Baseball picks up split before duking it out against SMSU

Tanner Olson, sports reporter

Looking to rebound from a tough weekend in South Dakota, Winona State University traveled to St. Cloud where they faced the Huskies, surging off of a four-game winning streak.
It was a tale of two games as Winona State dropped the first game 8-3 and later took advantage of a rain delay in the second game to win 5-1. They split the day a game apiece.
It was all St. Cloud in the first game as first-year Jack Habeck (4-0) continued his magic on the mound and worked five spectacular innings, only giving up two hits during his outing.
The Warrior bats had no answer for the quality pitching by the Huskies but managed to get a few runs on the board in the sixth when relief pitching for St. Cloud took over.
In the fourth and fifth inning, St. Cloud did the most damage and added to their already 2-0 lead tacking on six runs total on eight hits.
Second-year Bailey Banaszynski (2-2) got the start for the Warriors but couldn’t get anything going and was forced out of the game after three and one-third innings pitched, giving up nine hits and five total earned runs to his name.
Battling back in the sixth inning, fourth-year Austin Savary started a two-out rally and got things going for the Warriors offensively, hitting a double down the right-field line.
Fourth-year Tanner Williams reached on an error by the second basemen which scored Savary from second, giving Winona State their first run of the game.
Winona State was not done yet though as third-year Derek Baumgartner tripled to center for his team-high third triple of the year, scoring Williams.
Up next, third-year Carter Brinkman singled to center to score yet another run for Winona State, scoring Baumgartner from third to make it 3-8.
Unfortunately, that was all the damage that would be done as the Huskies’ pitching shut down the Warriors hopes in the seventh inning.

Winona State University’s offensive leaders were led by Brinkman as he put together a solid 2-for-3 with an RBI, followed by Baumgartner going 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Savary and fourth-year Sam Kohnle also went on to collect hits for Winona State.
Winona State rallied in game two to take home a 5-1 win as they received stellar pitching performances by second-year Cameron Kramer (2-0) and fourth-year Nicolas Herold.
Kramer allowed four hits, no runs and struck out three Huskies as he was rewarded the win on
the mound.
Herold worked a near-perfect four innings but allowed a late ninth inning run with one out left in the game as he picked up his third save of the season striking out three Huskie batters and allowing one run on no hits.
The Warriors got it rolling in the fourth when fourth-year Derek Martin led off the inning with a walk and the following pitch was a Kohnle hit-by-pitch setting up Winona State nicely.
Williams singled to right loading up the bases and two passed balls and a Brinkman SAC fly later led to three runs for Winona State and put them up 3-0.
With runs in the eighth and ninth innings by a Baumgartner SAC fly and a Kohnle double in the final inning, the Warriors had a nice 5-0 lead heading into the final inning for St. Cloud. Despite a valiant effort from St. Cloud in the bottom of the ninth, a key double play erased a potential rally from the Huskies as Herold struck out the final batter to seal the deal. Baumgartner stressed how important it was to execute at-bats when they have runners on in scoring position.
“Timely hitting throughout the last few weeks has really helped us, making sure we’re consistent and have good at-bats with runners in scoring position,” Baumgartner said. Winona State’s eight hits doubled the Huskies four and translated nicely for a Winona State win.
Williams had himself a day hitting the ball as he finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored, Kohnle added in a run of his own and an RBI while going 1-for-4 on the evening, and Brinkman went 1-for-3 with an RBI of his own.
Winona State pushed back their games with Southwest Minnesota State one day due to weather, but strong pitching from the rubber helped WSU claim two wins on the road on Sunday as they boosted their record to 12-10 overall and a 9-8 record in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
(NSIC) play.
It was a pitching duel as fourth-year Dillon Whittaker (1-2) put together a superb performance on the hill as he picked up his first win on the season going six innings while allowing five hits, one run and striking out five Mustangs.
For Southwest, third-year John Bezdicek (2-1) went the distance pitching a complete game but taking his first loss of the season despite allowing just one earned run and striking out eight batters across seven innings.
Southwest jumped on top early in the first inning with a 1-0 lead, but the Warriors came crawling back in the fourth to score the only two runs they would need to win the game. Courtesy of a Kohnle double and a Williams double the next pitch, Winona State knotted it at 1-1.
Baumgartner wouldn’t leave Williams hanging on second as he roped one past the shortstop and got his only RBI of the game to make it 2-1 Warriors.
Herold took over in the ninth to close the door on a potential Southwestern comeback, but things got interesting when the leadoff man walked, and a hit-by-pitch made it first and second with one out.
Luckily for the Warriors, Herold worked himself out of a jam and eventually struck out the final Mustang batter and secured the win for Winona State bringing his save total to four on the season.
Game two was identical to the first as WSU again came away with a 2-1 victory over the Southwest Mustangs with another excellent pitching performance on the mound for Winona State.
Austin Savary was dominant on the hill going seven innings and giving up only one run on the day while striking out five Southwest batters.
However, third-year Jake Wensmann of SMSU brought his game as well going six innings and allowing just one Winona State run on the afternoon.
Kohnle drove in fourth-year Nathan Loomis on a SAC fly to right field to put the Warriors up by one and draw first blood, but the Mustangs answered right back with two hits of their own and tie it back up at 1-1.
Winona State was licking their chops as they found themselves in a bases-loaded situation with two outs bringing up Baumgartner to extend their lead and break open the tie in the top of the
eighth inning.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Mustang reliever fourth-year Shawn Williams (0-2) worked the count to 0-2 and got Baumgartner looking for his only strikeout of
the game.
First-year Peter Tveite (1-0) came up huge for Winona State as he came in for relief to Savary after seven solid innings.
Tveite retired the side forcing two groundballs while taking the third batter himself in a 1-2-3
eight inning.
The Warriors had to be feeling good when second-year Nick Herbst four-pitch walked to start the ninth inning setting up a nice SAC bunt opportunity
for Brinkman.
Loomis stepped up to the plate with the go-ahead run on second and drilled a double to left to score Herbst and give Winona State a
2-1 lead.
Winona State turned to Tveite once again and without missing a beat, retired the side 1-2-3 and sealed a Warriors win and in doing so picked up his first win of
the season.
Winona State and Southwest Minnesota State will finish up their three-game series tomorrow in Marshall with the first pitch starting at noon.