Positive Packers: Austin baseball team grabs a third straight win

Published 8:48 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

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After dropping their first three games of the season, the Packer baseball team has hit its stride. Austin was brimming with positivity as it beat Albert Lea 10-0 in five innings for its third straight victory in Seltz Field Thursday.

The Packers started the party with three runs in the first inning when Peyton Ransom and Isaac Stromlund each delivered two-out RBI hits and they ended the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Toby Holtz came off the bench to deliver the knockout punch as he grounded out to push in a run. With spirits high in the dugout throughout the game, Holtz was mobbed by his teammates after the win.

Austin senior Nick Robertson scored the game-winning run for Austin and also pitched five scoreless innings while striking out four.

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“Since the Kasson game, we’ve been on a roll. The energy has been high and we’re ready to play,” Robertson said. 

Robertson threw just 77 pitches as he scattered four hits in the win. His biggest challenge came in the top of the fourth when Austin was leading 4-0. The Tigers had the bases loaded with one out when Robertson came up with a strikeout before forcing a pop out to escape the jam.

“I just stayed confident,” Robertson said. “It was a tough situation, but I threw a couple of good pitches and I got out of it.”

Austin head coach Jake Nelson said he has plenty of faith in Robertson, who has been starting varsity games for three years.

“Nick is that veteran pitcher for us,” Nelson said. “He’s a senior captain, he had a lot of innings for us last year and he’s comfortable in those positions. We knew Nick would be the guy for us and he had that determination. Anytime he’s on the mound, we’ve got a chance to win.”

Robertson was given a boost from junior catcher Dakota Retterath, who is also in his third year as a starter behind the dish. Retterath also went two-for-three at the plate.

“I’ve been really comfortable back there since my freshman year and I’ve been building up more every year,” Retterath said. 

The Packers have been positive from the start of the season, but things are starting to pick up over the past few games as the offense has gained steam. The Packers will play four more games next week as they look to keep momentum going.

“We never really got down. We lost three in a row to start the year, but guys were battling to the last out,” Nelson said. “The bats got hot and we kept them hot the whole week. We had 12 hits against Northfield and 12 today. It’s getting really hard for teams to keep up with us.”

Albert Lea 000  00  –  0   4   3

Austin 301 33  –  10  12 2

Austin pitching: Nick Robertson (W) 5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 4 K, 1 HBP

Austin hitting: Peyton Ransom, 2-for-4, double, R; Kody Blom, 0-for-3, R, BB; Nick Robertson, 2-for-3, RBI, 2 R; Dakota Retterath, 2-for-3, R, HBP; Ethan Anderson, 2-for-4, RBI, 2 R; Isaac Stromlund, 2-for-3, double, 2 RBIs, R; Brayden Bishop, 0-for-1, RBI, R, 2 BBs; Sam Winkels, 2-for-3, RBI; Isaac Osgood, 1-for-3, RBI; Toby Holtz, 0-for-1, RBI; Gavin Esplan, R