Packer pitchers answer the call in sweep of Faribault

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Austin sophomore Teyghan Hovland learned that it’s important to not dwell on a shortcoming for too long after he helped the Packers get rolling to a sweep of Faribault at Dick Seltz Field Tuesday.

A week after he suffered a blown save in a loss to Northfield, Hovland picked up the mound victory for Austin in an 8-1 win in the first game of the doubleheader. The Packers went on to take the nightcap 3-0.

Hovland avoided trouble in the second inning of a scoreless game when he forced a ground-out and a fly-out to strand Falcons (1-11 overall) on second and third. He finished with eight strikeouts, while allowing just one hit and a walk in five innings.

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“The coaches told me throughout the week to forget about it and come into this next game just throwing strikes,” Hovland said. “My catcher today, Hunter (Guyette), was kind of telling me that they weren’t going to catch me. I came out with that mentality that I just had to throw strikes and throw it past them.”

Austin pitcher Tony Ciola delivers against Faribault in game one of a doubleheader Tuesday at Dick Seltz Field. Eric Johnson/

The Packers (9-4 overall) broke the first game open when they scored three in the third to go up 5-0. Hovland tripled in a run and Michael O’Connor and Hunter Guyette also had an RBI in the rally.

The Packers were held hitless by Faribault’s Hunter Nelson in the first four innings of the nightcap, but Riley Wempner broke up the slump when he drilled a single to right and scored on a throwing error to put Austin up to start the fifth inning.

The Falcons had the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth inning when Tony Ciola made a diving stop at third base to preserve Austin’s 2-0 lead.

Jackson Oehlfke pitched six scoreless innings to pick up the win in game two.

“It was clean baseball all around,” Austin head coach Joe Kroc said. “Defensively we were into it and we communicated well, which we put an emphasis on this last week. It was phenomenal defense and Tony Ciola made a couple of great plays that saved that second game and our pitchers did a great job.”

Nate Murphy ended the first game with a leaping catch in left field and sealed the second game with a save that saw him strike out Faribault’s Maverick Jeanes with runners on first and second to end the game. It was Murphy’s first mound appearance since last year.

“It felt good to finally get on the mound. I haven’t been out there since the beginning of last year with my shoulder injury,” Murphy said. “Our team play is picking up. We’re getting better and better every day and we’re putting the ball in play and making stuff happen.”

Austin’s Dawson Mills parks under a flyball against Faribault Tuesday evening at Dick Seltz Field. Eric Johnson/

Faribault  0 0 0  0 0 1  0   —  1  2   1

Austin   0 2 3  0 3 0  X  —  8  11  1 

Austin pitching: Teyghan Hovland (W) 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 8 K; Tony Ciola, 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 3 K

Austin hitting: Riley Wempner, 0-for-3, R, BB; Andrew Schumacher, 1-for-3, R; Hunter Guyette, 2-for-3, double, RBI, R, SB; AJ Mueller, 0-for-4; Hovland, 1-for-2, triple, RBI, 2 R, SB; Michael O’Connor, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Dawson Mills, 3-for-3, double, 2 RBIs, R; Nate Murphy, 1-for-3, RBI; Tony Ciola, 1-for-2, RBI; Jackson Oehlfke, 0-for-1, R; Kadin Kneeskern, 0-for-1; Dylan Mittelsted, 0-for-1; Kyle Berglund, BB

Faribault 0 0 0  0 0 0  0 — 0  4  1

Austin  0 0 0  0 2 1  X — 3  3  1

Austin pitching: Oehlfke (W) 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 HBP; Nate Murphy (S) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 1 K

Austin hitting: Wempner, 1-for-4, 2 R, SB; Schumacher, 1-for-2, RBI, BB, SB; Guyette, 0-for-3, R, BB; Mueller, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Hovland, BB; O’Connor, 0-for-1, BB, HBP; Mills, 0-for-2; Murphy, 0-for-1, BB; Ciola, 1-for-2, BB; Kneeskern, BB; Mittlested, 0-for-1