The streak of dominance continues as Minnesota State Baseball scratches another name off their list. They swept the University of Minnesota Duluth in a best-of-three series on Friday and Saturday.
Entering the series on a two-game win streak, the Mavs squared up with the Bulldogs on Friday in a doubleheader. Finally able to play in the Mankato area, they looked to take on another hungry NSIC team, the Bulldogs. As the season hits the midway point, Head Coach Matt Magers has ensured that the group focuses on adjusting even when playing with their backs to the wall.
“We have played a ton of one-run ball games and close games. Everyone knows their job is and later in the game, we were able to execute it better. We always talk about having the opportunity to win and I think that is what we saw when going into the second half of the ball game. We were able to make the timely hits and steals to complement our pitching to get the win,” said Magers.
Things started out rocky for the Mavs in game one, as the Bulldogs launched a home run in the third, then followed by an unearned run to put them down 2-0 out the gate. The Mavs then responded with an RBI single from junior Adam Schneider to give them their first run of the game. While the Bulldogs scored another run in the fifth, The Mavs added a sacrifice RBI from sophomore Brock Johnson, followed by an RBI double from freshman Louis Magers to give the Mavs a 4-3 victory in game one.
Following an intermission, game two got underway with more action in the contest. The Mavs struck first with an RBI single, RBI double, and RBI triple, to give them a 3-0 lead in the first. However, the Bulldogs did not go away quietly as they scored off a wild pitch and ground out to first base and made it a one-score game. The Mavs wasted no time scoring four more runs in the sixth off an RBI single from sophomore Aiden Bryne, a sacrifice RBI from junior Jackson Hauge and a wild pitch and error allowing junior Nick Baker to make it a score of 8-2. While the Bulldogs would attempt a late seventh-inning comeback after an RBI single, it would fall short after four more runs concluded the game with a final score of 13-3 to conclude the day.
Entering the final game of the weekend, the Mavs set the tone early with two runs scored in the first inning. They followed it up with a home run from Jackson Hauge, and two more RBIs to give them a 7-0 lead entering the fifth inning. While the Bulldogs attempted a late-inning comeback in the seventh, the Mavs scored six extra runs to give them a 13-5 victory and completed the sweep. Head Coach Magers thought that his group really stepped up in this week’s contest after last week’s struggles.
“Anytime you can get three wins in a series is great, it’s one step closer to the playoffs at the end of the year. Certainly, playing at home I felt was an advantage for us, but I think we got solid pitching and helped set the tone for the weekend. Making sure that they couldn’t run up the board on us and keep us in the game even when down,” said Magers.
Write to Charlie Groebner at Charles.Groebner@mnsu.edu
Header Photo: Freshman, Louis Magers (above), won the first game Friday night with a walk-off double to win 4-3. The Mavericks went on to sweep Minnesota Duluth in the three-game home series over last Friday and Saturday. (Dylan Engel)