Baseball travels north for series against UMD Bulldogs

After inclement weather forced the Minnesota State University, Mankato baseball team to postpone yesterday’s games against St. Cloud State, the Mavericks will be back in action this weekend as they take on the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in a three-game weekend series. The Mavs head into the weekend with a 13-4 overall record including a 6-2 record in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play. 

MSU owns the all-time record between the two clubs at 28-9, and a 7-3 record against UMD in Duluth. The Mavericks have also won nine of the last 10 matchups against the Bulldogs, dating back to 2017. 

The Mavs are coached by Matt Magers who is in his 14th season with the program. Deemed as one of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division II baseball, Magers owns a dominant 505-161 overall record through 2021 and has a long list of accolades to go along.

Leading MSU in hitting this season is junior infielder and pitcher Nick Altermatt. The Wanda, Minn. native boasts a .400 batting average so far this season and leads the team with six home runs and 28 RBIs. 

Junior outfielder Ryan Wickman is having a great hitting season as well with a .356 batting average. Wickman also owns 18 runs on 21 hits including 14 RBIs.

Senior Brendan Knoll leads the Mavericks on the mound this season with a 1.07 earned run average (ERA). Knoll owns a 3-1 record on the season and has 21 strikeouts through 91 at-bats. 

On the other side of the plate, the Bulldogs enter this weekend’s games with a 9-9 overall record and 3-2 in NSIC play as of Mar. 30. Duluth also has two games on Mar. 31 against Concordia-St.Paul in Hopkins, Minn before they return home for Mankato. 

The Bulldogs are coached by Bob Rients who is in his 17th season with the program. Rients owns a 345-392 overall record in his tenure.

Senior first-baseman and catcher Tosten Mann leads the Bulldogs in hitting this season with a .343 batting average. Mann has 17 runs on 23 hits so far including three homeruns and 15 RBIs.

Senior Ben Shepard leads Duluth on the mound this season with a .450 ERA. The Eden Prairie native owns a 2-0 record so far and has 17 strikeouts through 18 innings pitched.

Redshirt freshman Ben Reilley has had a good start to his season as well in his two games pitched. Reilley allowed only one run and four hits in his win against Missouri-St. Louis. 

The Mavericks are set to return to the field this weekend as they take on the Bulldogs in a three-game series starting on Apr. 2. The two teams will take part in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m in Superior, Wis. They will close with a series finale on Apr. 3 at 12 p.m. in Duluth. 

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

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