Austin Post 91 locks up top seed in the District tournament

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Austin Post 91 Legion baseball team continued to be a model of consistency as it rolled past Rochester Century 10-3 in Marcusen Park Tuesday. Austin finished the District schedule unbeaten to earn the top seed in the upcoming District tournament, which will begin next week.

Century jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Austin (14-2 overall, 10-0 District) bounced back with nine runs over the next three frames to take over the game. Austin, which has won 11 games in a row, scored four runs with two outs in the third as Dan Bollingberg singled in two runs and Phillip Zynda doubled in a run.

Austin’s Phillip Zynda is greeted by teammate AJ Mueller after scoring against Rochester in the first inning Tuesday night at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/

Jack Dankert helped keep Austin’s offense effective from the lead-off spot as he went three-for-four with three runs and eight different Austin hitters had at least one hit in the win.

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“Everybody feels less pressure,” Dankert said. “You know somebody behind you can pick you up if you don’t get a hit. We can also score with two outs like we did tonight and we’re never out of an inning.”

Ross Young reached base on all four of his plate appearances for Austin. He said Post 91 has found a way to stay consistent this summer.

“It’s a lot of fun. Winning is always what we come out here to do,” Young said. “Being able to go 10-0 in the District when we started with nine guys is pretty crazy.”

Josi Bothun picked up the win on the mound for Austin as he allowed two earned runs in six innings. Post 91 will host a tournament game 7 p.m. July 18 and the rest of the District tournament will be played in Owatonna.

Austin Post 91’s Alex Ciola checks his swing on a pitch Tuesday night against Rochester at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/

Austin coach Andy Swank said the biggest difference between the spring baseball season and the summer baseball season has been the team’s ability to play loose. He’s hoping that that continues in the postseason and he’s pleased with what Austin has done so far.

“They’ve been really, really consistent,” Swank said. “It’s been amazing, especially with the at bats. All spring our pitching and defense were pretty solid, but this summer the bats have picked up and we’ve had quality at bats from one through nine. Lineups are getting harder to right because there are guys on the bench hitting the ball hard. That’s a nice problem to have.”

Rochester 1 0 0  0 0 1  1      3    5  1

Austin 4 1 4  0 1 0  X    10  13  0

Austin pitching: Josi Bothun (W) 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 K; Luke Hawkshead, 1 IP, 3 BB, 1 ER, 1 K

Austin hitting: Jake Dankert, 3-for-4, 3 R, BB; Alex Ciola, 1-for-3, 2 R, SB, BB; Dan Bollingberg, 3-for-4, double, 3 RBIs, R; Phillip Zynda, 2-for-3, double, 2 RBIs, R, BB; Bothun, 1-for-3, R, BB; AJ Mueller, 0-for-2; Riley Retterath, 1-for-2, double; Hunter Johnson, 1-for-4, triple; Ross Young, 1-for-1, 2 R, 3 BBs; Peter Conner, 0-for-2; Luke Hawkshead, 0-for-2