Augustana baseball moved its winning streak to 11 games after a pair of wins on Sunday against Southwest Minnesota State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action. With the victories, The Vikings improved their record to 31-10 (21-4 NSIC) on the year, while the Mustangs fell below .500 at 17-18 (8-11 NSIC).
Augustana recorded its fifth-straight season of 30-plus wins with the two wins, all coming under head coach Tim Huber.
The Vikings took game one 7-6 and game two 12-2 to give them the four-game series sweep of SMSU.
Augustana had to withstand a late rally by Southwest Minnesota State in the bottom of the seventh inning to hold on for a 7-6 victory in the first game of the doubleheader at Alumni Field.
The Vikings' Ryan Hamilton (3-1) had a commanding presence early on the mound, picking up his third win on the year. Hamilton went 6.1 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, on eight hits. The freshman from Spearfish, S.D. also had five strikeouts in the victory.
Tony Viger hit his third homerun of the series with a solo shot in the top of the seventh inning, part of a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Jake Petersen extended his hitting streak to 21 games after a 2-for-4 performance.
Brian Duxbury chipped in with two hits in the win for Augustana.
Derek Quame got his seventh save of the year in a relief appereance late in the game. Quame came in to get the final out of the game for the Vikings.
With the win, the Augustana pushed their winning streak into double figures at 10.
The Vikings got off to a 1-0 in the top of the first inning after Petersen had a leadoff homerun to open the game. It was the Blair, Neb. native's fourth jack on the season.
Hamilton got to work in this one, after walking the first batter of the Mustangs, the freshman right-hander induced three groundballs to get out the inning with Augustana up 1-0 after one.
SMSU tied the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning on Patrick Rients' homerun to center field on a full-count pitch from Hamilton. It was Rients' ninth dinger on the year. and first of three long balls in the game.
The Vikings pulled away for a little bit in the top of the fourth, scoring five runs on six hits. Marucs O'Neill got things rolling with a single through the left side that was followed by Viger's double to left center.
Alex Fink then hit a sac fly to score O'Neill and give Augustana the lead at 2-1. Zach Dibble's RBI-single to right field that scored Duxbury rounded out the high-scoring inning at the plate for the Vikings, giving them a 6-1 lead.
Rients struck again in the bottom half of the sixth inning, going yard for a second time in the game off Hamilton and giving him double digits in homeruns in 2014 and making it a 6-2 ballgame in favor of Augustana. Hamilton quickly regained his composure and got the next three Southwest Minnesota State batters out to close out the inning.
Viger had an answer in the top of the seventh with his own solo shot to left center, making it a 7-2 game. It was the Sioux Falls, S.D. natives' team-leading eighth homer, third in as many games, on the year.
The Mustangs didn't go away without a fight, getting a grand slam curiosity of Rients in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs to cut the Vikings lead to one. Quame then came in as relief for Dalton Homeirer and got the final out to give Augustana the win.
The Vikings really found their groove at the plate in the second game of the doubleheader. Augustana scored 12 runs on 18 hits on the way to a 12-2 victory in eight innings.
Dibble had a career-high four hits in the win, going 4 for 5 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Bennett Johnson (5-2) shook off a rough first inning to get his fifth win on the year. Johnson went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while tying a season high with eight strikeouts.
O'Neill belted his first homer of the year as part of a 2-for-3 outing at the plate. The Blaine, Minn. native also had three RBI and three runs scored.
Petersen made it 22-straight games with a hit by going 3 for 4 in the win.
Viger got his hitting streak to 10 games after a two-hit day at the plate.
The Vikings started fast again with O'Neill putting them on the scoreboard in the top half of the first with his first homerun of the season, a solo shot to over right center field, making it 1-0.
Rients crushed his fourth homerun of the day, and only one in the game, in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run blast over the right field wall to make it 2-1 in favor of SMSU.
Augustana pushed three runs across the plate in the top of the second inning to make it 4-2. Fink's RBI ground out to first base that scored O'Neill capped off the inning for the Vikings.
The Vikings continued their assault on the scoreboard, scoring five runs in the top of the third to make it 9-2. O'Neill's two-RBI double down the right field line highlighted the explosive inning for Augustana at the plate.
Dibble's single down the right field line - giving him a new career high of three hits in a game- that scored Kye Winter made it a 10-2 game in the top of the fourth inning. It was Dibble's second RBI of the game.
Winter's two-out single to right field drove in Viger in the top of the fifth to push the Vikings lead to nine.
Johnson upped his scoreless innings streak to four in the bottom half of the fifth inning. The senior left-hander gave up a leadoff hit to start, but then got the Mustangs to hit into a double play. Johnson closed out the inning with a strike out, tying his season high of eight this year.
Augustana extended its lead to 10 in the top of the eighth after Alex Beals' double to left center scored Dibble from first base.
Lincoln Voss put the game to rest in the bottom of the eighth, getting Southwest Minnesota State to hit into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play to give the Vikings the 12-2 win.
Courtesy: Chris Smith, Assistant Sports Information Director, Augustana College