UMC moved their record to 2-4.

JOPLIN, Mo. – The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team picked up a split with Dakota Wesleyan University Sun., Feb. 24 at Warren Turner Field in Joplin, Mo. The Golden Eagles fell 8-1 in the first game to the Tigers, but their bats came through in a big way in game two as Minnesota Crookston upended Dakota Wesleyan 19-8. The Golden Eagles had 19 runs on 19 hits in the second game, lifted by home runs from Reed Hjelle (Sr., 1B, East Grand Forks, Minn.), and Brock Reller (So., OF, Grand Forks, N.D.)

    The Golden Eagles improve to 2-4 on the season as they pick up the series win over the Tigers. Dakota Wesleyan sits at 1-2 on the 2019 campaign. Minnesota Crookston has taken four of the last six games against the Tigers.

Game One

    In the first game, Jayden Grover (Jr., RHP, Cooperstown, N.D.) got ball and had an effective outing for the Golden Eagles. Grover pitched six innings and allowed just one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Grover falls to 0-2 as he was saddled with the loss, despite the solid effort.

    Graeme Cherry (Jr., LHP, Millarville, Alberta) came on in relief and allowed three earned runs on seven hits, with one strikeout. Garrett Hohn (Jr., RHP, Wausau, Wis.) allowed no runs on one hit in 1.2 innings of work.

    Minnesota Crookston ran into defensive struggles as they had three errors on the game, allowing four unearned runs to score.

    Dominique Boerger had a strong outing for Dakota Wesleyan, as he went six innings and gave up just one run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Gunnar Johnson came on and went three innings, allowing four strikeouts and four walks in three innings of work.

    Minnesota Crookston was led by Mason Ruhlman (Jr., 2B, Algonac, Mich.), who went 2-of-4 with one RBI. Bobby Chu (Jr., C, Redwood City, Calif.) went 1-of-3 with one run scored.

    The Tigers were led by Tyler Torres, who was 2-of-3 with three runs scored. Gilberto Rodriguez was 1-of-4 with two RBIs and one run scored, while Chandler Bakley went 2-of-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. Drew Demers was 2-of-4 with two RBIs.

    The Golden Eagles held close early on as it was 1-1 at the end of the sixth stanza. Dakota Wesleyan scored eight runs in the final three frames off Minnesota Crookston.

    The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth as Bakley singled in Torres to make it 1-0.

    Minnesota Crookston evened the slate when Ruhlman singled to drive in Chu to knot the game up 1-1.

    Dakota Wesleyan came away with a big inning in the top of the seventh. Grover was pulled after allowing a lead-off walk to Torres. Torres came in to score to make it 2-1 on a Demers ground out. Rodriguez delivered a single to drive in Rodriguez to extend the lead to 3-1. A J.T. Miller single plated Rodriguez to move the advantage to 4-1.

    The Tigers built on their lead in the top of the eighth. A Kyle Bailey single started the scoring off, as he drove in Wes Anderson. Demers followed suit with a single, to plate Torres to move the lead to 6-1. With Hohn now on the mound, Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Bakley. A Harter single plated Bailey to add a tally to the lead 8-1.

    Minnesota Crookston loaded up the bases with three-straight walks in the bottom of the eighth, but would get out of the frame with no runs to cut into the lead.

    The Golden Eagles would be unable to make up ground as the Tigers took game one 8-1.

Game Two

    The Golden Eagles had their second offensive showcase of the series, building on their 20-4 win on Saturday. Minnesota Crookston was propelled by lead-off hitter Bryce Jorgenson (Jr., UT, Thunder Bay, Ontario), who went 4-of-6 with one RBI and five runs scored. Ben Thoma (So., C/SS, Clearbrook, Minn.) finished 3-of-7 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Hjelle went 1-of-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Scott Finberg (Jr., 3B, Stillwater, Minn.) finished 2-of-5 with three RBIs.

    Henry Pesch (Jr., RHP, Minneota, Minn.) got his first win as a Golden Eagle to move to 1-0. Pesch allowed two runs on two hits in two innings on the bump with one strikeout.

    Matt Nelson (Fr., RHP, Afton, Minn.) got the start and went two innings, giving up four runs on four hits with one strikeout and three walks. Conner Richardson (Fr., RHP, Grand Forks, N.D.) went two frames, and allowed two runs on four hits. Nate Albrecht (Sr., LHP, Wahpeton, N.D.) pitched one flawless inning with one strikeout. Louis Gerzin (Sr., RHP, Ely, Minn.) went one frame, and struck out one, with one walk. Dalton Grose (R-So., LHP, Waterville, Minn.) went one inning, and gave up one hit with three strikeouts.

    The loss went to Cole Gassman, who allowed four runs on three hits with four walks in 1.2 innings. Ethan Davis got the start for the Tigers and allowed two earned runs on six hits in four innings of work.

    Minnesota Crookston got the scoring early as they score one in the first as Thoma reached on an error, allowing Jorgenson to come in to score.

    Dakota Wesleyan took the lead in the bottom of the first when Torres singled to plate Anderson and Harter.

    Minnesota Crookston responded in the second stanza when Thoma doubled to drive in Hunter Baldwin (R-Jr., 1B/3B, St. Thomas, N.D.), and Griffin Fussy (R-So., SS, Ham Lake, Minn.). Thoma would come in to score on a Hjelle stolen base later in the frame, as the Golden Eagles came out of the inning with the 5-2 lead.

    Dakota Wesleyan cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the third. Rodriguez scored the first run with a wild pitch. Harter then came through with a single to plate Miller.

    The Tigers took the 6-5 lead in the fourth frame. Rodriguez singled in Joseph Hanisch to knot the game up at 5-5. Harter then singled to drive in Rodriguez.

    Minnesota Crookston tied the game up 6-6 in the fifth frame as Landyn Swenson (Jr., OF, Devils Lake, N.D.) singled to drive in Fussy.

    The Golden Eagles broke the tie in the sixth stanza, as 2018 NSIC Player of the Year Hjelle was clutch in a key situation, hitting a two-run home run to plate himself, and Jorgenson, putting Minnesota Crookston ahead 8-6. Later in the frame, Baldwin walked with the bases loaded to drive in Reller to push the lead to 9-6.

    Dakota Wesleyan sliced the lead to 9-8 in the bottom of the sixth when Anderson singled to plate Jerrod Zens, and Harter.

    The Golden Eagles held off the charge from the Tigers in the top of the seventh. Thoma opened up the scoring with a triple to score Jorgenson. A sacrifice fly from Hjelle, then brought Thoma home to move the score to 11-8. Reller then hit his second home run of the season to move the advantage to 12-8 for Minnesota Crookston.

    Minnesota Crookston followed up the seventh with a high-scoring eighth frame. Jorgenson doubled to drive in pinch-runner Alex Mushitz (Fr., 2B/SS, East Grand Forks, Minn.). Later in the stanza, Ruhlman was walked with the bases loaded to plate Jorgenson. Travis Conoryea (R-So., OF/C, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) was walked to drive in Thoma to move the lead to 15-8. Finberg extended the inning with a single to score Ruhlman and Hjelle.

    The Golden Eagles added two more runs in the top of the ninth. Conoryea came through with a single to drive in Thoma. A sacrifice fly by Finberg, score Hjelle to move the lead to 19-8, the tally Minnesota Crookston would win by.

    The Golden Eagles have had two games where they have scored over 19 runs this season. Minnesota Crookston’s highest run total of 2018 came in an 18-11 extra-innings win over Greensboro College in Tampa, Fla., last season.

    Minnesota Crookston opens up their eight-game excursion to Florida March 3 as they take on Embry-Riddle University at 4 p.m. C.T., in Kissimmee, Fla.