Maverick baseball sweeps Duluth in return to Bowyer field

After inclement field conditions forced the Minnesota State University, Mankato baseball team with a schedule change, the Mavericks were still able to defeat the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in convincing fashion this past weekend at Bowyer Field in Mankato. The Mavericks swept the Bulldogs 3-0 in the weekend series and outscored them 44-2 across the three games. 

Senior Brendan Knoll got the start on the mound for game one of Saturday’s double-header and was credited with his fourth win of the season. The Kasson, Minn. native allowed one hit and posted five strikeouts on 22 batters faced.

The game-winning run was scored in the first inning as sophomore outfielder and catcher Hunter Ranweiler scored an RBI on a single to left center. The Mavs continued to add consistent offensive and defensive pressure, tallying eight runs and leading 9-0 heading into the final frame. 

MSU opened the floodgates in the seventh inning, pouring on nine runs while letting up zero. Junior infielder Mikey Gottschalk capped off the final frame with his second home run of the game as the Mavericks dominated the Bulldogs 18-0 in the series opener. 

MSU and UMD returned to the field at 4:30 p.m. for game two of the double-header. Junior Nick Altermatt got the start on the mound for the Mavericks in game two and picked up his fifth win of the season. Altermatt allowed one run and four hits in his five innings pitched while picking up 10 strikeouts in the process.

Minnesota State’s bats picked up right where they left off from game one as junior outfielder Ryan Wickman, senior outfielder Cam Kline, and Gottschalk contributed home runs in an explosive five-run first inning. Senior first-baseman Tosten Mann would get the Bulldogs their first run of the weekend in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single to right field. 

The Mavericks would respond in the top of the fourth as senior catcher Ben Livorsi tallied an RBI single to center field bringing the lead back to five. 

Minnesota State would add seven more runs in the next three innings, putting the 10-run rule into effect in the seventh inning. Altermatt picked up his team-leading ninth home run of the season as the Mavs dominated the Bulldogs 13-1 in game two.

MSU and UMD returned to action at noon on Sunday for the finale of their weekend series. Junior pitcher Collin Denk picked up his first win of the season for the Mavs, allowing only one run and two hits in six innings pitched.

Wickman would pick up his second-straight leadoff home run, giving the Mavericks an early 1-0 lead. Junior infielder Alex Wattermann got the Bulldogs on the board in the bottom of the second with a sacrifice-fly RBI to center field that tied the game at 1-1.

MSU would add one more run in the third before opening the floodgates in the fourth. The Mavericks poured on six runs in the fourth to take a commanding 8-1 lead against the Bulldogs.

The Mavs added three more runs in the sixth highlighted by Kline’s second home run of the season. Minnesota State tallied one more run in the seventh inning before putting the 10-run rule into effect for the second straight game.

The Mavericks defeated the Bulldogs 13-1 in the series finale on Sunday, and will be back in action Apr. 6 taking on Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall for an afternoon double-header.

The Mustangs come into Wednesday’s action with an 8-13 overall record and 1-8 record in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. SMSU is coached by Paul Blanchard, the all-time wins leader at the university, and enters 2022 with a career record of 547-530-2. 

The Mustangs’ bats are led by sophomore outfielder Isaac Nett. The Albany, Minn. native owns a team-leading .406 batting average while owning 15 runs off 26 hits this season. 

On the mound, freshman Ryan Chmielewski leads the team with a 2-3 overall record and a 7.50 earned run average. Chmielewski has let up 41 hits in 30 innings pitched so far this season and has accumulated 22 strikeouts in the process. 

The Mavericks will take on the Mustangs on Apr. 6 for an afternoon double-header in Marshall. Start times for the games are at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Header Photo: The Mavericks baseball team swept Duluth in three games this past weekend, out scoring the Bulldogs 44-2. With the three-game sweep, Minnesota State improved to 16-4 overall on the season while holding a conference record of 9-2. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

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

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