Baseball improves to 13-4, set to host Huskies

The Minnesota State University, Mankato baseball team completed a successful series last week as they took on Bemidji State in a Thursday night double-header in Sioux Falls, S.D. MSU returned to action that weekend taking on UMary in a three game series in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Mavs came into the first series with a 9-3 overall record and 2-1 record in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play. The Mavericks opened their five-game week taking on the Beavers, who have struggled so far this season, owning a 3-14 overall record and 0-3 record in NSIC play. 

MSU opened the scoring in the second inning of Thursday’s first game as sophomore infielders Adam Schneider and Jackson Hauge both scored on wild pitches. Junior infielder and pitcher Nick Altermatt continued his strong season going the distance in the third inning for his fourth homerun of the season.

Bemidji would get on the board in the fifth inning as sophomore infielder Wyatt Hamann potted an RBI-single to cut the Mavs lead to 3-1. The Mavericks would respond in a large way, tallying six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and gaining a 9-1 lead. 

The Mavs would add three more runs in the sixth inning as they dominated the Beavers by a final score of 12-1. Junior pitcher Jack Zigan improved to 2-0 on the season and tallied 11 strikeouts in game one of their double-header. 

MSU and BSU made their way back to the field moments later for game two of their double-header. Altermatt gave the Mavericks their first runs of the game as he opened with a three-run moonshot in the bottom of the first. Altermatt added to the Mavs’ lead in the bottom of the second inning with a two-run RBI double.

Minnesota State would add five more runs across the second and third innings and shut out Bemidji State by a final score of 10-0. Sophomore pitcher Nathan Culley was credited with his first win of the season and tallied eight strikeouts in his four innings pitched. 

MSU returned to action taking on UMary in a three-game weekend series in Sioux City. The Marauders got on the board first in Saturday’s game, as senior infielder James Martin hit an RBI single up the middle to gain the 1-0 lead. 

UMary would add to their lead in the third as sophomore infielder Calvin James scored on a passed ball. The Marauders would tally four more runs in the sixth, holding a commanding 6-0 lead. 

An RBI double by Altermatt started a comeback effort for the Mavericks as they cut the Marauder lead to 6-3. However it was too little too late as MSU fell to UMary 3-6 in the series opener. 

Minnesota State and UMary completed their series on Sunday with an afternoon double-header. Senior outfielder Ty Jones opened the scoring for UMary in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly-out RBI to center-field. MSU tied the game 1-1 in the fourth as senior outfielder and pitcher Cam Kline scored on a wild pitch.

The Mavericks grabbed the 2-1 lead in the fifth inning as Altermatt tallied an RBI single through the left side. The rest of the game remained scoreless as the Mavs took game two 2-1. Altermatt improved to 4-0 on the season, pitching seven innings and allowing one run on four hits. 

Minnesota State opened game two of their double-header with four runs through the first four innings, highlighted by Altermatt’s fifth homerun of the season. James was able to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning for UMary with one swing of the bat, as he went the distance for a grand slam. 

The Mavericks and Marauders traded runs in the remaining two innings and had the game tied 6-6 heading into extra innings. The Mavs were able to prevail in the bottom of the 10th inning as junior catcher Mikey Fredrickson scored the game-winning run on a balk. This means the pitcher moved illegally on the mound, and by rule, any runners on base are awarded the next base. 

Junior pitcher Kyle Nordby gained his first win of the season as he pitched two innings in relief and registered three strikeouts. 

The Mavericks return to action Mar. 30 taking on St. Cloud State in an afternoon double-header at Bowyer Field in Mankato. 

The Huskies come into Wednesday’s double-header with a 13-9 overall record and 5-3 in NSIC play. The Mavericks lead the all-time record between the two clubs at 24-21 including a 10-8 home record. 

Redshirt-junior infielder and pitcher Sam Riola leads the Huskies’ bats this season with a consistent .361 batting average and has seven homeruns on the season, including 30 hits. Redshirt-sophomore infielder Tate Wallat will also be a hitter to watch as the Federal Way, Wash. native owns a .325 batting average and has 21 runs this season.

Senior Nick Brauns leads the Huskies’ pitching crew this season with 2.03 earned run average and has allowed four runs through two games pitched. Redshirt-freshman Luke Tupy has also made a name for himself this season posting a 2-0 record while tallying 34 strikeouts so far.

Minnesota State will take on St. Cloud State in a Wednesday afternoon double-header at Bowyer Field in Mankato. Start-times are set for 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Header Photo: Junior Colin Denk has allowed a 2.35 ERA in 23 innings. (Maddie Behrens/The Reporter)

Write to Karson Buelow at karson.buelow@mnsu.edu.

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