The Golden Eagles are now set to host five games at home this week.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team has site reversed this week’s mid-week tilts with Southwest Minnesota State University to UMC Baseball Field Tues., April 16 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The games were moved from Marshall, Minn., following last week’s winter storm that impacted a large majority of Minnesota with large amounts of snow and precipitation.

    The Golden Eagles are now set to host five games at home this week. Minnesota Crookston is slated to host St. Cloud State University Fri., April 19 at 1 and 3 p.m., and Sat., April 20 at 12 p.m., at UMC Baseball Field.

Southwest Minnesota State at Minnesota Crookston (SMSU will be the home team on the scoreboard)
Tues., April 16 – 1:30/3:30 p.m.
Crookston, Minn./UMC Baseball Field

Minnesota Crookston Preview
Projected Starters
So. C 29 Ben Thoma, .264 avg., 17 runs, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 17 RBIs
Sr. 1B 33 Reed Hjelle, .354 avg., 29 runs, 2 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 31 RBIs
Jr. 2B 21 Mason Ruhlman, .175 avg., 13 runs, 1 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBIs
Jr. 3B 18 Scott Finberg, .233 avg., 18 runs, 6 2B, 6 HR, 22 RBIs
R-So. SS 9 Griffin Fussy, .268 avg., 13 runs, 2 2B, 1 3B, 11 RBIs
Jr. LF 6 Bryce Jorgenson, .286 avg., 32 runs, 12 2B, 8 RBIs
Jr. CF 1 Landyn Swenson, .301 avg., 21 runs, 4 2B, 1 HR, 16 RBIs
So. RF 20 Brock Reller, .260 avg., 23 runs, 9 2b, 2 3B, 7 HR, 34 RBIs
R-So. DH 31 Travis Conoryea, .320 avg., 6 runs, 8 RBIs
or Sr. DH 16 Jonathan Lund, .280 avg., 2 runs, 1 2B, 2 RBIs

Top Pitchers
R-So. LHP 36 Dalton Grose, 2-0 2.49 ERA, 25.1 IP, 28 K, 16 BB
Fr. RHP 17 Conner Richardson, 1-0 2.89 ERA, 28.0 IP, 10 K, 4 BB
Sr. LHP 25 Aaron Hollcraft, 1-0 3.18 ERA, 11.1 IP, 9 K, 5 BB
Sr. LHP 30 Nate Albrecht, 2-2 4.19 ERA, 34.1 IP, 24 K, 12 BB
Sr. LHP 24 Zach Rustad, 4-5 4.94 ERA, 47.1 IP, 38 K, 24 BB

    Minnesota Crookston looks to continue one of their best seasons in program history as they take on Southwest Minnesota State Tuesday. The Golden Eagles have won five of their last seven games, including winning a series over University of Mary last weekend.

    Minnesota Crookston is currently 19-13 (12-6 NSIC) entering the week. The Golden Eagles need five wins to tie their program record of 25 wins in a season, set in 2016. In addition, Minnesota Crookston needs just six wins to tie their school record for conference wins of 18 also set in 2016.

    The Golden Eagles come into the week hitting .268 with 189 runs scored, 48 doubles, 10 triples, 28 home runs, and 168 RBIs. Reed Hjelle (Sr., 1B, East Grand Forks, Minn.), the 2018 NSIC Player of the Year, is leading the team with a .354 batting average with 29 runs scored, two doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 31 RBIs. In addition, Landyn Swenson (Jr., OF, Devils Lake, N.D.) is coming off a big weekend against UMary. Swenson is batting .301 with 21 runs scored, four doubles, one home run ang 16 RBIs. At the top of the order, Bryce Jorgenson (Jr., UT, Thunder Bay, Ontario) is hitting .286 with a team-high 32 runs scored and 12 doubles, along with eight RBIs. Travis Conoryea (R-So., OF/C, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) continues to come on with a .320 batting average with six runs scored and eight RBIs.

    Minnesota Crookston’s pitching staff has posted a 5.27 ERA with 201 strikeouts to just 136 walks. Dalton Grose (R-So., LHP, Waterville, Minn.) has been strong out of the bullpen with a 2-0 mark and a 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched. Grose leads the NSIC with seven saves on the 2019 slate. Grose has 28 strikeouts to 16 walks.

    Conner Richardson (Fr., RHP, Grand Forks, N.D.) has had a strong freshman campaign with a 1-0 mark and a 2.89 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts. Senior Aaron Hollcraft (LHP, Crookston, Minn.) has been effective out of the bullpen with a 1-0 mark and a 3.18 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched. Nate Albrecht (Sr., LHP, Wahpeton, N.D.) has been a great story for the Golden Eagles as he is two years removed from Tommy John Surgery. Albrecht is 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA with six starts. He has 24 strikeouts to just 12 walks on the year.

Southwest Minnesota State Preview
Projected Starters
Jr. C 7 Derek Smith, .231 avg., 5 runs, 2 2B, 3 RBIs
So. 1B 11 Matt Bezdicek, .203 avg., 7 runs, 5 2B, 6 RBIs
Sr. 2B 12 Jayden Fleck, .286 avg., 16 runs, 4 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBIs
So. 3B 26 Jake Hendricks, .195 avg., 7 runs, 5 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBIs
Fr. SS 9 Kip Gronholz, .273 avg., 2 runs, 4 RBIs
or Jr. SS 6 Nathan Kuhn, .306 avg., 10 runs, 5 2B, 1 3B, 7 RBIs
Jr. LF 10 Tanner Strommen, .288 avg., 9 runs, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBIs
Sr. CF 20 Connor Johnson, .253 avg., 8 runs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs
Jr. RF 37 Ben Heichel, .212 avg., 8 runs, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs
Jr. DH 34 Brady Lanoue, .256 avg., 5 runs, 1 HR, 7 RBIs

Top Pitchers
So. LHP 22 John Bezdicek, 1-3 2.61 ERA, 31.0 IP, 37 K, 8 BB
So. RHP 8 Spencer Scroeder, 1-1 3.86 ERA, 15 K, 9 BB
Sr. RHP 35 Alex Jorgensen, 1-0 2.00 ERA, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 2 BB

    Southwest Minnesota State comes into the week with a 5-18 (4-14 NSIC) record. The Mustangs had their last three games against Bemidji State University cancelled due to weather. Southwest Minnesota State was swept the previous weekend by a surging Wayne State College squad.

    The Mustangs are hitting .253 on the season with 86 runs scored, 30 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 76 RBIs. Southwest Minnesota State has struck out 189 times on the season. Their bats are led by Nathan Kuhn, who is hitting .306 with 10 runs scored, five doubles, one triple, and seven RBIs. He has missed the squad’s most recent games. Tanner Strommen is batting .388 with nine runs scored and there doubles, while Jayden Fleck is hitting .286 with 16 runs scored, four doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs.

    Southwest Minnesota State has struggled on the mound this season with a 6.31 ERA with 151 strikeouts to 74 walks. Opponents are hitting .314 against the Mustangs this season. The best arm for Southwest Minnesota State this season has been John Bezdicek with a 1-3 mark and a 2.61 ERA in 31.0 innings pitched with an impressive 37 strikeouts to just eight walks. Opponents are batting just .217 against Bezdicek. Spencer Schroeder enters the week with a 1-1 mark and a 3.86 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched with 15 strikeouts and nine walks.

    The Mustangs will hit the diamond for the first time in eight days when they play Tuesday’s doubleheader.