While MLB teams were taking the first steps of their marathon-like seasons on Opening Day, the MSU Mavericks were taking care of business of their own, sweeping the Bemidji State Beavers on the first day of back-to-back double headers Sunday at the MSU Baseball Complex on campus.
The Mavericks won the first game 6-3 after jumping out to a quick start, scoring 3 runs in the first three innings while not allowing anything to come home for the Beavers. Junior Eric Peterson got things started for the Mavericks scoring in the first after being hit by a pitch, stealing second, then getting driven in from second with two outs by sophomore Dylan Dresel. Peterson scored again in the third along with senior Kyle Toth as Mankato jumped to the three run lead.
Sophomore Dalton Roach got the start and the win for the Mavericks as he pitched 4.1 innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits, walking two and striking out 2. The win moves Roach’s record to 2-2 on the season.
The Mavericks got some much needed insurance runs in their final at-bat in the 6th inning, plating three runs in large part thanks to a 2-RBI triple from Jordan Hart, who would later also score off a sacrifice fly to complete the 3-run inning for the Mavericks.
Peter Gaustad and Daniel Feneis closed things out on the bump for the Mavericks over the final 2.2 innings of the game, each allowing one unearned run in the 7th. In total, the Mavericks were able to score 6 runs on 8 hits, stranding 3 on base, while the Beavers scored 3 runs (1 earned) on 10 hits stranding 9.
MSU got out to a quick start in game 2, scoring 3 runs in the first 2 innings, including home runs from both Peterson and freshman Jordan Hart.
Bemidji got one back in the third, only to allow 2 more runs in the bottom frame, giving the Mavericks an 8-1 lead after 3 innings. MSU would score three more in the 5th inning as the Mavericks coasted to the 11-6 victory.
Brody Rodning started the game for the Mavs and was credited with the W, going 6 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 9 hits. Bailey Scott, Josh Matheson and Tyler Frohwirth would each get an inning of relief over the final 3 frames as the Mavericks closed out the sweep.
Minnesota State would be trailing Bemidji State in the first game of the double-header on Monday 6-3 when the Mavericks would storm back. Dresel connected on a three-run homerun to tie the game in the fourth inning. The Mavericks and Beavers would each add a run in the fifth inning, and the game would go to extra innings. Chase Lonetti would walk-off in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single to win the game for the Mavs, 8-7.
In game of the doubleheader Monday, the Mavericks would be in a pitching war with the Beavers as Mitchell Bauer dominated throughout, going the distance in 7 innings, allowing only 5 hits, 0 runs and 4 strikeouts. The Mavericks offense only managed one run and that would be the difference for the game. Hart walked-off for the second consecutive game, singling to end the game, 1-0. St. Cloud State is next on the docket for the Mavericks, as they play a doubleheader in St. Cloud on Wednesday, April 6.