stringed some hits together,” Schumacher said. “We found a roll and we kept it going. Anytime the seven, eight and nine hitters can come through, that’s motivation and the guys in the top of the order had a chance to get some clutch hits.”
Austin scored nine runs in the inning after there were two outs and Nik Gasner put an exclamation point on the rally when he belted a two-run homer over the fence to make it an 11-4 lead for Austin.
“It was a lot of focus,” Gasner said. “I wanted to keep it going and I didn’t want to be the one to end the inning. I came in with the my mind frame that I was going to swing as hard as I could because I knew he was throwing down the middle.”
Gasner was one of four pitchers to throw in the victory for Austin and Hunter Lewis picked up the win in relief. Austin’s hurlers allowed just seven hits, but they had a total of eight walks and Austin head coach Chris Gogolewski is hoping to see that number go down.
“We preach first pitch strike and when we fall behind hitters they get the advantage and we’ve got to battle up the mountain,” Gogolewski said. “Hopefully it was a learning experience for all four guys on the hill to get ahead and stay ahead.”
While it is early in the season, the Packers felt like they needed to make a big move on Tuesday and they did just that in the fifth inning.
“We saw this as a game that was vital to our season,” Schumacher said. “It didn’t look like it was going our way at first, but it came around. It was a huge win, a season changer I think.”
JM 0 0 2 1 1 3 2 — 9 7 6
Austin 0 0 0 0 0 12 X — 12 9 3
Austin pitching: Isaac Schumacher, 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 K; Hunter Lewis (W) 2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 ER; Nate Conner, 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 R; Nik Gasner, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 1 K
Austin hitting: Dylan Gasner, 2-for-5, double, 3 RBIs, 2 R; Nik Gasner, 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 R; Jason Stoulil, 0-for-2, 2 BBs; Alex Ciola, 1-for-3, RBI, R, BB; Ryan McCormack, 0-for-3, R; Mitch Truax, 0-for-3; Jake Reinartz, 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BBs; Schumacher, 2-for-3, triple, 3 RBIs, 2 R