Minnesota Crookston falls to 20-27 (6-22 NSIC) with Sunday's sweep.
The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team dropped their final home games of the 2018 slate Sun., April 29 at UMC Baseball Field to Southwest Minnesota State University. Both teams had to deal with severe winds, including gusts up to near 50 miles per hour, on an otherwise sunny day in the Red River Valley. The Golden Eagles were plagued by defensive miscues as they struggled Sunday, falling 12-1 and 9-1 to the Mustangs.
Minnesota Crookston falls to 20-27 (6-22 NSIC) with Sunday’s sweep. The Golden Eagles have reached 20 wins for the third-consecutive season, a program-record. The Golden Eagles have six games left on their 2018 schedule. They still are within reach of the school record of 25 wins, which was set during the 2016 season. Southwest Minnesota State improves to 14-22 (9-17 NSIC) with the pair of wins.
Sunday was the final home game for the senior class for Minnesota Crookston. The Golden Eagle seniors have a program record of 83 wins in four seasons. Ethan Mushitz (Sr., SS, East Grand Forks, Minn.) has set the school records for games played and starts. He also has the most career at-bats, runs scored and walks. Jason Angelo (Sr., 2B, Manteca, Calif.) set the school record for hit by pitches Sunday. Zach Frazier (Sr., C, Grand Rapids, Minn.) is second all-time for walks. Anthony Stewart (R-Sr., OF, Oak Harbor, Wash.) is first all-time for triples. The senior class for Minnesota Crookston includes Mushitz, Angelo, Frazier, Stewart, Gabriel Cavasos, Wyatt Huso, Jacob Butcher, David Anaya, Scott Mortenson, James Cullinane and Mitchell Bornhauser.
Southwest Minnesota State put up a crooked number with seven runs in the top of the fifth as the Golden Eagles had three errors in the frame to help lift the Mustangs to the 12-1 victory. Minnesota Crookston was not at their best in the field as they posted four errors on the game.
Zach Rustad (Jr., LHP, Blaine, Minn.) allowed just three runs in the first three innings, before allowing five runs in the fourth and fifth frames. Rustad gave up seven earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
Gabriel Cavasos (Sr., RHP, San Antonio, Texas) allowed four unearned runs on four hits in 1.1 innings with three strikeouts. Esten Beneda (R-So., Lankin, N.D.) had an impressive outing on the bump with just two hits and no runs with one strikeout in one frame.
The Golden Eagles notched five hits in the first game. James Cullinane (Sr., OF, San Francisco, Calif.) paced Minnesota Crookston by going 2-of-2. Ethan Mushitz (Sr., SS, East Grand Forks, Minn.) finished 1-of-3. Mitchell Bornhauser (Sr., OF, Northfield, Minn.) was 1-of-2, while Zach Frazier (R-Sr., C, Grand Rapids, Minn.) went 1-of-3.
The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the first as Sellner scored on a wild pitch.
Southwest Minnesota State extended the lead to 3-0 when Jayden Fleck doubled to drive in Jake Hendricks and Sellner.
The Mustangs put up two more runs in the fourth. Nathan Kuhn singled to plate Connor Johnson. Tanner Strommen came in on a Ben Heichel fielder’s choice.
Minnesota Crookston cut the lead to 5-1 in the fourth as Mushitz crossed the dish on a Hunter Baldwin (R-So., 3B, St. Thomas, N.D.) sacrifice fly.
Southwest Minnesota State put up a seven-run frame in the fifth. The Mustangs were aided by three errors by the Golden Eagles in the frame.
Minnesota Crookston was unable to overcome the deficit as they fell 12-1 in the first game.
Minnesota Crookston dropped the second game 9-1 as Southwest Minnesota State jumped out to an early lead with nine runs in the first two innings. The Golden Eagles had two defensive miscues in the first inning which helped out the Mustangs in a big first frame. Neither team scored a run in the final seven innings of play as the tally remained at 9-1 with the Mustangs taking the win.
Parker Hanson (Jr., RHP, Hawley, Minn.) returned to form as the Golden Eagle starter has been working in the bullpen to get back to form after missing time due to injury. Hanson went five innings and allowed just two hits with no runs given up. Dalton Grose (R-Fr., LHP, Waterville, Minn.) had another strong outing as he allowed no runs on no hits in two frames.
Jacob Butcher (R-Sr., RHP, Palmer, Alaska) picked up the loss after giving up three earned runs on five hits in one inning with two strikeouts. Louis Gerzin (Jr., RHP, Ely, Minn.) allowed four runs on three hits with two walks in one inning of work.
Minnesota Crookston was held to four hits in the second game. Mushitz led the Golden Eagles by going 2-of-4. Scott Mortenson (Sr., OF, East Grand Forks, Minn.) went 1-of-2 for the game. Griffin Fussy (R-Fr., IF, Ham Lake, Minn.) earned his first career start at third base. Fussy picked up his first collegiate hit with a double. Fussy finished 1-of-3 with an RBI.
Southwest Minnesota State put their foot on the gas early on with five runs in the first.
The Mustangs added four runs in the top of the second. With the bases loaded, Lanoue powered a ball into the wind in right field the toughest place in the park to hit one out in the aggressive wind of the day. The grand slam for Lanoue moved the lead to 9-0 and scored Fleck, Sellner and Heichel.
The Golden Eagles scored a run in the bottom of the second as Fussy picked up his first career hit with a double. The two-bagger scored Baldwin to cut the deficit to 9-1.
Neither team scored the rest of the way as Southwest Minnesota State took the 9-1 win to take the series 3-1 over UMC.
The Golden Eagles added two non-conference games with Bemidji State University Thurs., May 3 at 4 and 6 p.m. in Bemidji, Minn. Minnesota Crookston wraps up the NSIC schedule Fri., May 4 and Sat., May 5 at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, Minn.