Packers will open against Pioneers at state baseball tournament

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Austin baseball team will open with a tough test as the Packers will take on No. 2 seeded Hill Murray in the Minnesota Class AAA State Baseball quarterfinals at the University of Minnesota’s Siebert Field in Minneapolis at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The Pioneers (17-8 overall) won three straight elimination games by shutout to get to state, knocking off Mahtomedi 2-0 before beating DeLaSalle 5-0 and 4-0 to win the Section 4AAA title. The Islanders defeated Hill Murray 6-3 earlier in the tournament.

Austin head coach Joe Kroc said it’s difficult to get ahold of scouting reports in baseball, but he does know that the Pioneers have some quality pitching.

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“I know that they have some good arms and I think we’ll be facing a lefty,” Kroc said. “I’m expecting it to be a low scoring game. They’ll be strong.”

The Packers (14-8 overall) won all four of their Section 1AAA contests after having dropped their last three games of the regular season.

“It was a good experience for our guys playing at Marcusen (Park) in front of a lot of the community,” Kroc said. “Now we want the guys to stay loose, compete and have fun. If we do that, I think we have the players to put us in a good position at state. We just want to stay consistent and have fun.”

If Austin beats Hill Murray, it will take on the winner of Little Falls and No. 3 St. Thomas Academy 2:30 p.m. Friday at Siebert Field. If Austin loses to Hill Murray, it will play in the consolation round at either 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. at the University of Northwestern on Friday.

The third place game would be held at Siebert Field at 5 p.m.

Pick up your copy of BREAKING OUT to read all about the Austin Packers trip to the Minnesota Class AAA State Baseball Tournament. Available Thursday, June 13, 2019.