Minnesota Crookston baseball scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to topple Saint Leo 5-2 at Thomas B. Southard Stadium in St. Leo, Fla on Monday, in its seventh game at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
The Golden Eagles (6-4) broke through in the seventh with the two teams tied 2-2, and preserved the lead thanks to a strong outing from Dalton Grose (Sr., LHP), who struck out five of seven batters faced to record his second save of the 2020 season.
UMC, which is hitting .311 for the season, continued its strong start at the plate with 15 hits. It was led by Scott Finberg (Sr., 3B), who was 2-of-5 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored. Brock Reller (Jr., OF) finished 2-of-4 with one run scored. Ben Thoma (Jr., C) went 2-of-4 with one RBI. Yadiel Ortiz (Jr., 3B/RHP) finished 1-of-3 with one RBI.
Phil Hindes (Jr., RHP) put the Golden Eagles in position to win with a strong outing on the rubber. Hindes went 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs on six hits with one strikeout.
Tyler Hegg (So., RHP) got the win for Minnesota Crookston after tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless, hitless ball, striking out three.
Minnesota Crookston got on the scoreboard in the top of the second as Finberg powered a ball over the left field fence to put the Golden Eagles ahead 1-0. They then had runners in scoring position in each of the next two innings, but were unable to push another run across.
Hindes gave up only two hits during the first four innings, but Saint Leo broke through, equalizing in the fifth on an RBI double. But UMC was quick to respond.
Thoma opened up the sixth with a single to left field, and Jake Hjelle (Fr., 1B) delivered a double to left field. While Thoma was thrown out trying to score on Hjelle’s double, Hjelle came home on a Ortiz single through the left side.
The Lions came back to tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth inning, beginning the frame with a leadoff double. The runner then advanced to third on a fielding error, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Saint Leo put a runner on second later in the inning, but Hegg entered in relief and stranded him.
Brad Morris (Jr., OF), Reller and Finberg started the seventh inning with singles to load the bases. All three ended up scoring: Thoma hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Morris, Reller came in to score on a failed pickoff attempt and Eli Jung (Jr., OF) singled to plate Finberg and push the advantage to 5-2.
Grose came in to shut down the Lions in the final two innings as Minnesota Crookston picked up the 5-2 victory.
The Golden Eagles are 5-2 at the RussMatt Invitational and have three games remaining. They are on a three-game winning streak.
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