Cruise Control: Mavericks sweep Warriors, extend win streak to six

After yet another schedule change this season, the Minnesota State University, Mankato baseball team has now won 16 of their last 18 games and have improved to first place in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) with their series sweep last weekend against Winona State. The Mavericks were set to take on the Warriors in a four-game series with doubleheaders Friday and Saturday, but impending weather in Winona, Minn. dropped the series to just three games.

The Mavs got out to a hot start in Friday’s game, winning by a final score of 12-3. Senior pitcher Brendan Knoll picked up his sixth win of the season in Friday’s game as he recorded seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.

MSU kept the ball rolling in the first game on Saturday with another high-scoring, 12-4 win against Winona. Junior pitcher Nick Altermatt kept his perfect season alive with his seventh win of the season and allowed only four hits in five innings pitched.

The Mavericks finished off the Warriors with a close 5-4 win on Saturday. Junior pitcher Jack Brown was credited with his first win of the season, pitching one inning in relief of junior Collin Denk and allowed only one hit and one run. 

The Warriors were the first to get on the board in Friday’s game as seniors Carter Brinkman and Nick Herbst tallied RBIs to give their team a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning. The Mavericks would respond in the sixth inning with four runs of their own.

Winona would bring the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth as junior catcher Dane Weiland was walked with the bases loaded. MSU would answer back in a large way, pouring on eight runs in the remaining three innings.

Their eight runs were highlighted by homeruns from senior infielder Ross Indlecoffer and senior catcher Ben Livorsi. Minnesota State won in convincing fashion by a 12-3 final. 

The Mavs and Warriors returned to action the next day at 1 p.m. for game two of the series. MSU was the first to get on the board as redshirt-freshman Aidan Byrne picked up a two-run RBI double down the left-field line in the top of the first.

Junior outfielder Ryan Wickman would expand the lead with a solo homerun in the top of the second inning. The Mavericks would then explode for six runs coming in the fourth inning to take a commanding 9-0 lead. Byrne picked up his second RBI of the game in the sixth inning, bringing the lead to 10-0.

Indlecoffer would finish off the scoring for the Mavericks with a two-run RBI double to left field in the sixth inning.

Winona would finally get on the board in the seventh inning, scoring four runs off two homeruns and a two-run RBI single. The Mavericks defeated the Warriors 12-4 in game two. The teams had a short break before returning to the field at 3:45 p.m. for the series finale. Winona was the first to get on the board in game three, scoring two runs in the first inning. 

Indlecoffer would answer for the Mavs in the second inning with a three-run homerun that gave his team the lead. The Warriors would tie the game in the fifth inning as Weiland tallied an RBI single to left field.

Winona would take their first lead of the weekend in the sixth inning of game three as freshman infielder Joshua Hawksford scored on a wild pitch from Brown. MSU would answer back once again as Wickman tied the game in the seventh with an RBI single to right field.

The game-winning run would be scored shortly thereafter as redshirt-freshman Spencer Wright scored on a passed ball by the Warriors. The Mavericks would go on to win the series finale in a 5-4 thriller.

Minnesota State will be back in action Apr. 19 as they take on Concordia-St. Paul in an afternoon doubleheader. The Golden Bears come into the games with a 15-18 overall record and 9-12 in the NSIC.

The Mavericks own an impressive 27-5 all-time record against the Golden Bears. The last matchup between the two clubs occurred on May. 3 of 2021, where MSU dominated CSP 18-4. Concordia’s hitting this season is led by junior infielder Jarod Wandersee. The Minnetonka, Minn. native owns a consistent .352 batting average and has 22 runs and 31 hits through 88 at-bats this season.

On the mound, the Golden Bears are led by senior Luke DeGrammont. DeGrammont, leads the team with a 2.42 earned run average and has a 3-2 record this season. Start times for today’s games are 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Bowyer Field in Mankato.

Header Photo: Senior pitcher Brendan Knoll is a go-to for the Mavericks this season, allowing a 1.23 ERA while holding a solid 6-1 record in 44 innings pitched. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

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

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