Packers struggle with walks in opening loss to Wingers

Published 9:45 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

Unfortunately for the Austin baseball team, its 2019 season started off the same way its 2018 season ended — in a loss to Red Wing.

After falling to the Wingers in a state-qualifying game last season, the Packers opened their new season with a 7-3 loss to Red Wing in Seltz Field Friday.

Austin (0-1 overall, 0-1 Big Nine) went through three pitchers in the loss and the Wingers (1-0 overall, 1-0 Big Nine) were able to draw a total of 14 walks.

Austin’s Michael O’Connor delivers during the second inning against Red Wing Friday evening at Dick Seltz Field. Eric Johnson/

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“If you can find me a box score where a team has walked 14 batters and won, I’d love to see it,” Austin head coach Joe Kroc said. “It came down to walks and our hitters struck out nine times. That’s too many. It’s the first game of they year and we’ve got a long ways to go.”

The Wingers grabbed a 4-3 lead when Alec Borgen drilled a two-out, three-run double to deep center field in the third inning. The Packers had taken a 3-1 lead in the first inning after Nate Murphy knocked in two runs with a two-out single, but Austin compiled just four hits over the next six frames.

“We’re inexperienced in some spots. I’m happy with how we’re practicing,” Kroc said. “We’ve just got to get that going into games and I think we’ll do that sooner than later. I think we’re going to see big strides as we go this year.”

Senior Riley Wempner went three-for-three with a double in a walk in the loss for Austin.

RW  1 0 3  0 1 2  0  — 7  6  2

Austin  3 0 0  0 0 0  0  — 3  5  2

Austin pitching: Michael O’Connor, 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 7 BB, 3 ER, 3 K; Tony Ciola (L) 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 K; Andrew Schumacher, 2/3 IP, 2 BB, 0 R, 1 K

Austin hitting: Riley Wempner, 3-for-3, double, SB, BB, R; O’Connor, 1-for-3, BB; Hunter Guyette, 0-for-4, R; AJ Mueller, 0-for-4, R; Jackson Oehlfke, BB; Kadin Kneeskern, 0-for-3; Nate Murphy, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Dawson Mills, 0-for-2, BB; Ciola, 0-for-3; Teyghan Hovland, 0-for-2, BB