Minnesota Crookston improves to 23-18 overall (16-11 NSIC).
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The University of Minnesota Crookston was back in action on Friday afternoon for a doubleheader with the Beavers of Bemidji State.
The Golden Eagles were looking to rebound after getting swept on Wednesday at the hands of Northern State. Steve Gust’s squad rebounded nicely and earned the sweep over the Beavers 6-4 and 8-5.
The Golden Eagles are two win one shy of tying the school record for conference wins at 18. The Golden Eagles are 23-18 overall (16-11 NSIC). The Beavers fall to 6-32 (5-21 NSIC).
Zach Rustad (Sr., LHP, Blaine, Minn.) earned the start on the hill and after allowing a run in the bottom of the first, settled into a nice groove, picking up his sixth win of season.
The Beavers got off to a great start, scoring a run on a Kyle Nelson RBI single that scored Wyatt White.
Nelson would be at it again with yet another RBI single to put the Beavers up 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning, which scored Isaiah Grancorvitz.
It would take a while for the Golden Eagles to get going, but it would be just in time. The top of the order has been really good for the Golden Eagles and that proved to be the fact again today as Brock Reller (So., OF, Grand Forks, N.D.) hit a three-run home run to score Reed Hjelle (Sr., 1B, East Grand Forks, N.D.) and Bryce Jorgenson (Jr., UT, Thunder Bay, Ontario), to put the Golden Eagles up 3-2.
Minnesota Crookston would score the next three runs to go up 6-2, highlighted by a Griffin Fussy (R-so., SS, Ham Lake, Minn.) double that scored two and a Mason Ruhlman (Jr., 2B, Muskegon, Mich.) single that scored Reller, his second of the game.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Beavers didn’t make it easy on Golden Eagle closer Dalton Grose (R-so., LHP, Waterville, Minn.). The Beavers cut the lead to three on a bases load walk with zero outs. Grose would do what he has done all season and that is come up clutch. Grose would get Jackson Back to ground into a double-play and would strike out the next Beaver hitter to pick up his 10th save of the season.
Rustad went 5.1 innings while allowing two runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking four.
Offensively, the Golden Eagles were led by Reller, who finished the day going 4-4 while driving in three and scoring two runs. Ruhlman and Fussy also collected two hits on the day. Minnesota Crookston had 11 hits and left 10 runners on base.
The Golden Eagles bats continued to stay hot in game two.
Reller drove in the opening run with a triple to the right centerfield gap that scored Hjelle. Hjelle would score three more runs in game two, bringing his season total to 39.
The Beavers would answer right back with two straight runs, one in both the first and second inning, to take the lead 2-1.
Jonathan Lund (Sr., 3B, Tolna, N.D.) singled right back up the middle to score Hjelle to knot the game up at two apiece.
The Golden Eagles would continue the hot hitting in the fourth, scoring five runs to break the game wide open and lead 7-2.
The five run inning was started by a Landyn Swenson (Jr., OF, Devils Lake, N.D.) two RBI single to put the Golden Eagles up 4-2. The Golden Eagles would score three more times in the fourth to lead 7-2.
Much like they did in the first game, BSU would score one run each in the fifth and sixth innings to cut the lead to 7-4.
Minnesota Crookston added a big insurance run in the top of the eighth inning, after Jorgenson scored on a wild pitch to put the Golden Eagles up 8-4.
The Beavers would get that run back in the bottom of the eighth, but would go down quietly after Grose picked up yet another save, his 11th of the season.
Jayden Grover (Jr., RHP, Cooperstown, N.D.) was solid on the bump today. The junior righty went 6.0 innings while allowing four runs on eight hits, while striking out three and walking two, and picked up the win, his fifth of the season. Louis Gerzin (Sr., RHP, Ely, Minn.) and Grose came in and closed out the game for the Golden Eagles.
Minnesota Crookston was led offensively by Jorgenson and Reller, who each had three hits on the day, while Hjelle and Swenson had two hits. Swenson had two RBI’s in game two. The Golden Eagles had 15 hits as a team.
With the sweep, the Golden Eagles continue the push to St. Cloud and pick up their 15th and 16th wins of the conference season.
These two teams will finish up their four game weekend set tomorrow afternoon at 12 and 3 p.m., from Bemidji, Minn. The final game will be a non-conference seven inning game.