DICKINSON, N.D. (Dakota State) – Fourth-seeded Mayville State (N.D.) continued their surprising run in the North Star Athletic Association Baseball Postseason Tournament Monday at Dakota Community Bank and Trust Ballpark. Despite a fast start by the Comets while the second-seeded Dakota State (S.D.) rallied back to knot the game, MSU denied DSU a return trip to the NSAA Baseball Postseason Tournament’s championship game with a 10-7 victory.
Mayville State improved to 24-23 overall record, scoring at least 10 runs for the third time in the postseason tournament and won four straight elimination games. Dakota State ended their season at 36-18 overall record, the most victories since the 2007 season with 39 wins.
The Trojans kicked off the game with a lead-off double by Ryan McDaniel and scored the first run as Walker Hultgren produced an RBI single for 1-0 lead.
MSU exploded for five runs in the bottom half of the first inning, highlighted by Anthony Villanuea’s 2-out bases-clearing 3-RBI triple for a 5-1 lead.
Dakota State stormed back in the top fourth inning to knot the game, fueled by a lead-off solo home run by Chris Burke (DSU trailed 5-2).
Hultgren capped Trojans’ four-run fourth inning production with an RBI double to tie the game at 5-5.
Mayville State produced four hits and two runs in the bottom fifth, with a pair of RBI singles by Jared McCorrister and Villanueva to break the 5-5 tie into a 7-5 lead.
The Comets added a run in the seventh and two more runs in the bottom eighth inning after a 2-run home run by Kole Jessamine for a 10-5 lead.
Dakota State started the top ninth with three straight hits from Mason Macaluso, Hakeem Yatim and Burke. Burke collected an RBI single as the Trojans trailed 10-6.
After a pitching change by the Comets, DaSU added a run to reduce their deficit to 10-7.
Mayville State’s defense recorded the final out of the ninth inning to secure a spot to the conference championship game in head coach Scott Berry’s final season at MSU.
DSU outhit MSU 14-13 in the game. The Trojans left 11 runners on base compared to the Comets’ eight runners on base.
Villanueva sparked MSU’s offense attack by going perfect 4-of-4 at the plate with a home run, three singles, and drove in four runs. McCorrister and Jessamine each provided two hits and two RBIs. Carson Lundmark had two singles.
Braxton Greenburg started the game on the pitching mound for Mayville State, going for three innings. Gunner Thompson (W, 2-1) earned the win after tossing five innings in relief, yielding the Trojans to one run on four hits. He recorded five strikeouts. After the Trojans scored two runs, Alexander DeCaro pitched a shutout inning to close the game.
Dakota State drilled six doubles in the game, with Hultgren and Yatim each with two doubles. McDaniel, and Cade Wenninger each had one. Hultgren finished the game with three hits and two RBIs, finishing as the second most single season hits with 77 hits. He also set the single season record of 23 doubles and 53 runs scored.
Jace Pribyl had three hits and an RBI. Yatim and Burke each had two hits. Jeremy Green recorded a hit and an RBI for DSU, setting the single season record with 78 hits.
Grant Svikulis worked for two outs in in the first inning for Dakota State. Nicholai Arbach (L, 4-4) took the defeat as he pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief, giving up three runs on seven hits. Will Clair pitched the final two innings in relief.