Baier’s seven home runs headline Augie’s sweep of Bemidji State


BEMIDJI, Minn. (AUGUSTANA) — Seniors Sam Baier and Riley Johnson both put dents in the record book Friday afternoon as the Augustana baseball team scored 45 runs, notched 40 hits and allowed zero runs en route to a dominating doubleheader sweep of the Bemidji State Beavers.

Baier launched seven home runs on the afternoon between the two games. He hit four home runs in the first game, becoming the 25th player in NCAA history to achieve at least four home runs in a game and followed up with three more in game two.

All-in-all, the Vikings launched 15 home runs on the day, seven (tying the single-game team record) in their 21-0 game one win and eight (breaking the single-game team record) in their 24-0 game two victory.

Game One

Senior outfielder Riley Johnson started his record-breaking day off by scoring three times in game one. Crossing home for the second time on the day, Johnson tallied his 206th run scored in a Viking uniform, breaking the career runs scored record at Augustana.

The senior also stole a base in game one, tying him for first place in career stolen bases at Augustana. Overall, Johnson went 2-for-6 in game one with three RBIs and launched his first home run of the year.

While Johnson was breaking career records, senior shortstop Sam Baier was beginning to put together a performance for the ages. Baier went back-to-back with Johnson in the top of the fifth inning for his third longball of the day and in the top of the seventh inning made history. The senior launched a solo homer way over the left-field wall, his fourth of the day, breaking the Augustana single-game record for home runs.

Baier’s ridiculous stat line for game one read 4-for-5 with four homers, four runs scored and seven RBIs. Baier’s 16 total bases in the game also broke the previous single-game record of 13, held by teammate Jordan Barth.

Not to be forgotten, the rest of the Viking offense was red-hot as well. Sophomore outfielder Carter Howell launched a homer, scored three times, had two hits and drove in three. Junior infielder Jordan Barth scored three times and notched four hits and junior catcher Will Olson hit a two-run homer as well.

Sophomore Tony Lanier also found the hit column with a double while sophomore catcher Mitch Stroh and freshman infielder Tate Meiners also finished with hits.

On the mound, junior southpaw Tanner Brown was his normal self: dominant. The junior pitched a shutout in the seven-inning affair with seven strikeouts while scattering five hits. Brown has now pitched 15-consecutive scoreless innings.

Game Two

Starting in his usual spot at shortstop in game two, Baier played in his 205th game and started in his 203rd game in an Augustana uniform, setting both career records for Augustana in the game.

In the top of the first, Johnson reached on an error and advanced to second followed by a Baier walk. The pair then stole second and third base, giving Johnson 90 career stolen bases, the most in school history. Johnson then smoked a three-run homer in his second at-bat of the day, tying him for the most hits in Augustana history while hitting his second homer of the doubleheader.

In the top of the fourth inning, Johnson smoked a double down the left field line, breaking the school record for hits while breaking his third career record of the day. He now owns the most runs scored, steals and hits in Augustana baseball history.

In the same frame, Howell went deep twice while Olson and Stroh each hit two-run homers.

After homering in the top of the second inning, Baier continued his monster day at the plate with his sixth homer of the day and second of game two in the top of the fifth inning, before coming up to bat with the bases loaded in top of the sixth inning.

With Augustana leading 16-0 in the game, Baier belted a grand-slam over the left field wall for his third home run of the game and seventh of the day. His game two stat line read three homers, one double, a walk, five runs scored and seven RBIs.

Overall, Howell notched four hits, four runs scored and three RBIs; Johnson tallied two hits, three runs scored and three RBIs; senior Christian Kuzemka had three hits, two runs scored and three RBIs; freshman catcher Drey Dirksen doubled, had three hits, two runs scored and three RBIs; Stroh had two hits, a run scored and three RBIs and freshman infielder Max Mosser tallied three hits. Barth, Olson and junior catcher Michael Schoettmer each had one hit apiece.

On the mound, sophomore righty Ryan Jares earned the win with five shutout innings and nine strikeouts while allowing just two hits. Senior lefty Koby Bishop came on for two innings of scoreless relief while striking out four.

Up Next: The Vikings will go for a series sweep in game-three Saturday. First pitch is at noon.

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