Hounds top Stewartville to get to state tournament

Published 1:47 pm Monday, August 9, 2021

After a five-year hiatus, the Austin Greyhounds are back in the state amateur baseball tournament.

The Hounds beat Red Wing 6-5 in the Region 5C semifinals in Red Wing Saturday and they beat Stewartville 6-2 in a state qualifying game Red Wing Sunday.

Drew Copley allowed just one earned run in seven innings on the mound against Stewartville and Mark Harber went three-for-four with a homer and three RBIs. The Hounds had 13 hits in the state clinching win as Alex Ciola added two hits and Nestor Jimenez had two hits and two RBIs in a well-balanced attack. 

“We caught some people off guard. It was good,” Hounds manager Joe Ciola said. “We were still missing some people, but the next man in line was ready to go. They were jumping on their opportunities and making positive things happen. It was really good team baseball.”

Nels Nelson, who is the main holdover from the team that went to state in 2015, pitched five innings in Saturday’s win and Carlos Gill pitched the final four.

The Hounds committed just one error in 18 innings of baseball over the weekend.

Austin will now take on Wanamingo in Red Wing at 8 p.m. Friday. If Austin wins that game, it will be a No. 1 seed for the Class C State Tournament and it will receive a bye week.

The state tournament will be held in Waconia, Chaska and Hamburg.