Golden Eagles beat Winona State, 14-9, continue undefeated start

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Mason Ruhlman during a game in 2019. Ruhlman went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs in Minnesota Crookston's 14-9 win over Winona State Sunday.

Behind another strong day at the plate, the Minnesota Crookston baseball team took down Winona State, 14-9, Sunday afternoon in Winona to start conference play with a sweep.

The Golden Eagles (7-0, 3-0 NSIC) kept their record start going, as they are undefeated through seven games for the first time in their history as a Division II program. They also kept their streak of scoring at least 10 runs in every game going.

In the early stages, Winona State had an answer for everything. Scott Finberg's two-run single in the first inning got UMC going, but the Warriors answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame. Mason Ruhlman homered in the third inning, but Carson Brinkman's triple pulled Winona State back within 3-2.

Baserunning powered the Golden Eagles' four-run fourth inning. They stole four bases and scored runs on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Ruhlman had the only base hit in the frame, a two-RBI double to center that made it 7-2.

But the Warriors responded, scoring two runs in the fourth and fifth innings and three runs in the sixth. Derek Baumgartner's game-tying triple made up for a solo home run by Finberg in the fifth and an RBI by Will Zimmerman, equalizing at nine.

In the seventh inning, Minnesota Crookston took the lead on Ruhlman's RBI single, and Finberg and Jake Hjelle both drove RBI doubles to push the lead to 13-9. This time, Winona State had no answers. Jackson Schneider, who pitched the last 3.2 innings, gave up just two hits and no earned runs to close out the game.

UMC was outhit by the Warriors, 15-9, but made up for it with plate discipline, drawing 12 walks. The Golden Eagles also had three hit-by-pitches and stole eight bases, including three by Hjelle.

Finberg went 3-for-4 with six RBIs, falling a triple short of hitting for the cycle. Ruhlman went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Hjelle also had a multi-hit day.

UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles will remain on the road, as they head to Sioux Falls, S.D. to take on the University of Sioux Falls with a doubleheader March 24.

MINNESOTA CROOKSTON 14, WINONA STATE 9

Minnesota Crookston 2-0-1-4-2-0-4-0-1—14-9-1

Winona State 1-0-1-2-2-3-0-0-0—9-15-2

  • WP: Joey Greco (0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K)
  • LP: Justin Firpo (1.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K)

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