SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AUGIE) — The Augustana Viking baseball team captured their second-straight NSIC regular season title after defeating Winona State in game one Tuesday at Ronken Field. The Vikings claimed the series win after besting the Warriors in game two. The regular season title is the third in program history.

AU closes out the regular season with an overall record of 39-16 and an NSIC record of 28-7. Winona State drops to 20-26 overall and 16-15 in the loop.

Game One: Augustana 10, Winona State 6

Augustana got off to a hot start in the first inning, with Parker Mooney hitting a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Trevor Winterstein. Jack Hines and Drey Dirksen then hit back-to-back home runs to extend the Vikings’ lead to 3-0. Ragan Pinnow added another run with a sacrifice fly that allowed Nick Banowetz to score and make it 4-0.

Winona State got on the board in the second inning with a single to left field that scored a run. The Vikings responded in the third with a two-run homer by Meiners, making it 6-1. Mooney hit a solo home run in the fourth, and Augustana added three more runs in the fifth when Dirksen scored on a wild pitch and Jack Sutton hit a two-run homer.

Winona State tried to mount a comeback in the seventh inning, plating five runs. AU responded with a pitching change and held off the Warriors’ rally, securing the 10-6 victory.

At the plate, Dirksen went 2-for-3 with a home run and a triple. Mooney and Hines logged two hits each while five Vikings hit home runs.

Caleb Kranz started the game on the bump for the Vikings, pitching 5.2 innings and striking out seven batters. Ethan Cole, Clayton Thompson and Adam Diedrich spent time in the game for Augustana while Diedrich earned his 11th save of the season. Kranz improved to 6-1 with the victory.

Game Two: Augustana 22, Winona State 18

In a high-scoring baseball game, the Augustana Vikings defeated the Winona State Warriors, 22-18. The game was highlighted by a total of seven home runs hit between the two teams.

Winona State got off to a hot start in the first inning with a wild pitch allowing a run to score and then a sacrifice fly bringing in another run. They added one more in the first on a wild pitch, making it 3-0. Augustana quickly caught up in the bottom of the inning, with a double by Mooney and a single by Banowetz, followed by a homer by Meiners to take the lead, 4-3.

Augustana then exploded in the second inning, starting with a Winterstein home run that brought in three runs. They added two more runs in the inning to reach a 9-3 lead. Winona State fought back with a big inning of their own in the fourth, with 10 runs scored.

In the bottom of the fourth frame, the Vikings added two runs with a Dirksen double that plated Hines and a Sutton groundout that sent Dirksen in to score. Pinnow then hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 13-13. 

In the top of the fifth, Winona State took the lead again with an RBI single, but Meiners hit a grand slam in the bottom of the inning, driving in four runs and putting Augustana up 17-14.

The Vikings increased their lead in the sixth with a two-run homer by Winterstein, adding another run in the seventh on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Mooney hit a two-run homer to extend the lead to 22-15.

Winona State made an effort to rally in the ninth with a three-run homer, but it wasn’t enough as Augustana held on to win 22-18.

Winterstein and Meiners totaled two home runs each in the nine-inning affair while Mooney and Pinnow added one apiece. Hines and Winterstein led the lineup with three runs each and seven total Vikings contributed to AU’s 16-hit total.

On the mound, Aidan Torpey got the start and tossed one inning. Ryan Clementi, Tom Sun, Gabe Pilla, Kai Taylor, Ryan Jares and Dirksen spent time on the hill for the Vikings while Torpey and Dirksen led with two strikeouts each. Taylor earned the victory and moved to 3-0 in 2023.

Up Next

The Vikings head to Bismarck, North Dakota, for the NSIC Tournament, hosted by UMary. Augustana takes the field on May 10 at noon and will face the No. 8 seed in the tournament.