Buysse, Mudhens hit tough times

Posted July 3, 2018

Buysse, Mudhens hit tough times

The ball whizzed down the third base line with a destination for left field.

Mudhen third baseman Austin Buysse saw it all the way — but there wasn’t a single thing he could do about it.

“Normally, I would have dove for it. I think I could have gotten it,” he said. But I just can’t do it with this bad leg.”

Technically, Buysse probably shouldn’t have been in the game at all. He’s been limping because of a gimpy knee he injured on a play at home plate several weeks ago.

Since then, he’s become the team’s designated hitter, unable to play in the field. Then Friday, with both of the team’s other potential third baseman, Preston Nuy and Jordan Beck not on hand, Buysse gave it the old college try.

But it wasn’t the same. He missed one other drive, committed a couple of errors and found he also didn’t have the drive from his injured knee to push off as he’d like at the plate.

While his effort is applauded, he, along with his teammates, were doomed to a 9-4 loss to the Milroy Irish.

It came just two days after a frustrating 6-3 loss to Cottonwood and it dropped their season record to 10-7 on the year.

Buysse, who just completed a four-year degree at Dakota Wesleyan College in Mitchell, SD and four years as a back-up quarterback on the football team, has always loved the game of baseball. “I wish I could have played baseball in college,” he said.

So the injury is tearing away at Buysse. He’s been to the doctor, tried to rehabilitate it, wrapped the leg or used a brace and now, may have to get an MRI to see if there’s more damage than originally thought.

“It’s really hard because I want to play so bad,” said Buysse. 

He’s become an integral part of the team because his bat has come around to the point where he’s had 16 hits in 57 trips to the plate for a .280 batting average with five doubles; seven runs batted in and eight runs scored. And some of that he’s done on a gimpy leg.

Buysse, who is returning this fall to graduate school and as a professor’s assistant, also has become part of the Mudhens coaching staff. He helps schedule games, assists Manager Tyson Sonnenburg and Assistant Manager Beau Buysse and when Sonneburg is gone, plugs himself in as an assistant coach.

But what he really wants, is to play. The rub is that the season is short and injuries can take a long time to heal.

A healthy Buysse may not have made a huge difference Friday night as starting pitching Jake Leighton was hammered for five runs on five hits in the third inning as the Irish took an 8-4 lead, overcoming a 4-3 Mudhen lead.

“Maybe I left Jake (Leighton) in too long, but he hasn’t pitched since  Madison (for games ago on June 16) and we wanted to give him some innings,” said Acting Manager Beau Buysse.

Stunningly, Zach Nuy came on in relief in the sixth, pitched four innings, struck out six, gave up two hits and two walks and shut the Irish out the rest of the way.

The big blow for the Irish was a two-run home run in the third by Brady Lanoue. He ended the game 2-5 with four runs batted in and two runs scored.

Minneota countered with a two-run blast in its half of the third by Adam Durfee, who was 3-4 on the night for the Mudhens. But Leighton got two hits and Danny Hennen the only other hit as Milroy pitcher Cody Mather held Minneota to six hits while he struck out seven in eight innings.

Austin Buysse went 0-3 and left the game wondering what might have been ... if he was able to play two strong legs.

We’ll never know. 


Milroy Irish 9, Mudhens 4

MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, 2b 2-1-0-0; Al Christiansen, 2b 1-0-0-0; Jake Leighton, p-lf 4-2-2-0; Tyson Sonnenburg, cf 4-0-0-1; Adam Durfee, ss 4-1-3-3; Austin Buysse, 3b 3-0-0-0; James Chalky, pr 0-0-0-0; Drew Fadness, ph 1-0-0-0; Henry Pesch, lf-rf 4-0-0-0; Noah Scott, c 4-0-0-09; Danny Hennen, 1b 3-0-1-0; Brock Buysse, rf, 2-0-0-0; Zach Nuy, p 1-0-0-0. Totals 32 4 6 4.

MILROY IRISH (AB-R-H-RBI) Dominic Dolan, ss 6-1-1-0; Terry Ross, 2b 5-1-1-0; Tyler Peterson, 3b-rf 3-2-2-1; Brady Lanoue, 1b 5-2-2-4; Derek Riley, lf 5-2-2-0; Anthony Dolan, cf 4-0-2-0; Luke Dolan, c 5-0-2-1; Ken Morris, dh-p 0-0-0-0; Cody Mather, p 0-0-0-0; Tyler Alcorn, rf 3-1-0-0; Jake Byrne, 3b 1-0-0-0. Totals 42-9-14-7.

Score by Innings:

Irish                012 510 000 — 9 14 1

Minneota        202 000 000 — 4  6  4

E-Minneota: Sonnenburg, A. Buysse 2, Hennen; Irish: Ross. 

SB-Irish: Lanoue. DP-Irish 5-4-3 (5); 5-4 (6). 2B-Minneota-Leighton; Irish: D. Dolan. HR-Minneota-Durfee; Irish: Lanoue.

Pitching            IP    R    ER    H    BB    K


Leighton (L)     5     9     6      12    1      2

Z. Nuy             4     2     0       2     2      6


Mather (W)      8     4     4       7     1      7

Morris             1     0     0       0     0      2

  HP-Ross, Peterson (by Leighton). WP-Leighton 2.


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