Minnesota Crookston continues one of their best starts in school history as they improved to 19-13 (12-6 NSIC) with Sunday’s victory.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. – The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team picked up the series win Sun., April 14 with a 16-8 victory over University of Mary at the Roughrider Complex in Watford City, N.D. The Golden Eagle bats came alive as they scored 16 runs on 18 hits including four home runs on the game.
Minnesota Crookston continues one of their best starts in school history as they improved to 19-13 (12-6 NSIC) with Sunday’s victory. The Golden Eagles remain in sixth place in the NSIC standings. The top eight teams at the end of the NSIC slate advance to the NSIC Tournament in St. Cloud, Minn. Minnesota Crookston has made two of the last three conference tournaments.
The Golden Eagles need six wins to tie their school-record of 25 wins in a season set during the 2016 season. Minnesota Crookston is also six conference victories from tying their all-time NSIC wins mark set during the 2016 campaign.
UMary falls to 12-20 (8-12 NSIC) with Sunday’s loss.
Minnesota Crookston was paced by two home runs by Brock Reller (So., OF, Grand Forks, N.D.), one from Reed Hjelle (Sr., 1B, East Grand Forks, Minn.), and one from Mason Ruhlman (Jr., 2B, Algonac, Mich.). Hjelle and Reller each launched three-run home runs for the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston has an impressive 28 home runs, as they are showcasing their power with a .416 slugging percentage on the season.
Graeme Cherry (Jr., LHP, Millarville, Alberta) picked up the win in relief as he shutout the Marauders over two innings of relief on just four hits with a strikeout.
Conner Richardson (Fr., RHP, Grand Forks, N.D.) made his second career start and went four innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts.
Louis Gerzin (Sr., RHP, Ely, Minn.) allowed no earned runs on one hit in an inning of work, while Dalton Grose (R-So., LHP, Waterville, Minn.) put up a zero in one inning on just one walk and no hits.
The loss went to Zach Martin, who allowed six runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 4.2 innings. Quentin Evers allowed four earned runs on three hits and three walks. The Marauders were led by Will Karrer and Alec DeMaria, who shut down Minnesota Crookston in one inning apiece on the bump.
The Golden Eagles were guided by Reller, who was 3-of-6 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. Landyn Swenson (Jr., OF, Devils Lake, N.D.) continued a strong series, as he went 3-of-6 with three runs scored and an RBI. Hjelle was 1-of-3 with a run scored and three RBIs. Scott Finberg (Jr., 3B, Stillwater, Minn.) finished 3-of-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Griffin Fussy (R-So., SS, Ham Lake, Minn.) went 3-of-6 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Marauders were guided by Jesus Payan, who was 4-of-5 with five RBIs and a run scored. Connor Coll finished the day 3-of-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
UMary got going in the first when Payan singled through the right side to plate Doll as they took a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles overtook the Marauders 2-1 with a two-run shot by Reller to drive in himself and Swenson.
The Marauders took the lead back 3-2 in the bottom of the third as Payan continued his big day with a single to center field, driving in Jaxon Ford and William Kranz.
UMary pushed their lead out to 4-2 in the fourth as Doll put down a bunt single, driving in Chris Scott.
The Golden Eagles countered as they put together a big fifth inning, scoring eight runs. Jonathan Lund (Sr., 1B/3B, Tolna, N.D.) got the frame going with a sacrifice fly to plate Ben Thoma (So., C/SS, Clearbrook, Minn.). Finberg then delivered a single through the left side to bring in Reller and knot the game up 4-4. A Ruhlman double to left field drove in Finberg as Minnesota Crookston took the lead back 5-4. Fussy built on the big inning with a single up the middle to score Ruhlman and extend the lead to 6-4. Swenson then came through with a double to plate Fussy.
Minnesota Crookston pushed the lead out to 10-4 as Hjelle put his team-leading ninth home run over the center field fence, driving in himself, Swenson, and Bryce Jorgenson (Jr., UT, Thunder Bay, Ontario).
The Golden Eagles added to their lead in the sixth when Finberg crossed the dish on a wild pitch, making their advantage 11-4.
Minnesota Crookston had another crooked number in the seventh. Thoma opened up the scoring with a single down the line to bring home Jorgenson. With the score now 12-4, Reller belted his second home run of the game and his seventh of the season, plating himself, Thoma, and Swenson and pushing the lead to 15-4.
UMary cut the deficit to 15-6 as Kranz reached on a fielding error, allowing Nick McCann and Travis Stevens to score.
The Golden Eagles pushed their advantage out to 16-6 as Ruhlman crushed a solo home run over the right field fence.
UMary cut the lead to 16-8 in the eighth with a two-run Payan home run. However, the Marauders would be unable to cut further into their deficit as Minnesota Crookston won 16-8.
The Golden Eagles were slated to play Southwest Minnesota State University on the road Tues., April 16, but the series is likely being moved to Crookston, Minn., and the UMC Baseball Field at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., pending final approvals from administrators and the conference office.