Baseball picks up two wins at home


Natalie Tyler

First-year Austin Savary throws a pitch against Upper Iowa University during a doubleheader on Friday, April 12 at Loughrey Field, the Warriors won both games 13-2 and 7-1.

Mitchell Breuer, Editor-In-Chief

The Winona State University baseball team was again affected by schedule changes this weekend, as their Wednesday series at home was moved to Thursday and games against St. Cloud State were ultimately cancelled after initially being moved to Monday due to the weather.

However, when the unit did get a chance to play they took full advantage of the opportunity, winning both of their games against Upper Iowa University on Thursday April 12.

In the first game of the afternoon, it appeared the Warriors would be in for a close game as they were down 2-1 exiting the third. This would change in the fourth though, as the home team came with up three big at-bats by senior Kipp Youngquist, and first-year players Derek Martin and Nathan Loomis, which equaled out to three runs scoring for the team.

From there, it was all Winona, who went on to score nine runs in the next two innings to secure a 13-2 win.

Defensively, it was first-year pitcher Dillon Whittaker who played a role in holding Upper Iowa to two runs, coming up with three strikeouts in his five-innings pitched.

“In my pitching performance, I had trouble controlling my pitches, but I had a great defense behind me, so I knew I could just really try on throwing strikes and they would make plays behind me,” Whittaker said.

With the win, Whittaker continues a winning streak, where he has not seen a loss in the last four games as starting pitcher.

“It means a lot to me and my teammates because it means that as a team we are winning games,” Whittaker said.

The second game proved to be a lot like the first, with a close game throughout the first three innings, this time with the Warriors leading 2-1, and like the first game, they again took full control of the game in the fourth.

This time it was hits by sophomores Andrew Pilner and Sam Kohnle that brought in Martin and Youngquist to extend the lead to three.

Pilner and Youngquist would not be done scoring, as they piled up another three runs batted in for the team in the next two innings, with Pilner coming up with the team’s lone home run of the game in the sixth inning.

In another similarity to the first game, another first-year pitcher his teammate Austin Savary, extended his win streak just as Whittaker did earlier in the day, with Savary moving to three victories in a row.

“Our team is playing well right now defensively, offensively and on the mound and just knowing that I have contributed to that means a lot,” Savary said. “Our pitching staff has talked all year about trying to give our team the best chance to win, and that’s what I’ve tried to do each time I pitch. Hopefully, it continues throughout the next however many games we play.”

In his seven-innings pitching, he came up with three strikeouts and only allowed four hits.

“I felt I threw pretty well. Just tried to locate every pitch and let my defense do the work. I tried to give my team the best chance to win and, I feel like I did that. I knew we needed this win and I tried to provide the best outing I could in order to accomplish that goal,” Savary said.

With the wins, the team has now won seven of their last eight games, improving to their record to 12-13, and 11-7 in conference play.

Next weekend, the team will travel to Marshall, Minnesota for a weekend series against Southwest Minnesota State University. Games will start at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and 12 and 2 p.m.