Winona State scores back-to-back victories at home


Carolyn Hauschild

Second-year Ryland Wall prepares for a killer catch against Northern State University.

Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

Winona State University baseball team has been on a roll last week, winning two important games in a row at their home field against Northern State University. In the first match, they had a low scoring one where they won by scoring just 2–1. But the second match was a high-scoring win with a score of 10–6. Winona State made a huge comeback after losing by 15–0 against the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Warrior Coach Seth Wing was not that confident before the match as they had a bad last week. 

“I feel we ran out of steam both physically and mentally. It took all of our energy to get the three comeback wins and we just ran out of momentum. I look forward to seeing how we respond this week!” Wing said.

In the first match, Winona State pitcher Justin Firpo, threw a complete game victory in the opener, while he limited Northern State to a single run in the fourth innings and received some timely offensive support to claim the 2-1 win.

Firpo struck out eight of the Northern State players and conceded just a solo home run in the fifth inning to earn a complete-game victory in a tremendous home-opening performance in front of nearly 300 fans.

Winona State player Cooper Kapanke hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, which is his second home run of the season. Another name that came up from the Winona State side is Dane Weiland, who helped with a key play in the bottom of the third throwing out a would-be Wolves base stealer following a Northern State strikeout, registering a key double play to end the inning.

In the second game, Winona State got an early lead when Winona State player Bailey Banaszynski held Northern State scoreless through four innings. A three-run first inning saw the Warriors get on their front foot early on and a trio of scores in the third frame gave the Warriors a comfortable 6-0 lead midway through the game. However, Northern State would claw back with one run in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the seventh to close the gap in the late stages of the contest. 

Fourth-year Steel Beatty greeting his team after a tough game. (Carolyn Hauschild)

Winona State player Carter Brinkman blasted a two-run homer in the third to set the tone in the contest. Warrior teammate Derek Baumgartner added two doubles in the game.  Winona State took advantage of the base paths, stealing three bags along the way. And on the other hand, Banasyznski was making his work perfect. He went five innings, allowing just one run while striking out eight.

Coach Wing studied the opponent perfectly as he announced his pitchers two days before the game day. This also proves how well Wing knows his team.

With this double victory, Winona State improved to 9-13 on the year and 5-2 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play. Northern State fell to 5-13 overall and 0-7 in league action.

Next week Winona State is hosting St. Cloud State University on April 1 and April 2. The match on April 1, 2023, will start at 3:00 p.m. and the match on April 2, 2023, will start at noon.