Baseball wins 3 of 4 home opener games
Danny Moriarty / Winonan
Winona State University baseball finished their home opener weekend by taking home the win in the first three of four games.
The Warriors’ double headers against the University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles began Sunday, March 19. Junior Mitchell Stalsberg had an 11-strikeout complete game performance that boosted the Warriors to their first win of the season, taking the first game 3-0. Game two was a nail-biter that led to a walk off hit from junior Mitchell Heid.
The Warriors started off the scoring in game one in the second inning when senior Michael Hommes hit a line drive to right for a double, scoring two runs to put the Warriors up 2-0.
Stalsberg had a 1-2-3 inning in the third, as a strikeout, ground out and fly out ended the inning. The Warriors would do the same, as a groundout, fly out and a line out ended the third inning of play.
Stalsberg set Crookston down for the second straight inning as he recorded his seventh straight out.
Crookston ended Stalsberg’s streak with a walk before junior Mitchell Bonrhauser singled putting runners on first and third with nobody out. Stalsberg followed with back-to-back strikeouts before a groundout allowed him to escape the inning scoreless.
When faced in those situations, Stalsberg said, “You got to take one out at a time, believe you have the stuff to get out of it and try to allow as few runs as you can. Those are iffy situations that are hard to get out of.”
Junior Joe Kubera started the fifth inning with a walk and later advanced to second on a passed ball and then to third. Senior Jesus Cazares then hit a double to the right field wall, scoring Kubera and giving Stalsberg more insurance.
Stalsberg took the mound once again in the seventh and final inning of game one looking for a complete game shutout.
“Mitchell Heid was the reason we won,” head coach Kyle Poock said. “We also got a few key hits and runs to back him up, which we were not able to do much so far this year with our pitchers.”
In game two, Crookston achieved an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. This score would remain until the eighth inning.
Back-to-back errors by the Golden Eagles put runners on first in second to begin the bottom of the eighth. A sacrifice bunt by first-year Treyton Larson advanced both runners. Kubera ended the scoring drought by singling to second base and driving in junior Kipp Youngquist and first-year Chad Herbst advanced to third.
A passed ball scored Herbst and the game was tied. The Warriors could not finish the game, as a strikeout ended the inning.
Junior Taylor Field forced a walk with one out in the bottom half of the ninth junior Mitchell Heid then roped a double to deep right center, Field rounded the bases and dove home to seal the Warriors walk of victory.
The two teams faced again Monday for another doubleheader. The Warriors took game one 5-0.
Scoring opened in the third when Larson drew a one out walk to get things start. Hommes singled to center field as Larson moved up to third. Larson would come home on Kubera’s sac fly to right field.
Hommes singled to center, moving Larson to third after he reached on a walk. Larson would cross home after a Kubera sac fly to right field.
Kubera would strike again in the fifth, scoring first-year Derek Martin and advancing Larson to third. Kubera would then steal second to put runners on second and third. Cazares doubled to left field, driving in both Larson and Kubera, giving Winona State a 5-0 lead.
Senior Daniel Karlin-Kamin finished the day with seven strikeouts, scattering four hits in the complete game win.
Game two went to the Golden Eagles, taking down the Warriors 11-6.
Crookston took the lead in the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits to move the score 7-2.
Larson, Hommes, Kubera, Cazares and Sam Kohnle all had two hits in the second game of the day. Cazares finished with three RBI’s.
The Warriors remain at home this weekend as they continue conference play against Bemidji State University (9-4 overall) in a double header beginning at 12 p.m.
By Danny Moriarty