Weather is a game changer for baseball


Mercedes Johnson

Infielder Ryland Wall and the rest of the Warrior baseball team were impacted by weather changes that flipped around the season’s schedule.

Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

The weather kept on changing this past week, impacting multiple games. Winona State University had a series at home against Southwest Minnesota State University where they won 2–0 on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Winona State also had an away series with Concordia University St. Paul whose date kept on changing. 

The home series was a day full of batters’ paradise where they scored plenty of runs. In the first match, the score was 13–8; in the second, it was 17–16. The weather that day contributed to the scoring, as it was 80 degrees. 

This was confirmed by the Warrior coach Seth Wing as he said, “The weather being very warm makes the ball fly further and also the wind was blowing out of the park so it was a great day to hit for both teams.”

Even after having nice weather, the support for the home team by the audience was undeniable. There were more than 300 people in attendance who inspired the players to play their best.

Although the weather was not friendly for the pitchers, one pitcher still stood out. Winona State pitcher Peyton Lee earned a solid five-inning outing. This helped Winona State stop Southwest Minnesota State from making a big score.

At the beginning of the match, Southwest Minnesota State took an early lead of 2–0. Soon Winona State discovered it was a long ball day because of the weather. And Winona State players Cooper Kapanke, Austin Beyer and Ryland Wall hit three home runs which gave them a big comeback in the second innings with a score of 9–2.

There were no runs scored in the 3rd, 5th and 7th innings for the teams. In the 4th inning Southwest Minnesota State managed to pull off two runs whereas Winona State managed to score only a single. And in the 6th inning Southwest Minnesota State scored four runs which were still not enough to win. An additional three runs were scored by Winona State in the same innings which gave them a victory of 13–8 runs.

After a high-scoring first match, there was no doubt that the second one would be the same. Still, it took four innings for Southwest Minnesota State to score runs. Winona State took an early lead by scoring two runs in the first inning, but they also remained silent for the next two. 

The match was going on in a tied situation where both teams were scoring equal runs. In the 4th inning, both teams scored three runs. In the 5th inning, Southwest Minnesota State scored nine runs whereas Winona State scored zero. But the tides turned in the 6th inning when Winona State scored eight runs and Southwest Minnesota State scored zero. The game was tied going into the last inning of the game with a score of 14–14.

The Warriors won the final inning with 3–2, making the final score 17–16 in favor of Winona State. Southwest Minnesota State committed 16 hits and Winona State committed 20 hits for scoring these runs.

Firstly, the away match was supposed to take place on Friday, April 14, 2023, and Saturday, April 15, 2023. But the Saturday match was postponed, and those two matches were supposed to take place on Monday, April 17, 2023.

In the Friday match, the weather was warm and it was a high scoring game again. Winona State won the match by 17–13 runs.

In the series opener, Winona State player Justin Firpo earned the win as the Warriors’ starting pitcher after throwing the first five innings of the Warrior win. Firpo struck out five and did not walk a Golden Bear and is on route to his third victory of the year. 

Winona State fans enjoyed a three-run second inning and a six-run fourth frame to collect a large part of the Warrior scoring to hold off a late Concordia University rally. The host Golden Bears scored five runs in their final at-bats, but the barrage was not enough, allowing Winona State to emerge with the 17–13 win.  

In the second match of the series, the weather had a big impact again. The temperature was 45 degrees, which is 40 degrees less than the last match. Concordia University won 16–12 with the weather advantage.

Concordia University had an early head start in the first inning with 2–0. They increased the lead in the 4th inning by scoring seven runs. Winona State tried to recover the match in the 6th inning by scoring six runs, but it was not enough.  

In the third match, the weather again came into play. This time the match was canceled because of the weather.

After these two series, Winona State made its position in the top four on the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) leaderboard. Another big change in the leaderboard is the switch in the first and second positions between Augustana University and Minnesota State Mankato.

This week, Winona State has two away series where they will play against Wayne State College on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 and Minnesota State University Mankato the next week on Saturday, April 26, 2023. It is a big opportunity for Winona State to grab the second position in the NSIC leaderboard.