Post 91 does the little things to beat Redhawks

Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sometimes it’s not how hard you hit the ball, but where you hit it. The top seeded Austin Post 91 Legion baseball team strung together some timely hits in the right place at they rallied past the No. 8 Rochester Redhawks in a 6-1 win in a District Tournament opener in Marcusen Park Tuesday.

Austin tied the game at 1-1 when Hunter Guyette beat out an infield single to score a run with two outs in the fifth and Hunter Johnson, Riley Retterath and Pete Conner all had RBI singles to shallow center field in the sixth inning.

Guyette said the game came down to guys doing the little things, including a sacrifice bunt by Pete Conner that moved the eventual tying run to second base in the fifth.

Austin Post 91 shortstop Josi Bothun looks the ball in on a force-play at second base against the Rochester Redhawks Tuesday night. Eric Johnson/

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“[My] infield single wouldn’t have come without a runner in scoring position,” Guyette said. “It’s playoff baseball and it’s basically do or die. You just try and do whatever you can to help the team in a certain way. Peter Conner had a sacrifice bunt that helped us. It’s good to have people that will play certain roles and sacrifice their at bats or even playing time for other players.”

Jack Dankert and Josi Bothun also each had an RBI in the sixth. Austin’s sixth inning rally was sparked when Phillip Zynda launched a double to right field to put runners on second and third with no outs.

While Post 91 was trailing the No. 8 seed through four innings, the team never panicked, according to Johnson.

Post 91 catcher Hunter Guyette fields a bunt against the Rochester Redhawks Tuesday night at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/

“The mood wasn’t bad. We just weren’t having quality at bats and we weren’t getting good bats on the ball,” Johnson said. “We just needed one person to do that. Phillip Zynda did that and that kind of sprung the inning that we had and we took off from there. The intensity wasn’t exactly where we wanted it to be, but it was there.”

Austin head coach Joe Kroc said he would’ve liked his team to come out sharper in its last home game of the summer, but he’s glad Post 91 will be moving on to take on Winona in Albert Lea Thursday at 7 p.m.

“I’m happy and I’m proud of them, but we have to be better,” Kroc said. “I thought we gave away a lot of at bats. But we got a win and that’s all that matters right now.”

The Packers came up one win short of the Minnesota Class AAA State Baseball Tournament in the spring and Guyette is hoping that Post 91 can score some redemption for Austin as the double-elimination District Tournament plays out in AL this weekend.

“Getting beat by Red Wing [in the section title game] I think kind of fueled our fire for summer ball,” Guyette said. “We know what we’re capable of and honestly this is the best group of players that I think I’ve ever played with. It’s all because of chemistry and I believe this team has got what it takes to get to the state tournament if we compete every day.”

Post 91’s Phillip Zynda steps into second on the front-end of a doubleplay attempt by the Rochester Redhawks Tuesday night at Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/

Redhawks 0 0 0  1 0 0  0    1    5  1

Austin 0 0 0  1 5 0  X    6  11  3

Austin pitching: Jack Dankert, 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 K; Josi Bothun (W) 1 2/3 iP, 1 BB, 0 R

Austin hitting:  Dankert, 2-for-4, RBI, R; Hunter Johnson, 1-for-4, RBI; Bothun, 2-for-4, RBI; Drew Copley, 0-for-1, BB, HBP; Phillip Zynda, 1-for-2, double, R, BB; AJ Mueller, 1-for-2; Pete Conner, 1-for-2, RBI; Andrew Schumacher, R; Ross Young, 0-for-1, 2 R