Baseball leaves weekend with three defeats

Mitchell Breuer, Sports Reporter

The Winona State University baseball team got its first taste of NSIC action this weekend as the team took on Minot State University for a weekend series, where they took three losses and a win. The week was also supposed to mark the Warriors’ first home games of the season, however on Wednesday, March 14, the games were moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin. When asked for a statement, the Winona State Athletics Department issued the Winonan the following statement.

“Due to the cold and snow that Winona has undergone to date, the field was unplayable this weekend.”

Despite the change in venue, the team went into the weekend as they would have if it were a regular week.

“I don’t think the location affected our preparation at all,” first-year infielder Zac Stange said. “We knew we had two games today on a baseball field, so we prepared like we do for every other game.”

The opening game proved to be an obstacle for Winona State early, as Minot State jumped out to an early four-run led in the first.

“I thought in the first game we didn’t come out with enough energy, and Minot took advantage right away in the first inning,” first-year pitcher Jacob Huebsch said. “We got better as the game went along and were able to pick up a few runs late but starting off slow really hurt us.”

The Warriors were unable to catch up, and the Beavers took the first game with a final score of 11-5.

Stange, along with senior infielder Kipp Youngquist managed to provide positives in an otherwise tough game for Winona State, as they came up with the only home runs of the game. Huebsch as well came up with his first strikeout as a part of the roster in his two innings in the game.

The second game was a better showing for the Warriors, as they started off strong, only allowing one run in the first seven innings.

“The second game we had a great pitching performance by [sophomore] Caleb Schoenholz and our offense was able to put up some runs including a clutch two-run single and a home run by [sophomore] Andrew Pliner,” Huebsch said.

While the defense was doing their job well, the team also performed better at-bat during the second game Saturday, most notably coming away with seven-runs in the seventh, giving themselves a six-run lead late in the game.

Unfortunately for Winona State, Minot State caught wind in the eighth and ninth innings, mounting an eight-run comeback to re-take the lead.

“We started to hit well near the end of the second game, but we just need to be better in the field in general and give it all the entire game. We know what we have to do to get where we need to be and now we just need to do it,” Stange said.

The team ended Saturday, once again falling short to the Beavers, with a final score of 7-9.

“We played a fairly solid game, but just did not come out on top,” Huebsch said.

On Sunday, Winona State bounced back from Saturday’s losses, picking up a win in the first game, 7-5, but, couldn’t finish the job later in the day, losing 5-9, after leading ahead into the ninth inning.

This weekend, the Warriors will host the University of Sioux Falls Cougars for a series at home, with first pitch at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24 and 12 p.m. on Sunday, March 25.