Minnesota Crookston used three runs in the sixth inning of Game 1 and six runs in the fourth inning of Game 2 to upend the Beavers.

CROOKSTON - The goal for any team is to play their best baseball at the end of the season, and the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles used that philosophy to put up a total of 16 runs in a doubleheader sweep over the Minot State Beavers (32-16, 24-10 NSIC).

    The Golden Eagles (28-19, 19-12 NSIC) trailed by multiple runs in each contest, used two big innings to come from behind and ended their regular season with 7-5 and 9-4 wins.

    "We wanted to be a fundamentally sound baseball team," Golden Eagles Head Coach Steve Gust said. "I thought through both games we accomplished that. We were fundamentally sound, and we competed."

Game 1

    Minnesota Crookston came back from two down twice, Dalton Grose (R-So. LHP) broke the school single season record for saves, 13, and the Golden Eagles downed the Minot State Beavers 7-5.

    At one point, the Golden Eagles trailed 5-3 in the fifth inning. An RBI fielder’s choice cut the lead in half in the fifth, and a Reed Hjelle (Sr. 1B) solo shot knotted the game up at five an inning later. With runners on first and second and one down, Mason Ruhlman (Jr. 2B) split the gap in right center scoring two to cap off a three run inning and awarded Minnesota Crookston with a 7-5 advantage.

    "We're very capable one through nine," Gust said. "Sometimes you get the job done, sometimes you don't. The key is to be consistent at the plate as far as our mindset and our approach. I thought, today, we were good all day with our approaches."

    Grose worked a clean seventh inning, stranded one runner at third, and Scott Finberg (Jr. 3B) sealed the win with a diving catch.

    Originally scheduled to be a three-game series with a doubleheader on Friday, rain forced the twin bill to be moved to Saturday with the third game being cancelled.  

    The teams played through one out on Friday before the postponement.

    Jayden Grover (Jr. RHP) took over for Zach Rustad (Sr. LHP) when the game resumed and inherited a man on third with one out situation. An out away from escaping the inning, Darrel Doll (Sr. 2B) lined a double down the right field line for a 1-0 lead. The Beavers managed to tack on one more on a passed ball in the second.

    The Golden Eagles stranded men on second and third in the first but made up for it in the third courtesy of a bases-loaded walk to Griffin Fussy (R-So. SS) and a two-RBI single by Hjelle. All occurred with two outs, and Minnesota Crookston boasted a 3-2 advantage.

    Doll burned the Golden Eagles for a second time in the fifth when the senior drove in the tying run which chased Grover from the game. Louis Gerzin (Sr. RHP) came in for relief and retired the side, but not before a go-ahead sac-fly and an RBI single form Wyatt Schlosser (Sr. 1B) made it a 5-3 game.

    The Beavers brought in Jack Gamba (Sr. RHP) to preserve the lead, but the senior lost the save opportunity following Hjelle's lead-off homer and eventually earned the loss.

    Gerzin went on to earn the win and improved his season record to 4-1.The win also served as the 100th for the Golden Eagles' senior class.

Game 2

    The Golden Eagles used a six-run fourth inning to come back for the second time in two games and completed a doubleheader sweep over the Minot State Beavers by a 9-4 final.

    The Beavers led 4-0 in the fourth, but their defense unraveled and Minnesota Crookston took advantage. After Bryce Jorgenson (Jr. LF) led off the inning with a double, Fussy hit a ground ball to short, but Minot State failed to record an out as Ryley Humringhouse (Jr. SS) attempted to throw out Jorgenson advancing to third.

    Hjelle brought in Jorgenson on a sacrifice fly, and Zach Newman (So. LHP) walked the next two hitters to load the bases. Ben Thoma (So. C) slapped a single to center to score two, and a throwing error by Dillon Buckmeier (R-Fr. CF) allowed the tying run, Hunter Baldwin (Sr. DH), to score.

    The call on the field was Baldwin out at home trying to advance on the throwing error, but the umpires ruled the ball went out of play making the call at the plate a moot point.

    A Finberg RBI double scored Thoma, and an RBI groundout by Landyn Swenson (Jr. CF) completed the offensive explosion as Minnesota Crookston took a 6-4 lead.

    Matt Nelson (Fr. RHP) started the game for the Golden Eagles, lasted three innings and allowed four runs. Four different Minnesota Crookston pitchers followed Nelson and combined for six one-hit, shutout innings.

    "They attacked the zone, and they all did it too," Gust said. "It was a total team effort. We threw a lot of pitchers out there, we wanted to get them ready for the tournament, but I couldn't have scripted it much better from a pitching standpoint."

    The win went to Henry Pesch (Jr. RHP) who moves to 3-1.

    The Golden Eagles plated three more in the final five innings including an RBI single by Hjelle, who went 5-for-6 in both games and tallied five RBIs.

    "Today and even all week was a big week for us as far as getting us to play our best baseball," Gust said. "I thought on the mound, at the plate, in the field, we played some pretty good baseball. We're eager to start Wednesday. The playoffs are a whole new level. Hopefully, we accept that challenge and step up to where we need to be."

    Sixth in the NSIC, Minnesota Crookston ends their regular season on a three-game win streak and will play St. Cloud State in the first game of the NSIC Tournament on Wednesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. in St. Cloud.

Game 1 Box Score

Minot State 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 5 6 1 Minnesota Crookston 0 3 0 0 1 3 X 7 8 2 Minot State AB R H RBI BB K LOB Trevaun Smith (CF) 2 2 0 0 2 1 1 Ryley Humringhouse (SS) 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 Michael Borst (RF) 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 Darrel Doll (2B) 4 1 2 2 0 0 0 Celestino Rodriguez (DH) 3 0 0 1 0 1 2 Wyatt Schlosser (1B) 2 1 2 1 1 0 0 Mason Gifford (C) 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 Dillon Buckmeier (LF) 2 0 0 0 0 2 0     Jake Collins (PH/LF) 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 Tyler Wiltshire (3B) 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 Pitchers IP H R ER BB K Andres Hackman 1.2 4 3 3 1 3 RJ Martinez 2.1 1 0 0 2 6 Reilly O'Rourke 0.1 0 1 1 2 0 Aaron Kern 0.2 0 0 0 1 1 Jack Gamba (L, 3-3) 1.0 3 3 3 1 1 Minnesota Crookston AB R H RBI BB K LOB Bryce Jorgenson (CF) 3 0 1 0 1 2 0 Griffin Fussy (SS) 3 0 1 1 1 2 3 Reed Hjelle (1B) 2 1 2 3 1 0 0 Brock Reller (RF) 3 1 0 0 1 2 3 Jonathan Lund (DH) 2 0 0 0 0 1 2     Travis Conoryea (PH/DH) 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 Ben Thoma (C) 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 Mason Ruhlman (2B) 2 0 1 2 0 1 0 Scott Finberg (3B) 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 Landyn Swenson (CF) 3 1 0 1 0 2 3 Pitchers IP H R ER BB K Zach Rustad 0.1 0 1 1 1 0 Jayden Grover 4.0 5 4 4 2 6 Louis Gerzin (W, 4-1) 1.2 1 0 0 0 2 Dalton Grose (S. 13) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0

Game 2 Box Score

Minot State 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 1 Minnesota Crookston 0 0 0 6 1 0 0 2 X 9 12 0 Minot State AB R H RBI BB K LOB Dillon Buckmeier (CF) 3 1 1 0 0 2 0     Trevaun Smith (PH/CF) 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 Wyatt Schlosser (LF) 4 1 1 1 0 1 0 Michael Borst (RF) 3 1 0 1 1 0 0 Darrel Doll (2B) 4 1 3 2 0 0 0 Celestino Rodriguez (1B) 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 Mason Gifford (C) 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 Andrew Black (DH) 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 Ryley Humringhouse (SS) 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 Tyler Wiltshire (3B) 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 Pitchers IP H R ER BB K Zach Newman (L, 4-1) 4.1 4 6 5 2 5 Matt Sartwell 0.2 2 1 1 0 0 Aaron Bernal 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 Reilly O'Rourke 1.1 3 2 2 1 1 RJ Martinez 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 Minnesota Crookston AB R H RBI BB K LOB Bryce Jorgenson (LF) 5 1 2 1 0 1 1 Griffin Fussy (SS) 5 1 0 0 0 1 2 Reed Hjelle (1B) 4 1 3 2 0 1 0 Brock Reller (RF) 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 Hunter Baldwin (DH) 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 Ben Thoma (C) 4 1 1 1 0 1 2 Mason Ruhlman (2B) 4 2 2 0 0 1 0 Scott Finberg (3B) 4 0 2 1 0 1 0 Landyn Swenson (CF) 2 1 1 1 1 1 0 Pitchers IP H R ER BB K Matt Nelson 3.0 5 4 4 2 2 Henry Pesch (W, 3-1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 Zach Rustad 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 Conner Richardson 3.0 0 0 0 0 3 Dalton Grose 1.0 1 0 0 0 0

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