WARRENSBURG, Mo. (Augustana) –The Augustana baseball team opened play at the NCAA Central Regional with a 5-3 win over Ouachita Baptist. The Vikings move on in the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will play at 6 p.m. on Friday.
All five of Augustana’s runs were generated from home runs. A two-run blast to left field by Drey Dirksen got the Vikings on the board first in the top of the first frame, scoring Parker Mooney. Mooney reached base on a single to left center in his first at-bat of the contest.
The Tigers responded in the bottom of the first with an RBI single, cutting at the lead and making it a 2-1 game. OBU tied it up at two runs apiece in the second, adding a run on wild pitch.
In the fourth frame, the Vikings knocked down two home runs to claim a 5-2 advantage. Luke Ballweg hit a solo home run over the fence in right center to give AU the lead. Spencer Marenco joined the fun with a two-run shot that plated Ragan Pinnow.
Another RBI single would make it a 5-3 game, giving the Tigers one run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Marenco went 2-for-4 with two RBI, a triple and a home run. Eight Vikings logged at least one hit in the victory.
Seth Miller was Augustana’s pitcher of choice to start the matchup. Miller tossed six innings, striking out three batters during his time on the hill to earn the victory. Entering the game in the seventh inning was Caleb Kranz who pitched one inning and logged one strikeout. Ethan Cole spent the eighth inning on the hill and struck out one. Adam Diedrich pitched the ninth inning and earned his nation’s leading 13th save of the season.
The Vikings face the winner of the No. 1 Central Missouri/No. 8 St. Cloud State matchup Friday at 6 p.m.