After a three-game series sweep against Wayne State this past weekend, the Mavericks baseball team headed back home to play their first home series since March against Augustana this Wednesday. We expected a great matchup coming into this series as both teams were ranked one and two in the NSIC standings and had spots in the top 20 nationally for Division II baseball.
The Mavericks and the Vikings came into this game third and first in team batting in the NSIC as well as first and third in team pitching. The two teams have several players inside the top 10 for individual batting and pitching as well, making for a great series.
The Mavs have the second and seventh best batters in the NSIC in Joey Werner and Teddy Petersen while the Vikings have the first and 10th best batters in Carter Howell and Christian Kuzemka. On the pitching side both teams seem to be one in the same.
Minnesota State and Augustana each have three pitchers in the top 10 in the conference, with the Mavs holding the edge in overall rank. This did not seem to matter for the top ranked Mavs, as they dropped Wednesday’s double header, getting swept by Augustana.
As we finally got to the middle of the week, it was time to see the top two teams in the NSIC battle it out for this season’s anticipated matchup. Game one got started at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, as we saw Koby Bishop of the Vikings and Nick Altermatt of the Mavericks battle it out from the mound.
It was a tense game for both teams, as we saw our only score in the fourth inning of play. The Vikings scored on a single through the right side of the field on an infield error by the Mavs.
That score seemed to be all it took for game one, as the Mavs sixth inning bases loaded effort came up empty. Augustana took game one from Minnesota State 1-0.
Going into game two, the Vikings seemed to figure out the Mavericks’ plan of attack and took advantage of it. The game never really seemed to be close, as Augustana jumped out to an early lead in the third inning and never looked back.
The Mavericks never got anything going in game two, and only finished with four total hits while the Vikings tallied in ten. Ryan Jares earned the win from the mound for Augustana, winning game two 7-0.
Despite dropping two games to Augustana this Wednesday, Minnesota State still remains first in the NSIC conference standings. They will, however, likely drop several spots in the national rankings where they just achieved their highest ranking this season at 11th on April 27.
The Mavericks were set to play Concordia St. Paul this weekend, but due to COVID protocols within the Golden Bears team, the games have cancelled. The next series for the team will be against Sioux Falls on May 5 at Bowyer Field.