Baseball splits weekend away games

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Danny Moriarty / Winonan

The Winona State University baseball team ended another weekend by dividing four games against the University of Sioux Falls Cougars.

Junior Mitchell Stahlsburg let up two hits and put down 10 batters on strikes in the first game Friday, April 7. As the game continued, Sioux Falls took advantage of early runs and took the win 3-2.

The Cougars’ runs came in the first inning after back-to-back walks by Stahlsburg, a hit and an error put them up 2-0. Stahlsburg  responded with three strikeouts to end the inning.

The Warriors bats did not respond, having only four hits on the day. One of them came in the second inning when senior Jesus Cazares doubled to center and was stranded on third after first-year Chad Herbst struck out to end the inning.

Another Stahlsburg walk put another Cougar runner on base, and after stealing and advancing on a groundball, a Cougar single drove in their third run.

The only Warrior threat of the day came in the fifth inning. They loaded the bases after a single, walk and a fielders choice. Junior pitcher Joe Kubera forced a walk, which put the first Warrior run on the board. First-year Derek Martin hit into a double play to score another run.

Stahlsburg made sure the Cougars could not respond by striking out the side in the fifth inning. The Warriors could not come back, as the Cougars’ pitcher finished his complete game, sealing the Cougar win 3-2.

Game two went in favor of the Warriors. Herbst ended the day with four hits and two RBIs and Cazares launched his second homerun of the season that helped the Warriors win 9-7.

Cazares, Herbst and senior Mitchell Hommes provided RBIs that put the Warriors up 3-0 going

into the third inning.

Sioux Falls opened  up against starting senior pitcher Hayden Krimmer in the third inning, including a big three-run homerun that put them up 5-3.

The Warriors responded with a big inning of

their own, getting four runs including another RBI single by Herbst gave the Warriors a 7-5 lead in the fourth.

The Warriors tacked on two more runs by the end of this game and first-year Parker Holmstrom pitched four innings of relief to give the Warriors a 9-7 win.

The teams went at it again on Saturday in another double header. Both teams each earned a win.

Game one went to the Cougars again, even with a Warrior comeback in the seventh. The Cougars  scored a pair in the bottom half to come away with a walk-off win.

Senior Daniel Karlin-Kamin would get the start for the Warriors but only stayed in for three innings as he let up four runners in the first on six hits.

The Cougars’ pitcher kept the Warriors at bay all game, giving up only one run until the seventh inning when the Warriors would mount their comeback.

Kubera walked following a pair of strikeouts. Junior Paul Mutch  singled to advance Kubera to third and brought junior Taylor Field up the plate. He would double to score Kubera and Mutch and brought the Warriors within two runs. After switching pitchers, the Cougars gave up three straight singles and their lead after an Herbst single tied the game at five. After the singles, he hit the next two batters that would give the Warriors a 6-5 lead going into the bottom half of the inning.

Senior Derek Masberg came into pitch to try and cap off a Warrior comeback, but quickly gave up the save as a junior from the Cougars started off the inning with a homerun to tie the game. Sioux Falls got the walk-off win 7-6 when a senior infielder scored another senior infielder to end the game.

The bats came alive in game two for the Warriors as they beat the Cougars 16-5 in the last game of the series.

The Warriors started their scoring in the second inning with a two-run homerun by Herbst, who is leading the division with a .391 average this year.

The Warriors were down 4-2 going into the sixth inning. Junior Mitchell Heid started off the scoring run for the warriors with an RBI single, scoring Cazares. Herbst followed with an RBI single of his own to tie the game at four, and he would end the day with four RBIs. Martin, Hommes and Field all hit doubles to make the score 10-4. Heid ended the inning by hitting into a double play.

The Warriors were down 4-2 going into the sixth inning. Junior Mitchell Heid started off the scoring run for the warriors with an RBI single, scoring Cazares.

Herbst followed with an RBI single of his own to tie the game at four, and he would end the day with four RBIs. Martin, Hommes and Field all hit doubles to make the score 10-4. Heid ended the inning by hitting into a double play.

Sioux Falls could not mount a comeback, as the eight-run inning put Winona State ahead for good. Mitchell Heid and Herbst would add more to the lead, both hitting RBI doubles in the later innings.

Winona State’s assistant coach Patrick Reilly said the team is starting to improve.

“The Florida trip really put us in a hole, but conference wise we are succeeding,” Reilly said. “Our guys are starting to come into their own and shaping their game better.”

Winona State heads back home this weekend as it takes on Southwest Minnesota State University in a series of games at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Friday and at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday. Winona State is now 8-12 in conference play this season.

By Danny Moriarty

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