Warriors travel to play St. Cloud and Augustana

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Allison Mueller/Winonan

The Winona State baseball team traveled to Omaha, Neb. to play three games against St. Cloud on March 22 and 23, followed by two games on March 26 against Augustana in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The games against St. Cloud were originally scheduled as home games for the Warriors, but due to field conditions, the teams had to relocate.

Senior pitcher Nick Ender said although home games are nice to have, being on the road doesn’t make a big difference for the team.

“The game is still about catching, throwing and hitting the ball,” Ender said.

The Warriors started their three games against St. Cloud with a win, 2-0.

The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when Jesus Cazares hit an RBI single to score Michael Hommes and give Winona State the lead.

In the seventh inning, Travis Evanson hit his first home run of the season to end the game with a win 2-0.

Winona State lost both games in the doubleheader against St. Cloud the next day.

St. Cloud scored first with a two-run home run in the first inning, but the Warriors quickly answered with a two-run home run of their own from Tyler Nehring that scored Lucas Warren.

The score remained 2-2 until the bottom of the fifth when Michael Hommes scored his first home run to give the Warriors the lead 3-2.

In the seventh inning, St. Cloud tied the game 3-3. They followed with an RBI double to defeat Winona State 4-3.

In the final game of the doubleheader, St. Cloud took the lead 3-0 after a three-run fourth inning. In the top of the fifth inning, St. Cloud scored one more run to secure its lead.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Lucas Crimmins scored Nathan Krause to get the Warriors on the board. After a scoreless eighth inning Winona State lost 4-1.

Coach Kyle Poock said the Warriors’ pitching was one of their strong points against St. Cloud, especially in their first game.

“Our relief pitchers threw eight innings of scoreless ball, and our defense was solid,” Poock said.

In the first game Joseph Kubera pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Will Lundquist, who pitched seven scoreless innings for the Warriors. In the doubleheader, Ender allowed only one hit in the final two innings of the first game in relief of Chase Blazier.

The Warrior bullpen remained solid in the second game of the doubleheader as Ethan Kuehn and Warren both pitched two scoreless innings and gave up just two hits combined in relief of Hayden Krimmer.

Winona State faced Augustana in South Dakota and fell to them both games 9-1 and 9-3.

In game one, the Warriors were first to score after Brett Young hit an RBI groundout to score Kubera. Augustana answered in the third inning by plating four runners.

Augustana was up three runs, and they finished the game with two runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth, defeating the Warriors 9-1.

In the second and final game against Augustana, Winona State took an early lead once again after Nehring scored Hommes. Then Jordan Plamann followed by scoring Evanson.

Augustana scored a run in each of the following three innings to take the lead 3-2. After Nehring scored Hommes in the top of the fifth inning the score was tied 3-3.

In the bottom of the sixth inning Augustana scored one run and finished the game with five runs in the eighth inning to defeat Winona State 9-3.

Poock said that the struggles the Warriors had against Augustana were the same offensive struggles they had against St. Cloud.

Even though the St. Cloud games were conference games and Augustana were not, Ender said, “We always go into the games with the mindset of wanting to win.”

Winona State has yet to play on their home field, but there is still a lot of season left to go. The Warriors continue their season with the ultimate goal of making it to the National Championship.

“We all feel that we can compete against the best,” Ender said. “We have confidence that we can make a late season run and gain momentum going into the conference tournament.”