9th inning rally for Austin Greyhounds Sunday falls just short; Hounds lose to Stewartville/Racine 10-9

Jordan Hart showed why he is the all-time home run leader in MSU-Mankato Maverick baseball history Sunday afternoon at Marcusen Park as he slugged three home runs, but the Austin Greyhounds fell just short in their comeback bid against the Stewartville/Racine Sharks in a 10-9 loss.

The Sharks belted out 20 hits in the game and led 10-5 in the top of the 7th inning when first baseman Derek McCready slugged a grand slam home run.  The Hounds, though, refused to fold and chipped away at the lead to trail 10-7 heading into the bottom of the 9th.  Catcher Nestor Jiminez belted a two-run double to cut the Stewartville/Racine lead to 10-9, and he represented the tying run with no one out.  The Sharks pitching staff, though, was able to save the day as they left Jiminez stranded at second to hang on for the one-run win.

Hart wound up 3 for 4 for the Hounds on Sunday with the three home runs, 5 RBI’s and three runs scored.  Dan Bollingberg was 3 for 6 for the afternoon with an RBI and a run scored, Alex Ciola was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, Jiminez also added two hits in five trips to the plate with the 2 RBI double, and Mark Harber was also 2 for 5 with a run scored.  Steve Serratore was 1 for 4 with a double, Angel Santiago was 1 for 2 for Austin with a run scored, and Tony Ciola was 1 for 2 with a double, a run scored and two sacrifice bunts as the Hounds totaled 15 hits in the game.

Yean Gil got the start on the mound Sunday for the Greyhounds and pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up six runs, with four earned.  Josi Bothun was tagged with the loss for the Hounds as he pitched 2 1/3rd of an inning and gave up four earned runs before giving way to Serratore, who pitched a scoreless ninth.

Austin is 1-2 in Twin Rivers League play, and they return to action at Marcusen Park Wednesday night against the Owatonna Aces, with first pitch at 7:30 p.m.