MSU bats come alive

Colton Molesky
Staff Writer

The Minnesota State Mavericks baseball team has been on a tear over the last couple of weeks, winning all their games against the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears, and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Thursday and Monday, pushing their record to 20-7 on the season.

Starting pitcher, Dalton Roach, moved to 6-0 on the mound after the opening 13-2 victory over Concordia-St. Paul, tossing six strikeouts in the same number of innings, while allowing only five hits.

It was the fifth time that Roach has reached at least the sixth inning of action in his six starts. The performance also moved his strikeout total to 47 in six games, as he has recorded at least six in every appearance.

While a solid outing from one of the premier pitchers in the program was overshadowed as the Mavericks bats came alive. Seniors Josh Wenzel and Luke Waldek headlined the team’s effort by snagging three RBI a piece in their combined seven at-bats. Infielder Tommy McDonald led the team with three hits (he also recorded two RBI) and the Mavericks compiled eight players who tallied runs.

Concordia was forced to burn through five pitchers, as starter Gus Varland moved to 3-1 with the loss, giving up 10 hits. MSU left one not only flexing their offense but also burning through plenty of the bullpen while only sacrificing two of their own pitchers to the mound.

Game two saw the Golden Bears fare far better, despite the end result of a 5-1 Mavericks win. MSU was kept in check offensively for much of the game following the 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Noah Bluth’s lone RBI.

The problem for the Golden Bears was the starting pitcher, Aaron Rozek, who also pitched for eight strikeouts while letting up one run through seven innings to help secure his fourth victory.  MSU finished strong with four runs in as many innings. They also demonstrated their offensive depth when Waldek and Wenzel went cold at the plate – Ty Buck was the team’s hero, with four hits and three RBI.

Carlo Graffeo sealed the game for MSU, notching his third save this season by pitching for three strikeouts in two innings. The performance gives Graffeo seven strikeouts and a 1.67 s-era this season.

After the two games against Concordia-St. Paul, the Mavericks headed up to Superior, WI, to face off against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in a doubleheader early yesterday morning, in which the Mavericks defeated the Bulldogs by scores of 3-1, and 12-0 respectively.

In game one, starting pitcher, Quinn Ahern, was on the bump for the Mavericks. Ahern tossed a seven-inning complete game, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on three hits.

The Bulldogs scored one run in the sixth inning to make the score 3-1, but Ahern shut the door for the 3-1 victory.

In game two, it was a complete team effort for the Mavericks. Trevor Divinski and Carlo Graffeo combined for a shutout and the Maverick offense had 11 hits in a 12-0 win over the Bulldogs in a run-rule shortened game.   

Sophomore second baseman, Teddy Petersen, was the biggest run-producer for the Mavs, driving in five runs on a pair of doubles.

Minnesota State will return to the diamond for an NSIC doubleheader at Sioux Falls on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

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