The Austin Packers baseball team was looking to get back on the winning track at Dick Seltz Field Thursday against Big 9 foe Rochester Mayo, but the Packers ran into a buzzsaw in the personage of starting pitcher Josh Auger, as the righty gave up no runs and only one hit, and the Spartans broke the game wide open with a seven-run top of the 4th on their way to a 10-0, five-inning victory.
Austin’s best chance to get on the scoreboard was with two outs in the bottom of the first. Senior pitcher Teyghan Hovland picked up what turned out to be the only the only hit of the game of Austin, and he then stole second. Freshman catcher and cleanup hitter Dakota Retterath then drew a walk, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch from Auger, who was able to get out of the jam by getting first baseman Nic Robertson to fly out to left field to end the threat.
Mayo plated three runs in the top of the third when No. 9 hitter Chase Gasner singled, left fielder Ian Regal followed with a double and catcher Kyle Prindle lofted a sacrifice fly to left to put the Spartans ahead 1-0. Centerfielder Cayden Holcomb was hit by a pitch and stole second before second baseman Brevin Gates and first baseman Elliot Braaten followed with back-to-back RBI singles to put Mayo ahead 3-0.
After Austin went out in order in the bottom of the fourth, the Spartans blew the game wide open when they sent a total of 12 men to the plate in the top of the fifth and scored seven runs, keyed by a two RBI double off the bat of Kyle Prindle, an RBI groundout from Brevin Gates and a two RBI single from shortstop Adam McPhail.
Teyghan Hovland took the loss for Austin on the mound, as he pitched 3 and 1/3rd innings and gave up nine runs, all earned, on eight hits, striking out two, walking three and hitting two batters. Lefty Brayden Bishop pitched the last inning and a third and gave up one run, which was earned, on two hits, and he struck out three and walked one.
With the loss, Austin is now 2-5 on the season, and the Packers are back in action against Albert Lea at Dick Seltz Field next Tuesday, April 27th, with first pitch at 5:00 p.m.