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Blue Sox split a pair at tourney

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

DUNDAS — The Austin Blue Sox split a pair of amateur baseball games over the weekend as they played in the Dundas Tournament.

A late rally on Friday night gave the Blue Sox an 8-7 win over St. Louis Park in the tourney opener. The Blue Sox then played the Dundas Dukes and lost 4-2 on Saturday.

"It’s too bad we lost to Dundas, because then we lost a tiebreaker in pool play and didn’t get to play again," Blue Sox player/manager Josh Kunze said. "Every team in our pool was 1-1 after the first day, and we lost out on total runs."

Brady Banse had a good start on the mound in the opener against St. Louis Park, but didn’t figure in the final decision. The bullpen then pitched a string of scoreless innings, and gave the Blue Sox a chance to rally for the win.

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Austin scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to win the game. Casey Toops pitched the eighth and ninth innings to get the mound win.

Nate Johnson had three hits for the Blue Sox to spark the offense. This line included a bases clearing double in the bottom of the eighth to plate the decisive three runs. Pat Wolard also had three hits in the tourney opener.

"St. Louis Park went to state last year in Class A, so it’s always nice to beat a team from a higher class," Kunze said. "We lost to them last year in this tournament, and wanted to get some revenge."

Joe Huffman was the pitcher for the Blue Sox against the Dukes and took the loss. There wasn’t much help from the offense as they only mustered two runs. The Blue Sox had three errors in the setback.

"We trailed the whole time, and wasted a good pitching effort from Joe," Kunze said. "Most of our fielding problems came with two outs, and then it snowballed with a couple of base hits. We had guys on base in the sixth and eighth innings, but couldn’t complete the comeback. We stranded 18 guys on base, and left the bases loaded four different times."

Austin Blue Sox (3-7) play a road game against the Chaska Cubs on Wednesday night. Blue Sox pitching ace Sean Breslin is scheduled to get the start at the Chaska Athletic Park, which is one of the host sites for this year’s Class B State Tournament.

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