After having most of their season delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Austin 18U baseball team burst out of the gate this week with a pair of lopsided wins over St. Peter and Winona.
In their season opener Tuesday night in St. Peter, Austin needed only eight hits to tally 14 runs on their way to a 14-0 shutout win in five innings.
Zach Bollingberg was one of two Austin players with two hits including a double, a RBI and two runs scored, Tanner Murphy was 2 for 4 with a double, two RBI’s and two runs scored, Tony Ciola was 1 for 4 with a run knocked in, plus he scored three runs, Jed Nelson and Dawson Mills were both 1 for 3 for Austin with Mills knocking in a pair of runs. Nick Dunlap was 1 for 2 and Jordan Ransom, Sam Nelson and Brady Kominek all scored runs in the game.
Ciola earned the five inning shutout win on the bump for Austin, who saw pitchers Zach Bollingberg and Cole Walter receive plenty of run support in a 10-4 win over Winona at Marcusen Park Thursday evening.
Winona jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the 1st, but Austin came back with one in their half of the first and wound up taking the lead for good in the bottom of the 2nd, thanks in large part to a three-run, two-out double off the bat of Jerren Steen. Austin added another run in the 5th and four more in the 6th on their way to the win.
Steene wound up 2 for 3 in the game with the three-run double, Zach Bollingberg was 2 for 4 with a double and a run batted in, Tanner Murphy was 1 for 3 with a run scored, Dawson Mills was 1 for 2 with a RBI, a run scored and two walks, Nick Dunlap and Ian Bundy were both 1 for 2, Tony Ciola was 0 for 3 but drew two walks and scored a run, Jed Nelson was 0-2 with two runs scored, Cole Walter drew a walk and also scored two runs, and Sam Nelsen was 0 for 1 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Bollingberg picked up the win on the mound as he pitched the first six innings, settling in after the 1st and giving up the three runs, none earned on five hits, striking out six and walking four. Cole Walter pitched the 7th and gave up one earned run on a hit, and he also struck out a batter.