SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The No. 2 seed Augustana baseball team (42-8) have proven that the stage isn’t too big this season. On Thursday, the Vikings took down No. 3 seed St. Cloud State in the NSIC tournament, 5-2, earning their school record 42nd win of the season.
The Vikings trailed early, but immediately answered to tie the game and ended up scoring the final five runs of the game to eek out a 5-2 victory and remain unbeaten in the NSIC tournament.
The Huskies got the scoring started in the second inning with a pair of runs on a Viking error. The Vikings would answer in a big in the bottom half of the second with back-to-back home runs from a pair of freshmen. Jordan Barth started the inning off with an opposite field homer to right field and Ryan Nickel followed him off with a no doubt shot to right that left the stadium, tying the game at two.
The Vikings took the lead in the fourth on Lucas Wylie’s team leading ninth home run of the season on a solo shot to right field. Augustana added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning on a Lucas Barry squeeze bunt and a Ryan Menssen two-out RBI single.
Tyler Mitzel (9-0) picked up his team-leading ninth victory of the season after giving the Vikings a quality start. Mitzel went six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Derek Dahlke tossed two innings of scoreless relief and Zach Reeg pitched a perfect ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Offensively, the Vikings were led by Barth who was 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Wylie had two hits and two runs scored and Nickel had a home run. Eight of the nine Viking starters had hits on the night.
The Vikings advance in the NSIC to take on No. 5 seed Concordia-St. Paul (25-14) at Karras Park at 12 p.m. tomorrow, May 11. The Vikings and Golden Bears are the last two unbeaten teams in the conference tournament.
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