Minnesota Crookston falls to 2-5.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team opened their trip to Florida with a 19-4 loss to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla. The Golden Eagles gave up big innings in the second, fourth, and sixth innings Sun., March 3.

    Minnesota Crookston falls to 2-5 with Sunday’s loss, which was the first of an eight-game excursion in the Sunshine State. Embry-Riddle, located in Daytona Beach, Fla., improves to 8-7 with the victory.

    The Golden Eagles had four runs on 11 hits, while allowing 19 runs on 18 hits. Minnesota Crookston had strong games at the plate from Bryce Jorgenson (Jr., UT, Thunder Bay, Ontario), Reed Hjelle (Sr., 1B, East Grand Forks, Minn.), Brock Reller (So., OF, Grand Forks, N.D.), Ben Thoma (So., C/SS, Clearbrook, Minn.), and Jonathan Lund (Sr., 1B/3B, Tolna, N.D.), who each had two hits apiece Sunday.

    Minnesota Crookston continues to look to improve their pitching, an area where they have struggled early on in the season with a 12.13 ERA.

    Zach Rustad (Sr., LHP, Blaine, Minn.) earned the start and moved to 1-2 on the season after allowing seven runs on five hits with three walks in 1.2 innings. Matt Nelson (Fr., RHP, Afton, Minn.) came on in relief and gave up four runs on four hits in two frames, while Henry Pesch (Jr., RHP, Minneota, Minn.) allowed four runs on four hits in 1.1 innings.

    The most effective pitcher on the game was Tyler Hegg (Fr., RHP, Thompson, N.D.), who pitched 1.1 innings of shutout baseball with just one hit and a walk allowed. Esten Beneda (R-Jr., RHP, Lankin, N.D.) gave up two runs on three hits in one frame, while Louis Gerzin (Sr., RHP, Ely, Minn.) allowed two runs on one hit with three walks.

    J.C. Carrell picked up the win for the Eagles after pitching five innings and giving up no runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Cato Sinkus went two innings with one run on one hit. David Romanowski pitched one inning of shutout ball, while Kyle Miller gave up three runs on four hits.

    Hjelle, the 2018 NSIC Player of the Year, went 2-of-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Jorgenson was 2-of-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Reller went 2-of-5 with one RBI. Thoma was 2-of-4, while Lund went 2-of-2 with two runs scored.

    Zach Howard paced Embry-Riddle, as he went 4-of-4 with four RBIs and four runs scored, while John Devine was 3-of-6 with three RBIs, and two runs scored.

    Embry-Riddle opened up the scoring in the first frame as Kirk Sidwell tripled to left center to drive in Luis Olivier.

    The Eagles added six runs in the second stanza propelled by a Devine two RBI single, and a Kyle Marsh two RBI double.

    Embry-Riddle added four runs in the fourth guided by a Howard three-run home run over the left field fence.

    The Eagles tallied four more runs in the sixth guided by a two RBI single by Mike Lawson.

    Minnesota Crookston obtained their first run of the game in the seventh frame as Hjelle hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Lund to cut the deficit to 15-1.

    Embry-Riddle added two more runs in the seventh guided by a Jordan Hicks single to right center to plate Howard. Jimmy Jones III then walked with the bases loaded to score Hicks.

    The Eagles added two more runs in the eighth frame to move the lead to 19-1.

    The Golden Eagles added three runs in the ninth inning. Jorgenson started off the scoring with a single up the middle to drive in Lund. Hjelle then tripled to right center to plate Jorgenson to cut the lead to 19-3. Reller closed out the scoring for Minnesota Crookston with a single through the left side to drive in Hjelle.

    The Golden Eagles return to action at 8:45 a.m. C.T., as they take on Walsh University at Osceola Heritage Park Field 3 in Kissimmee, Fla.