˛; Dover-Eyota star makes his amateur baseball debut
By Tim McKenna
Only 48 hours had passed since Adam Gust last played catcher at Mayo Field, but my had things changed.
On Tuesday night Gust was on the receiving end of a lopsided game as Byron beat Dover-Eyota 17-0 ending Gust's high school baseball career.
Last night, making his amateur baseball debut with the Rochester Royals, Gust was on the giving end of a 17-3 blowout as the Royals routed the Austin Greyhounds in both teams' Southern Minny League opener. The game lasted only seven innings due to the 10-run rule.
Gust and fellow high school player Scott Threinen of Kasson-Mantorville both started and contributed to the 16-hit Royals offensive showcase.
"It's the first time I have ever started a high school player other than Michael Restovich," Royals player-manager Jeff Milene said. "Today, I started two."
Gust showed signs of jitters as his throwing error lead to Austin's second run in the top of the first.
"I started out bad when I threw that ball away," Gust said. "I guess I was a little nervous."
Gust's first at bat, however, would bring redemption as he singled and scored a run in the bottom of the second. The inning saw the Royals score eight runs and featured back-to-back home runs from Milene and Joe Siple. The inning ended with Gust flying out to the right field warning track.
Threinen joined the offensive fireworks as he opened the bottom of the fourth with a triple and later scored.
Gust played four innings going 1-for-3 while Threinen played the whole game going 1-for-4.
Although impressed with his high school players skills, Milene realizes both have a lot to learn. "Its a big step for both of them, it's like they're making two steps, they don't have that college background." Milene said. "They both have good tools it's just a matter of making adjustments."
Any pressure the two may feel during the season will be greatly eased if the Royals show the explosive and balanced offensive attack they did last night.
All nine Royal starters had at least one hit lead by Shawn Leimbeck's two doubles and four RBIs. The Royals scored in every inning except one.
"We swung the bat well; everyone hit the ball well at least once," Milene said. "We have as good an offense as there is in the state."
Andy Larson pitched three innings to pick up the win. Larson gave up two runs, one was earned, and struck out six batters including all three he faced in the second inning.
The dominating performance was especially satisfying for Milene because of his uncertainty as to how his team would respond to an eight-day layoff since its last game against Dodge Center.
"With eight days off it's like starting over," Milene said.
The Royals will take their 2-0 overall record and 1-0 Southern Minny League record into tonight's game against Lions Pub at Mayo Field.