Minnesota State Baseball opened their 2017 season with an 8-2 win over University of Minnesota – Crookston. The Mavericks took on the Golden Eagles in a late night match-up Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
The game got underway at 9:36 p.m. in the new Minnesota Vikings facility with senior Eric Petersen and junior Josh Wenzel getting the game off to a quick start. Petersen got the Mavericks started with a single to left field, followed by Wenzel hitting a home run down the left line to bring home Petersen in the first inning. Petersen put up a total of two runs on two hits in four at bats during the game.
Minnesota State kept the momentum going with Wenzel earning another run batted in (RBI), bringing home junior Dylan Dresel in the second inning. Wenzel earned a total of three hits on four at bats and two runs. Wenzel contributed four RBI’s to the season opening win.
Junior starting pitcher Brody Rodning earned the win, throwing two innings without allowing a hit while striking out four Crookston batters. The Mavericks cycled through six other pitchers who collectively allowed only three hits in 31 at bats. Senior Mitchell Bauer retired three batters his only inning on the mound while junior Dalton Roach struck out two batters in his one inning of work.
“It was a great team win. It helped getting runs early in the game, which allowed our pitchers and defense to settle in. We were able to use many players; hopefully this gives us some positive momentum as we head to Florida,” head coach Matt Magers said.
The Mavericks doubled their score in the fourth inning, earning four more runs with senior catcher Hunter Harnisch, mashing a homer to left center. Petersen followed by singling to right then stealing second. Wenzel then singled up the middle to bring Petersen home. Wenzel eventually advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming home on a fielding error by the Golden Eagles’ shortstop.
Minnesota State put up a total of 12 hits and eight runs in the contest with the pitching staff allowing only three hits and striking out 13 Golden Eagles.
“It was a good team win, we got a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys which was really good to see,” said assistant coach PJ McIntee.
With the win, the Mavericks all-time record against Minnesota-Crookston remains spotless, at 13-0.
The team will head out on their first road trip to Florida with the first of their seven games slated to start at 10:30 a.m. Thursday against Virginia-Wise.
The Mavericks first home game, and first conference match up will take place March 18 at noon in Mankato against the University of Mary Marauders. Last year, Minnesota State won three of the four games against the Marauders with their overall record being 15-2 against them. The four-game series will consist of two days of double-header baseball over the weekend.