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Post 91 collects opening Sub-State win over Albert Lea

Just about a week ago, Albert Lea Post 52 jumped on Austin Post 91 early and often on the way to a 11-4 win. Things were quite a bit different this time around in the first round of the Sub-State Division 1 Tournament Monday night in Marcusen Park.

Behind the pitching of Zach Bollingberg, Post 91 scored a run in each of the second and third innings before blowing the game open in the fourth with a five-run frame ending in a 8-1 win.

“We came ready to play tonight and played all seven innings,” said head coach Joe Ciola.

Powered by a pair of run-scoring doubles from Dusty Copley and Tanner Murphy, Austin was able to extend a 7-0 lead after four innings and were never really challenged by Albert Lea, who managed to finally plate a run in the fifth inning.

The times Albert Lea did look to finally find a rhythm, they ran themselves out of scoring opportunities paired with strong defensive plays from Austin.

The first big threat came in the top of the fifth when Albert Lea kicked the inning off with three straight singles that included Trevor Ball knocking in the lone Post 52 run. However, Ball was thrown out moments later at second by catcher Cole Walter, who was able to take advantage of Ball over extending himself off second on a passed ball.

The inning came to an end on another heads-up play by Walter, who came up with a juggling catch against the backstop on a pop-fly and then turned to gun down Jack Jellinger, who was trying to tag from first base.

“It was a nice ball game,” Ciola said. “The players responded after a couple tough losses last week and came out with a lot more energy to make things happen.”

Bollingberg was one of four pitchers on the mound against Albert Lea last week and gave up eight runs on eight hits with four walks in that outing. It was a much better result this time as he collected the win going six innings and giving up just one run on seven scattered hits. All of the hits he surrendered were singles.

“Zach did everything we asked of him,” Ciola said. “He showed resilience getting out of trouble. He did a great job tonight.”

Austin will now play the No. 2 seed Rochester A’s at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Marcusen Park.

Albert Lea 000 001 0 — 1  7  3

Austin 011 501 x —  8  11 1

Austin pitching: Zach Bollingberg (W) 6 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 1ER; Cole Walter 1 IP, 2 K.

Austin hitting: Sam Nelson, 2-for-4, RBI; Tony Ciola 0-for-4, HBP; Teyhgan Hovland 2-for-4, 2 R, SB; Dusty Copley 1-for-4, R, RBI; Tanner Murphy 2-for-4, double, 2 RBI, 2 R; Zach Bollingberg 3-for-3, triple, 2 runs, 2 RBI, SB; Jed Nelson 0-for-2; Jordan Ransom 1-for-4, RBI; Cole Walter 0-for-1, 2 walks.