A two-run double off the bat of Zach Bollingberg in the bottom of the third inning proved to be just enough offense for the Austin 18U baseball team versus Mankato West at Marcusen Park Thursday night as Tony Ciola and Cole Walter combined to hold West to only one run in a 2-1 Austin win.
Ciola earned the win as he pitched 4 1/3 innings before leaving the game with the bases loaded and no one out in the top of the fifth inning. Walter then came in to relieve Ciola and got the final two outs including an inning-ending strike out. He then held Mankato West scoreless the rest of the way to earn the save.
West tallied a run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead when Austin took the lead it turned out for good in the bottom of the third when Bollingberg’s two-run double gave Austin a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
With the win, Austin has earned the top seed in the Southern Minny League playoffs, but they will have to wait until after a play-in game Sunday to see who they play Monday night at a time yet to be determined.