Baseball aims to secure postseason spot

Maurice Hudson, sports editor

The Winona State University baseball team started their weekend road trip to the Show Me state by defeating Drury University 7-6 in a ten-inning game.
After trading runs throughout the day, the Warriors rallied late to force extra innings, with fourth-year Joe Ihrke’s solo homer in the top of the ninth inning tying the game at six apiece.
Ihrke’s solo home run in the ninth inning set the stage for some extra-inning heroics, and when third-year Derek Baumgartner doubled home fourth-year Austin Savary, Winona State had a one-run lead at 8-7.
The Warriors needed a rare double play in the bottom of the tenth inning to put an end to a late Panther rally.
Drury tried a hit-and-run on a two-strike pitch after getting the first out of the inning with a strikeout made by fourth-year reliever Nicolas Herold.
Kyle Gendron had a good start, giving up only 11 hits and seven runs, all of which were earned, in nine innings.
Gendron struck out eight batters while facing a total of 42 batters to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Herold won the save by entering the game in the tenth inning and striking out two batters while walking one.
Baumgartner went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and fourth-year Tanner Williams had two hits and two RBIs.
Fourth-year Sam Kohnle also had two hits in the affair.
Kohnle said he wants to help the team excel throughout games by providing and showing up in specific roles.
“Personally, I want to lead by example and do whatever helps the team,” Kohnle said.
However, Winona State was unable to get their offense going in a second game against Maryville University, losing 4-1 to the Saints after defeating Drury 7-6 in extra innings.
Cooper Kapanke and Dane Weiland both went 2-for-4 at the plate for Winona State, with Weiland driving in the game’s lone run. The Warriors managed just seven hits and were struck out 14 times by the Maryville University pitching crew.

Fourth-year pitcher Dillon Whittaker took the mound and pitched six innings before facing 24 hitters.
Whittaker was charged with the defeat after striking out six batters and walking four and for the remaining two innings, Justin Firpo was brought in as a reliever.
Maryville’s two-run bottom of the fourth proved to be the difference, and they had an insurance run in the sixth.
The Winona State Warriors beat the Maryville Saints 2-1 in a pitching duel that saw just 10 total hits and two combined walks. The Warriors finished their weekend ride with a winning record.
Baumgartner hit a two-run homer to carry in Kohnle and hand Winona State a 2-0 lead after struggling to score on a runner in scoring position for three of the first five innings of play.
Maryville answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth, but Winona State won by one run thanks to outstanding pitching from second-year Bailey Banaszynski, Savary and Herold.
Banaszynski (1-0) earned the victory with eight strikeouts, while Herold earned his second save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Kohnle went 2-for-4 with a run earned on the day.
Kohnle said the vision for the team is beyond the regular season.
“I hope we make it to the postseason again,” Kohnle said. “Our goal is to finish at the top of the conference and to make a run in the conference tournament.”
Winona State rises to 3-2 on the season with the win, while Maryville sinks to 1-4.
The Warriors are set to play Saturday, March 20, when they host Minnesota Crookston in a three-game NSIC series in Winona, a doubleheader on Saturday with a single game following.