Cano’s grand slam lifts Hounds over Shakopee

Nate Johnson of the Austin Greyhounds takes off to steal second base against Shakopee in the SpamTown Challenge in Marcusen Park Friday. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Nate Johnson of the Austin Greyhounds takes off to steal second base against Shakopee in the SpamTown Challenge in Marcusen Park Friday. — Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

The Austin Greyhounds put an exclamation mark on day two of the SpamTown Challenge as they downed Shakopee 11-0 in five innings.

Matt Cano had the big blast of the night as he belted a grand slam over the right field fence to make it 8-0 in the second inning and the Hounds (7-5 overall) cruised the rest of the way.

Matt Cano of the Austin Greyhounds rounds third base after hitting a grand slam in the SpamTown Challenge in Marcusen Park Friday. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Matt Cano of the Austin Greyhounds rounds third base after hitting a grand slam in the SpamTown Challenge in Marcusen Park Friday. — Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Cano said of his grand slam. “It was a lot better than my first at bat when I was a mess. It was nice to get a pitch up there that I could handle.”

Austin pitcher Joe Huffman was dominant on the mound as he allowed just four hits and struck out three. Huffman never faced any real jams in the win.

“They’ve got a dangerous lineup and they’ve got some good hitters on their side,” Cano said. “To keep them to just four hits was a good job by Joe. We were never really in danger of getting scored on.”

Austin sealed the game in the fourth when Matt Raso singled in a run and Joe Kroc knocked in a run on a groundout.

“They’re a great team and sometimes it’s just not your night,” Cano said. “It wasn’t for them. That wasn’t their number one pitcher and we took advantage of it.”

The Hounds are in prime position to play in Sunday’s Final Four. If Austin beats the St. Paul River Pirates Saturday night, it will advance.

Play begins at 10 a.m. Sunday and the SpamTown Challenge title game is Sunday at 2 p.m.

Shakopee 0 0 0 0 0 —  0 4 2

Hounds 3 5 1 2 X — 11 8 0

Hounds pitching: Joe Huffman (W) 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 K

Hounds hitting: Nate Johnson, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 R, BB, 2 SB; Jeremy Williams, 1-for-3, R; Tyler Leopold, 1-for-1, double, RBI, 2 R, BB, HBP; Matt Cano, 1-for-2, HR, 4 RBIs, BB; Matt Raso, 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, BB; Tate Cummins, 1-for-3; Joe Kroc, 2-for-3, double, RBI, 2 R; Gabe Kasak, 0-for-3, R; John Frein, 0-for-2; Jordan Hart, R

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