MANDAN, N.D. (Augustana) –The Augustana baseball team defeated Minnesota Crookston, 6-5, Saturday before falling to Minnesota State, 6-1, in its final game of the NSIC tournament. All of Friday’s games were moved to Saturday where the Vikings were in must-win contests to conclude the Tournament.
Augustana holds a record of 42-18, including the NSIC Regular Season Championship. In the latest NCAA Central Region Rankings, the Vikings held the No. 6 slot. The selections for the NCAA Tournament take place Sunday at 9 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Game One: Augustana 6, Minnesota Crookston 5
In a tightly contested baseball game between Augustana and Minnesota Crookston, it was the Vikings who came out on top with a 6-5 victory. Augustana started the scoring in the bottom of the first frame when Jack Hines hit a sacrifice fly to center field, driving in Nick Banowetz. Minnesota Crookston responded in the top of the second when a single scored one run.
The Vikings regained the lead in the bottom of the second when Banowetz hit a sacrifice fly to right field, sending Tate Meiners in to score. The Vikings then broke the game open in the same inning when Parker Mooney hit a three-run home run to right field, scoring Trevor Winterstein and Sam Seigel.
Minnesota Crookston managed to score another run in the top of the third to chop at AU’s lead. The Golden Eagles kept the game close in the top of the fourth when a bases-loaded walk plated another run. Minnesota Crookston continued their comeback attempt in the sixth frame when a single scored a run. UMC tied the game with a ground out to the Viking’s first baseman that plated one.
A lead off homer by Tate Meiners put the Vikings ahead in the bottom of the sixth, where they stayed for the remainder of the contest to secure the victory.
Mooney led the Vikings with three hits including a double and a home run. Luke Ballweg and Hines joined Mooney with one double apiece.
Ashton Michek was the starting pitcher for Augustana, spending five innings on the bump and striking out seven batters. Aidan Torpey took over for Michek in the sixth inning. Adam Diedrich earned the win after 3.1 innings and logging four strikeouts to move to 3-1.
Augustana’s win over Minnesota Crookston concluded the Golden Eagles’ season.
Game Two: Minnesota State 6, Augustana 1
The Augustana Vikings suffered a 6-1 loss to the Minnesota State Mavericks to bring AU’s tournament run to a close.
The Mavericks got off to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, with a single that drove in one runner and a fielder’s choice that allowed MSU another run.
Augustana managed to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning when Drey Dirksen hit an RBI single, scoring Trevor Winterstein and cutting the deficit to 2-1.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Mavericks extended their lead to 3-1. A three-run homer to left field pushed MSU’s lead to 6-1.
At the plate, Winterstein, Dirksen and Pinnow logged one hit apiece. On the hill, Jack Sutton, Ryan Clementi, Ryan Jares and Tom Sun spent time in the matchup for Augustana while Jares recorded one strikeout.
Minnesota State, ranked No. 8 in the Central Region Rankings, advances to the NSIC Championship contest Sunday against St. Cloud State.
Augustana holds the No. 6 ranking in the NCAA Central Region where the top-eight teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The final rankings are announced Sunday at 9 p.m. on NCAA.com. Stay tuned to GoAugie.com and AugieBaseball on social media for any postseason possibilities.