Minnesota State baseball experiences ups, downs

The Mavericks split their spring break trip to Florida with four wins and four losses, giving them a 5-4 record for the season.

Minnesota State started the trip off with a 10-0 shutout win over the Virginia Wise Cavaliers on March 2. Senior right-handed pitcher, Mitchell Bauer, threw six-scoreless innings and retired six Virginia Wise batters in the 10-run rule shortened game. After a scoreless first inning, Jordan Hart got the scoring started in singling to right field to bring home Jack Matson. The Mavericks went on to score four more runs in the seventh, giving them a 9-0 lead including Hart tripling to center field to bring home Cody Ulfers and Luke Waldek. Bauer threw 84 pitches in his first outing of the 2017 season, earning his first win.

In the second game of an eight-game road trip, the Mavericks fell 2-1 to the Florida Southern Moccasins. Senior Eric Peterson got the lone run with a home run in the first, his 12th of his career. However, the Moccasins responded with a double down the right-field line in the bottom of the inning. Starting pitcher, Brody Rodning, threw four scoreless innings allowing only one run in the second and struck out a total of seven Florida Southern batters. The Moccasins winning run came in the bottom of the ninth, after a pair of walks and a hit by pitch followed by a single. Peterson put up two of the Mavericks’ three hits in the contest while Aaron Rozek took the loss.

The Mavericks were handed a 9-2 loss from the Ashland Eagles despite taking an early lead off the bat of Ulfers singling to bring home Hart. Junior pitcher Dalton Roach started the game on the mound, going five innings and striking out nine while allowing six hits.

In Minnesota State’s second meeting with the Eagles, the Mavericks dominated in a 14-0 win. Hart went four-for-four with a home run, four runs and three runs batted in (RBI) in the contest. The Mavs scored seven runs in the first two innings of the meeting. Infielder Tommy McDonald helped propel the lead with a three-run pinch-hit home run in the sixth. Right-handed pitcher Jon Ludwig earned his first win of 2017, going all seven innings allowing only four hits while striking out eight. Senior Hunter Walsh put up three runs in three at bats while Dylan Dresel helped Minnesota State with two runs in his two appearances at the plate.

The team improved to 4-2 on the season with a 4-3 win over the Lewis Flyers. Bauer picked up his second win, tossing eight innings allowing only three runs in the first four innings. The Mavericks scored four unanswered runs, two in the fifth and seventh, to flip a 3-0 deficit to a 4-3 lead. Minnesota State’s first run came as a result of an RBI groundout by Josh Wenzel before McDoanld scored the second run on a wild pitch. The tying run came as a result of a bases-loaded walk from designated hitter Walsh before allowing Peterson to score on a wild pitch. Senior Trevor Patterson earned his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Despite holding an 8-4 lead into the ninth, the Mavericks fell 9-8 against the Grand Valley Lakers in the sixth game of the eight game trip. The Lakers scored in the ninth inning on a fielder’s choice, bases loaded walk, passed ball and a wild pitch before earning the winning run in the tenth. Peterson helped the team with an RBI double in the fifth and a two-run homerun in the seventh. Nick Belzer started the game allowing three earned runs, seven hits and nine strikeouts over his six innings while Daniel Feneis took the loss pitching in the 10th. Hart put up three runs for the Mavericks in five at bats with one home run.

Game seven resulted in a 5-2 loss to the Saint Leo Lions despite a five-run fifth inning. Minnesota State was the first on the board after four scoreless innings, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth. The run came as a result of sophomore outfielder Tyler Berg’s sacrifice fly to score first baseman Dresel, giving Berg his first RBI as a Maverick. The Lions responded with five runs in the sixth while Hart had a game-high three hits and Teddy Petterson went two-for-three.

The Mavericks finished off their Florida trip with an 11-3 victory over the Walsh Cavaliers. Minnesota State put up six runs in the bottom of the third inning, coming back from a 1-0 deficit. Three Mavericks had a multi-hit game while Hart earned four RBI’s in the win. Roach earned his first win of the year, going five innings allowing only three hits while retiring nine Cavaliers. Rodning earned his first save, closing out the last three innings allowing two hits and striking out three. Peterson continued his hit streak to nine games while earning two runs in his four at bats. Peterson now sits third for the most career hits with a total of 173 over his four years with the team, just nine shy of the most for the program. Peterson has an overall .400 batting average with twelve hits, ten runs, six RBI and two home runs for the season so far.

“We played extremely hard in all 8 games, it was good to face some very good competition which should help us as we enter conference play this weekend,” Head Coach Matt Magers said.

The Mavericks will play their first NSIC conference home game against the University of Mary Marauders March 18 at noon.

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