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AUSTIN EDITION - Packers get split

Austin hands West first loss

MANKATO -- Austin won the second game to gain a split with Mankato West in Big Nine Conference baseball on Friday.

The host Scarlets rallied to win the opener 8-7 in 11 innings. The Packers then handed West (5-1 overall, Big Nine) its first loss of the season, 11-6 in the nightcap.

"It was nice to comeback in the second game after the way we lost that first game," Austin coach Troy Watkins said.

The Packers had a 3-0 lead after half an inning in the opener. But Marcus Quenes hit a two-run homer in the first for West and two Austin errors led to four more runs in the second. Heading into the sixth inning the Packers trailed 7-4.

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The Packers scored twice in the sixth but were down to their final out in the seventh, trailing 7-6. Tim Kirby then tripled and John Bastyr tied the score with an RBI single. Adam Edge followed with a deep fly ball that was caught just short of the fence in left.

"It was nice to see use come back from that 7-4 deficit," Watkins said.

West won the game in the eighth, however. Andy Swank, who pitched solid after a slow start, walked the first hitter and Brad Walsh later hit an RBI single.

Kirby finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Kirby was also 2-for-4 in the second game with four RBIs and a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

Walsh, who got the win in relief of the opener, started the second game but did not survive the second inning. The Packers scored four times in the first on three walks and RBI singles by Marcus Ball and Bastyr.

Nate Johnson had an RBI single in a three-run second and then stole second scored on a single by Davis Lyon. Ball finished 2-for-4 while Lyon was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and scored three runs.

Kirby capped a four-run fourth with his three-run homer

"We battle. We battled back and the guys played hard," Watkins said. "We're giving ourselves a chance to win."

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Watkins also said the Packers received good pitching during windy conditions. Swank and Johnson both threw complete games. Johnson pitched a seven-hitter to win the second game.

The Packers (5-3, 3-3 Big Nine) will play at Northfield on Monday at 4:15 p.m.

First game

MANKATO WEST 8, AUSTIN 7

Austin 310 002 10 --7 ; 6 3

; Mankato West 240 100 01 --8 11 3

; Swank and Edge; Paul Mages, Trevor Vaubel (6), Walsh (8) and Giersdorf.

2B -- AUS, Kirby. MW, Brown. 3B -- AUS, Johnson, Kirby. HR -- MW, Quenes.

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Second game

AUSTIN 11, MANKATO WEST 6

Austin 430 400 0 --11 ; 9 2

; Mankato West 000 240 0 --6 7 0

; Johnson and Edge; Walsh, Brown (2), Roberts (5) and Giersdorf.

2B -- MW, Walsh, Bloomquist. HR -- AUS, Kirby.

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