BRANDON, S.D. (AU) – No. 11 Augustana baseball is headed to the NSIC Tournament Championship after defeating the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 11-1 in seven innings Saturday night. The Vikings fell to Minnesota State earlier on Saturday in the double-elimination tournament.
Augustana will need to beat Minnesota State twice on Sunday to win the NSIC Tournament Championship. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. for game one and 1 p.m. for the if necessary game two.
Game One: Minnesota State 5, Augustana 4
Ryan Jares started the game on the mound for the Vikings and pitched seven full innings. Jares struck out 13 batters to bring his season total to 101. In the eighth inning, Adam Diedrich took over for Jares on the mound and pitched 0.1 innings. Thomas Bruss entered the game and recorded three strikeouts.
The Vikings were off to an early lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jack Hines singled to bring home Jordan Barth. A JT Mix single sent Will Olson across the plate and Augustana led 2-0.
In the second inning, Minnesota State hit a solo homer to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
Another solo home run, this time in the fourth inning, allowed the Mavericks to knot the game at two runs a piece.
MSU took their first lead of the game with a single to right field that scored a runner.
In the eighth inning, the Vikings took the lead back starting with a homer from Jack Hines to tie the game. Max Mosser took a walk with the bases loaded and Mix scored the leading run.
Minnesota State scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning with a double that added two runs.
Hines tallied two RBI and Rosencranz had three hits in the loss.
Game Two: Augustana 11, Minnesota Duluth 1
The Vikings bounced back in the day’s second game with a run-rule victory.
Jed Schmidt was the starter for the Vikings against Minnesota Duluth. Schmidt pitched seven full innings and recorded one strikeout. His record improves to 6-1 this season.
AU started the scoring in the second inning when JT Mix grounded out to second base and Will Olson added a run.
A solo homer from Jack Hines in the fourth inning brought Augustana’s lead to 2-0.
In the fifth inning, the Bulldogs scored their lone run of the game after a single through to the right side brought a runner home.
Hines doubled to left center in the sixth inning, plating Carter Howell and Drey Dirksen, pushing the Viking’s lead to 4-1. With the bases loaded, Jaxon Rosencranz was hit by a pitch and took his base, sending Jordan Barth in to score. Tony Lanier was also hit by a pitch in the next play and Hines added a run to the board. Closing out the high-scoring fifth inning was Dirksen with a single to the left side that sent Mix and Rosencranz across home plate.
Howell scored his second run of the game in the sixth inning after a single from Hines.
In the seventh inning, Howell hit a rocket to left field and brought Dirksen home, ending the game early with 10 runs more than the Bulldogs.
With a double in the bottom of the third inning, Barth logged his 320th career hit to become Augustana’s all-time hits leader. The record is the third that Barth has broken this season, including becoming the career doubles leader and the career RBI leader.
Hines went 4-for-4 at the plate and totaled four RBI. Barth, Howell and Dirksen each had two hits in the victory.
Augustana will play two games for the NSIC Tournament Championship on Sunday at First National Bank Field in Brandon, South Dakota. Game one is set for 11 a.m. and game two is set for 1 p.m.