Packers fall to Northfield on the road

By Scott Kolb

The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

NORTHFIELD — The Austin Packers baseball team lost to Northfield on Monday and couldn't piece together its first winning streak of the season.

Coming off their first win of the season last weekend, the Packers were riding some momentum coming into this non-conference road game. The visitors got a runner into scoring position in the top of the first, but failed to get him home and that was the story of the day in an 8-5 loss.

Jay Ettinger, who was the only Austin batter to record multiple hits, singled to open the game. The Packers managed to get Ettinger to third base with only one out, but they couldn't drive him in. The host Raiders then scored a run in the bottom of the frame and led the whole way.


"We didn't take advantage of our early scoring chances and they built a lead," Austin coach Troy Watkins said. "The guys picked it up with the bats in the later innings and scored some runs, but we got going too late."

It was a 4-0 deficit in the top of the fourth, when the offense finally got rolling for the Packers. They scored two runs in the inning and got back in the game.

Quinn Yocom singled and Jack Miller walked to spark the rally. The runners then moved into scoring position on a passed ball. More errant throws between the Northfield battery ensued and both runners came home.

Jacob Hines started on the mound for Austin and went four innings in taking the loss. The Raiders scored runs in all of their at-bats. Joey Swatfager and Preston Higbe finished the game in relief.

Down by a six-run margin in the top of the seventh, the Packers staged a late rally. It all started with two outs when Caleb Whalen reached base on an error.

Ettinger followed with a double to plate Whalen. Higbe then stroked a single to score Ettinger. Brady Klingfus capped the three-run rally with a double to score Higbe, but it wasn't enough to stave off defeat.

Despite the setback on the road, the Packers still had the excitement provided by Klingfus when he pitched a no-hitter in Saturday's win over Hibbing at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. He had 11 strikeouts in guiding the team to its first win.

"It was a fun experience for the guys to play at the Metrodome and something they'll remember the rest of their lives, especially Brady who a pitched great game," coach Watkins said. "He's been pitching well this season for us and it was great to see him throw a no-no."


Austin (1-5) returns to Big Nine Conference play this afternoon with a home game versus Mankato East at Seltz Field.



Austin 7, Hibbing 2

Austin ....... 201 130 0 — 7 8 2

Hibbing ..... 000 011 0 — 2 0 2

Austin:Mike Tindal 3-for-4, 2B, SB, run, RBI; Joey Swatfager 2-for-5, 3B, run, 2 RBI; Preston Higbe 1-for-3, run; Brady Klingfus 1-for-3; Jacob Hines 1-for-3, run; Jack Miller 1-for-2, run, 2 RBI.. WP: Brady Klingfus 7 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 H, 3 BB, 11 K.




Northfield 8, Austin 5

Austin ....... 000 200 3 — 5 7 1

Northfield ..... 121 112 x — 8 12 1

Austin:Jay Ettinger 2-for-4, run, RBI; Higbe 1-for-3, run, RBI; Swatfager 1-for-3; Klingfus 1-for-3, 2B, RBI; Tindal 1-for-4; Quinn Yocom 1-3, run. LP: Jacob Hines 4 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 0 K. RP: Swatfager 2 1/3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K; Higbe 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K.

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