Tigers come alive against Austin
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002
The last time Albert Lea and Austin met on a baseball diamond, the Tigers escaped with a 1-0, eight-inning victory.
It was almost an identical replay Tuesday.
Both teams allowed a pair of unearned runs in regulation and the Tigers went on to win 3-2 in eight innings in a Big Nine baseball game at Albert Lea’s Hayek Field.
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It was the Tigers’ first win in eight games, since they defeated the Packers at Marcusen Park, and Albert Lea coach Joe Sczublewski admitted he never has trouble motivating his team against Austin.
&uot;We’ve beat those guys twice this year,&uot; said Sczublewski, whose team improved to 4-12 in the Big Nine and 4-15 overall. &uot;Our kids look forward to playing them.&uot;
The Packers led most of the way Tuesday, taking a 2-0 edge in the top of the second. Mike Leathers walked, Adam VanProosdy singled and Jordan VanProosdy reached on a bunt single that barely eluded a diving Albert Lea pitcher Isaac Walton, loading the bases. Matt Johnson hit a double-play ball to the shortstop but it was thrown away at second base, scoring the two runs.
The Tigers tied it in the sixth. Adam Highum walked, Walton singled and both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Bracker. The Packers made a throwing error on Derek Goodnature’s grounder to third, scoring Highum and Walton.
Highum and Walton led of the bottom of the eighth with back-to-back singles and Bracker was intentionally walked. Relief pitcher Andy Klapperick got two outs before David Villarreal lined a 2-2 pitch to right field for the game-winning run.
Leathers took the hard luck loss, giving up one earned run on seven hits, with four walks and four strikeouts.
Walton went the distance for the Tigers. He struck out 12 and walked two.
Highum was 2-for-3 and Walton 2-for-4 to lead Albert Lea offensively. Adding one hit each were Jay Link, Brandon Klukow, Bracker and Villarreal.
Jordan VanProosdy had two hits for the Packers. Adam VanProosdy and Johnson had Austin’s other hits.
The Tigers are home again Friday against Rochester John Marshall, a team they beat 10-3 in the season opener.
00 &045; 2
01 &045; 3
WP &045; Isaac Walton
LP &045; Mike Leathers