ST. CLOUD — The Austin American Legion baseball team went out on a winning note at the Division I American Legion state tournament on Friday.
After dropping its first two games, Post 91 rebounded to outscore Osseo 13-12 to finish with a 1-2 mark in the tournament.
“Very proud of our team and what we did this year, winning a very tough District One,” Austin coach Joe Ciola said. “We went to state and had a great experience and great memories and played good baseball.”
Post 91 fell to Mankato American 5-3 and Eden Prairie 7-4 in the first two rounds of pool play and was eliminated from advancing after that. The top two teams of each four-team pool advanced to the championship round.
“We ran into a couple of good lefty pitchers in the first two games who did a nice job of keeping us off balance and not letting us get rallies started,” Ciola said. “That was really the story of the first two games. We hadn’t really seen too many lefties this year and sure enough in the first two games we saw two good ones.”
In the final game, Teyghan Hovland hit a pair of three-run homers as Austin got off to a fast start and outscored Osseo.
“We came out a lot looser, understanding that win or lose we were done with the tournament,” Ciola said. “We had nine or 10 hits in the first four innings so we really came out with a lot of energy and were playing to have fun.”
Austin finishes the season 18-7 and has the added memory of playing in a state tournament.
“It was a great experience and the tournament was ran very well,” Ciola said. “More importantly, we got to spend more time together and create additional memories and really more experiences for these young men to take on with them in their lives.”
• In the Division II American Legion state tournament, La Crescent was eliminated from title contention with an 8-1 loss to host Scared Heart/MacCray in the first round of play on Friday.
La Crescent dropped into the consolation round on Saturday. It went on to beat Holy Family 9-7, then beat Luverne 9-7 for fifth place.