MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s safe to say that many of us are missing America’s past-time.

It’s just not the same without baseball being played at Target Field.

Which is why a Brooklyn Park college student decided the Twins were going to have a full season anyway.

“I miss it more than anyone right now. Every single Twins fan in Minnesota would say the same thing right now,” Austin Thune said.

No baseball simply meant Austin had to get creative. About three days before what would have been Opening Day, an idea hit him like a home run to straight away center.

“I was sitting in my room doing homework and I thought this might not be a horrible idea to color-comment on the games they were supposed to play on MLB the Show,” he said.

Through his Play Station 4, he’s been setting line-ups for every game the Twins would have played. Then the computer takes over while Austin does the play-by-play.

“Once I start the game I’m not controlling either club. I’m commentating on what’s happening during the game,” he said.

It’s not take me out to the ball game, it’s take me out to Austin’s house.

His broadcasts are on Twitch.tv. and he promotes the games on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. He’s also gaining a fan base. It helps too that these virtual Twins have a three and a half game lead in the division.

“I think in early April they were a little below .500 and I was thinking not a lot of people want to watch a video game let alone the Twins not being good. Fortunately for me they are playing very well right now,” he said.

And Nelson Cruz is picking up where he left off.

“He has eight bombas right now and 27 RBI’s,” he said.

Austin looks up to Twins announcer Dick Bremer, and tries to call games like he would. Once the real thing comes back, he’ll gladly step aside. Until then, he’s happy to be that pinch hitter or spot starter that Twins fans need.

“The whole game is to provide entertainment. It’s not the real thing and a video game is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if in some way people can enjoy baseball like this.

“I’m happy to deliver it to them,” he said.

Austin is graduating from Minnesota State University- Moorhead this spring and plans to become a teacher. But he does have plenty of play-by-play experience. He used to call football games for Osseo High School.

John Lauritsen

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