Baseball beats Wolves twice to improve to 20-5

The Minnesota State University, Mankato baseball team reached the 20-win mark this past weekend as they defeated Northern State in a three-game series at Bowyer Field in Mankato. The Mavericks got out to a hot start against the Wolves, shutting them out 8-0 and 5-0 in Saturday’s double-header before dropping the series finale 7-11 on Sunday.

Senior Brendan Knoll got the start on the mound for the Mavs in game one and picked up his fifth win of the season. Knoll pitched all seven innings and collected seven strikeouts while allowing only four hits in the process. 

With the bases loaded in the first, MSU would open the scoring as sophomore infielder Adam Schneider was walked, bringing home junior Nick Altermatt. The Mavericks would add to the lead later in the first as redshirt-freshman Aiden Byrne tallied a two-run RBI single up the middle, bringing the MSU lead to 3-0.

The score remained 3-0 until the sixth inning when the Mavs would tally five runs. Their five-run sixth inning was highlighted by a two-run home run coming off the bat of sophomore infielder Jackson Hauge.

The Wolves left three runners stranded on base in the final two innings as the Mavericks shut them out 8-0 in game one. The two teams returned to the field at 4:30 p.m. for game two of the double-header.

Altermatt started on the mound for the Mavericks and continued his perfect season with his sixth win. The Wanda, Minn. native allowed only five runs in seven innings pitched while picking up five strikeouts through 26 batters faced.

MSU’s bats remained hot from the game prior as they opened game two with a three-run first inning which included Hauge’s second home run of the day. In the third inning, Schneider brought the Mavericks lead to 4-0 off a sacrifice-fly out to center field. 

The Mavs would pick up the final run in the seventh inning when junior infielder Mikey Gottschalk scored on an error. Minnesota State would sweep Saturday’s double-header with a 5-0 win and improved to 20-4 on the season.  MSU and NSU returned to the field at noon on Sunday for the series finale.

Junior Jack Zigan was credited with his first loss of the season as he let up six runs in 0.1 innings in relief. Junior Collin Denk got the start on the mound for the Mavericks and allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings pitched.

The Wolves opened the game with a two-run first inning which included a homerun from redshirt-junior Jack Paulson. The Mavericks would respond in a big way, scoring six runs in the next three innings to take a commanding 6-2 lead. 

The Wolves would capitalize in the fourth and fifth innings, cutting the Mavs’ lead to 6-4, but an RBI double by Altermatt brought MSU’s lead to 7-4 in the sixth. Northern State would add six runs in the seventh inning which was highlighted by a grand slam coming from the bat of redshirt-senior Isaiah Chevalier. NSU would go on to defeat MSU 11-7 in the series finale.

Minnesota State’s doubleheader against Minnesota Crookston for April 12 was relocated to Bowyer Field in Mankato due to improper field conditions in Crookston. The games start at 1:30 p.m. 

Header Photo: Junior infielder and pitcher Nathan Berg has made four appearances on the mound for Minnesota State, striking out five batters in 11 at-bats. Berg’s lone hit this season batted in two runs. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

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

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