WARRENSBURG, M.O. (AU) – Augustana baseball fell to No. 3 Central Missouri in the NCAA Central Region Tournament, 7-4, Saturday night. The No. 1 seeded Mules forced a second game with the No. 5 seeded Vikings that will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The winner of Sunday’s game advanced to the NCAA Central Region Super Regional.
Sunday’s contest will have live stats and live video available on GoAugie.com/Live or on the GoAugie Fan App presented by CellOnly.
Jed Schmidt was Augustana’s starting pitcher and spent 1.2 innings on the mound. Caleb Saari entered the game in the second inning and struck out five batters, spending 6.1 innings on the hill.
With Saari’s fifth strikeout of the game in the eighth inning, Augustana broke another team single-season record with the 560th strikeout of the season. The previous record was 559 strikeouts set in 2018.
The Vikings were the first team to score, plating two runs in the first inning. Carter Howell got the game started for AU with a triple down the left field line to score Max Mosser. Mosser reached base after a single through to the right side. Howell scored after Jordan Barth grounded out to the UCM shortstop.
Central Missouri took the lead in the bottom of the second inning with three runners crossing the plate.
In the third inning, Howell tied the game up at three-a-piece with a solo homer to left center. The home run is Howell’s 14th of the season.
Luke Ballweg brought Jaxon Rosencranz home in the fourth inning on a ground out to the second baseman and the Vikings regained the lead, 4-3.
A two-run home run in the fifth inning put the Mules up by one run. Central Missouri pushed its lead to three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead 7-4 which proved to be the final score.
Howell led with two runs and two RBI. Dirksen, Rosencranz and Howell each had two hits in the game for six of the VIkings’ nine hits.
Augustana will face Central Missouri in the final game of the double-elimination tournament in an effort to advance to the Super Regional next weekend. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.