UMC defeats St. Cloud State, 10-9, in wild extra-inning affair

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Mason Ruhlman in a game in 2019. Ruhlman hit the game-tying double and scored the winning run in Minnesota Crookston's 9-8, 11-inning win over St. Cloud State Sunday.

Mason Ruhlman's costly ninth-inning error played an integral role in St. Cloud State's five-run comeback which sent Sunday's game to extra innings. Two innings later, Ruhlman got a chance to atone.

The redshirt senior second baseman did all that and more, smashing a game-tying RBI double and later crossing the plate himself to give the Minnesota Crookston baseball team a walk-off, 11-inning, 9-8 win over the Huskies in Fort Scott, Kan.

The Golden Eagles (2-0), who bashed 21 hits in a 23-6 season-opening win over Bemidji State Saturday, got going quickly once again. Brock Reller (R-Jr., OF) drilled a two-run home run in the first inning, a lead that stood for three more frames.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, UMC walked the bases loaded, resulting in two more runs: one on a fielder's choice and the other on a passed ball. Scott Finberg (R-Sr., 3B) singled, stole second and scored on another passed ball in the sixth inning to make it 5-0.

Jake Dykhoff (Jr., RHP) had a strong debut with the Golden Eagles, striking out nine in six-plus innings, but St. Cloud State (0-2) got to UMC's bullpen with a three-run seventh inning. Reller neutralized this with his second homer of the game, a three-run bomb in the bottom half of the inning.

Tyler Hegg (So., RHP) initially looked to close the game out for UMC, but walked two batters and hit another in the ninth inning. Raudel Wilson (Fr., RHP) couldn't stop these inherited runners from scoring, and gave up a two-run, two-out shot to Lenny Walker which tied the game at eight.

In the 11th inning, the Huskies put two runners on against Alex Koep (Fr., LHP), and a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly gave them their first lead of the game. It was short-lived, however. Ruhlman drove in Will Zimmerman (R-Sr., SS), who had been hit by a pitch, to even the score once again.

Reller was intentionally walked, and Scott Finberg (3B) popped out to second. When Jake Hjelle (Fr., 1B) grounded to second, it appeared a 12th inning was imminent. But an error by the Husky second baseman allowed Ruhlman, who had been on second base, to come around and score the winning run.

Reller led the way at the plate, driving in five runs on his two homers. For the game, UMC had eight hits and drew nine walks. Koep earned the win on the mound for the Golden Eagles. 

UP NEXT: Minnesota Crookston and St. Cloud State play again Monday at 11:30 a.m.

MINNESOTA CROOKSTON ST. CLOUD STATE

St. Cloud State 0-0-0-0-0-0-3-0-5-0-1—9-10-1

Minnesota Crookston 2-0-0-0-2-1-3-0-0-0-2—10-8-1

  • WP: Alex Koep (1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
  • LP: Trevor Koenig (2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K)

The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730 or sports editor Jacob Shames at jshames@crookstontimes.com.

Follow along on Twitter @crookstonsports and @Jacob_Shames for all the latest stories and live game updates.