Strong pitching from starter Tyler Mitzel and efficient offense propelled the No. 5 seed Augustana Vikings to a 5-2 victory over the fourth seeded Southern New Hampshire in the first game of the 2018 NCAA Division II College World Series from the USA National Training Complex Friday afternoon.
It’s the Vikings first College World Series win in program history.
The Vikings raced out to a quick start, scoring two runs in the first inning via throwing errors from the Penmen. Riley Johnson, a sophomore center fielder, reached base on a throwing error from the SNHU shortstop, advanced to second on the error and then sprinted to third base on a throwing error from the catcher. After Michael Svozil drew a walk, Johnson scored on another throwing error to give Augustana a 1-0 lead.
Lucas Barry, a senior third baseman led off the top of the second inning with a single through the right side. JT Mix added to the hitting by finding grass along the left side to move Barry to third base. Johnson placed a fantastic bunt down the first-base line, which scored Barry to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead.
Southern New Hampshire’s Kyle Pangallo smacked a two-out two run home-run, his first of the year to cut Augustana’s lead to 3-2.
After a one hour, 45 minute rain delay, the Vikings fired back on all cylinders, tacking on two more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Barry singled through the right side, and a Ryan Menssen hit-by-pitch allowed Barry to move to second. JT Mix singled to load the bases for Augustana, and a Johnson two RBI double down the right-field line plated Barry and Menssen to extend the Vikings lead 5-2.
Mitzel threw his first complete nine inning game in an Augustana uniform, allowing just four hits. The senior from Sioux Falls, S.D. struck out 10 batters, tying a career and season-high.
Jordan Barth (3-for-4, Johnson (2-for-5), Barry (2-for-3) and Mix (2-for-4) each had multi-hit games for the Vikings, helping the squad achieve 10 hits on the day.
Augustana improves to 49-9 on the year while Southern New Hampshire falls to 39-16.
Augustana has an off day Sunday and will return to action Monday at 6pm and face either top-seeded Florida Southern or No. 8 seed Southern Indiana. (CT).