Men’s baseball goes undefeated in week-long homestand

Maurice Hudson, sports editor

In the first game of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) doubleheader, a seven-inning affair, Bemidji State University and Winona State University balanced each other in runs, with the Beavers and Warriors drawing first blood in the second inning.
Fourth-year Nathan Loomis scored fourth-year Austin Savary on a fielder’s option in the bottom of the second, and fourth-year Tanner Williams singled in the third to put Winona State up 2-1.
After Banaszynski retired the Beavers in order in the fifth inning, fourth-year Sam Kohnle double scored Martin and fourth-year Zach Stange to extend Winona State’s advantage to 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Stange singled in third-year Carter Brinkman for Winona State’s fifth run.
Martin went 2-for-3 with a double, scored twice and drew a walk for the Warriors in game one.
Stange, Kohnle, Williams, third-year Derek Baumgartner and Brinkman all collected hits for Head Coach Kyle Poock’s balanced attack, with Kohnle’s being the only extra-base effort.
At the plate, Winona State was careful, drawing five walks.
Kramer came in for the nightcap against Bemidji State in game two, retiring the side in order in the first, third, and sixth innings.
Winona State added two more in the third inning, as Martin and Stange both scored on back-to-back base hits.
Winona State had a three-run advantage into the bottom of the fifth inning before the Warrior bats erupted to put the game away.
With the bases loaded, second-year Nick Herbst’s single scored second-year Cooper Kapanke and Kohnle, extending the lead to 5-0.
Then Brinkman homered deep to right field, driving in three runs and raising Winona State’s lead
to 8-0.
Martin’s single scored Loomis moments later, and Winona State led 9-0 at the end of the
fifth inning.
Kramer retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, and Brinkman scored Baumgartner on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to push the Warriors’ lead to double digits after six innings.
Winona State prevailed on the 10-run rule after Kramer closed out the Bemidji State at the top of the seventh with just a single allowed, winning by double digits after seven innings.
Loomis said after the twinbill against Bemidji State that the team should keep going on the same role as going into the weekend.
“I think we played an overall sound game of baseball today. Our pitchers did a great job of leaving runners on base and getting outs. Our offense was able to drive in runs when given the opportunity,” Loomis said.
Winona State advanced to the weekend games against the University of Minnesota Duluth, beating the Bulldogs 6-5 in seven innings.
On Saturday, University of Minnesota Duluth and Winona State played five innings before the game was called due to fog, with the Warriors winning 5-3.
As the infield tarp came out for the second time that day, the two teams declared it a day.
Kyle Gendron, a third-year pitcher, started the game for the Warriors and pitched all five innings
on Saturday.
The third-year from Silver Lake, Wisconsin, pitched well for Poock, tossing four hits and throwing out seven batters.
Gendron faced 23 Bulldog batters and threw 102 pitches in the contest, breaking the century mark.
The Warriors were down 1-0 in the first inning and had to fight their way back.
Winona State, on the other hand, used two doubles, a passed pitch and a couple of walks to take a 4-3 lead after two innings and did not relinquish it.
The Bulldogs leveled the game at 6-5 in the top of the seventh inning, scoring twice and clearing the bases.
Mueller matched the moment at that point, striking out University of Minnesota Duluth’s Tyler Peterson to end the game.
Savary, who switched from the DH position in game one to the mound in game two, hurled a complete-game shutout, helping Winona State to a 12-1 victory.
After scoring one run in the first, Winona State took the lead with a seven-run third inning.
Behind Savary’s strong start, they added a three-spot in the fifth and an insurance drive in the sixth to sail to victory.
Baumgartner led the Warrior offense in game two, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, including a home run.
When hitting first, Stange hit a home run, added a double and drove in three runs.
Kohnle took two walks, and Loomis went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in on two hits for the Warriors.
The 12-1 victory was Winona State’s highest margin of victory this season, surpassing the 10-0 thrashing of Bemidji State earlier this week.
With two victories already under their belts, the Warriors’ third and final game against the Bulldogs presented them with a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to win three games on the same day.
Winona State needed more time to accomplish the task, but ultimately defeated the Bulldogs 5-4 in 12 innings.
In game three, Winona State was led by Kohnle at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a double and a team-high three walks.
Kohnle made the Bulldogs pay for the free passes, scoring twice. Williams was 2-for-6 with a double, while first-year Jake Brill was 3-for-3.
In addition to his game winning sacrifice fly, Loomis was 2-for-4 and drew a walk.
With the 3-0 series performance, Winona State raised their record to 8-5 overall and 5-3 in NSIC play. Minnesota-Duluth fell to 3-8 overall, 1-7 in NSIC action.
After the rare three Warriors wins in a day, Winona State will have a quick turnaround when they host the University of Mary on Tuesday.
The NSIC double header will mark the fourth home series in a row for Winona State, where the Warriors are riding a five-game win streak.