Baseball dominates in home opener

The Maverick baseball team hosted the Bethany Lutheran College Vikings Tuesday in the Mavericks home opening baseball game. While both teams showed up for the game the pitching seemed to be non-apparent, as the Mavericks were able to tally 23 runs over the seven inning affair, winning 23-8.

The Vikings were actually able to put pressure on the Mavericks early in the game scoring the first runs of the game when in the top of the first they pushed two runs across the plate thanks to a 2-run homerun off the bat of Drew Quame.

The Viking lead would not last long however, as the Mavs managed to plate three runs in the first to retake the lead. A wild pitch with runners in scoring position allowed senior Kyle Toth to make it home for the first Maverick run and a two-out double from Luke Waldek drove in two more for the Mavericks who ended the first inning with a 3-2 lead.

The Mavericks were able to drive in 19 more runs over the next four innings in an offensive showcasing that gave the Mavericks a more than comfortable lead over the Vikings. The Vikings made an attempt to put the pressure back on the Mavs with a five-run 5th inning to cut the lead down to 18-7.

The valiant comeback attempt wasn’t enough however, as the Mavericks once again responded to the Vikings run scoring inning, this time with a four-run 5th inning to conclude the 19 runs over four innings streak and brought their lead back up to 22-7. Both teams managed to push across one more run in each of their final at-bats to bring the game to a final score of 23-8.

The Mavericks were able to score their 23 runs on just 18 hits in the game. Waldek led all Maverick hitters with four hits, including the lone Maverick home run, and also tallied four RBIs to lead the team. Waldek was able to cross the plate to score three runs as well, and finished just a single shy of the cycle for the game. Junior Eric Peterson scored the most runs for the Mavericks with four scores and was able to run his hit streak up to 11 games.

The Mavericks used nine pitchers total in the game with Josh Matheson getting the nod to start and also credited with the win. The win puts Matheson’s record to 2-0, as he pitched two innings fanning three batters while also letting two others to score. All in all the pitching staff allowed eight runs on eight hits while striking out six.

Despite the game largely being a blowout, Maverick coach Matt Magers was glad to finally see his team get on the field for a meaningful game, which can prove to be difficult given the bipolar weather this time of year.

“It’s great to get out and actually get a game in against another team instead of just practicing. Looking at the forecast, who knows when we’ll play again,” Magers said.

The win was a good early sign for the Mavericks who have very high hopes for this season coming into the year currently ranked no. 5 on the NCAA Division II Collegiate Baseball rankings.

Up next on the schedule for the Mavericks is a two day four-game series versus the UMD Bulldogs in Mankato, a series that will kick off NSIC play for the Mavericks.

Photo: Chase Lonetti (above) steals home in the second inning against Bethany Lutheran. Lonetti  went 1-for-1 with a run scored and two RBIs in the Mavericks 23-8 victory. (Trever Cokley/The Reporter)

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