The University of Minnesota Crookston baseball team picked up its offense after struggling in game one, with a 3-2 loss, to bounce back for a win in game two, 11-7, in a doubleheader against the University of Mary in a pair of NSIC games played at the Rough Rider Center in Watford City, North Dakota. 

GAME ONE – The University of Mary got off to a quick start with a double to center field plating the Marauders first run of the game giving the hosts a 1-0 lead. Minnesota Crookston answered back in the top of the third inning when Scott Finberg (Jr., Stillwater) drove a solo home run over the right centerfield fence tying the game at 1-1. UMary regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning after UMary’s first batter of the inning was hit by a pitch before a single into left field put runners on first and second base. A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners before a second straight groundout plated the runner at third base giving the University of Mary a 2-1 lead. A triple to right field concluded the inning’s scoring giving the hosts a 3-1 lead. The Golden Eagles rallied to back within one run in the top of the sixth inning. Brock Reller (Soph., Grand Forks, ND) doubled to right centerfield leading off the inning before Travis Conoryea (R-Soph., Inver Grove Heights) singled to left centerfield, plating Reller from second base and trimming UMC’s deficit down to 3-2. A strikeout and ground out ended Minnesota Crookston’s threat in the sixth inning as UMary remained ahead 3-2 heading into the seventh inning. UMC was unable to put another runner in scoring position in the seventh inning as the Marauders closed out a 3-2 win in game one. 

G1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
UMC 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 6 2
UMary 1 0 0 0 2 0 X 3 5 1


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Zach Rustad – UMC 5.0 5 3 3 3 5
Louis Gerzin – UMC 1.0 0 0 0 0 2

Scott Finberg – 1-2, HR, RBI, run


GAME TWO – Minnesota Crookston matched its first game offensive production in just one inning to start game two. In the top of the first inning, Landyn Swenson (Jr., Devils Lake, ND) singled to open the game before Reed Hjelle (Sr., East Grand Forks) blasted a home run over the left field fence giving the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the first inning. The University of Mary responded in the bottom of the first inning with a 3-run home run pushing the home side in front 3-2 after one inning. Minnesota Crookston took control of the game in the third inning. After a ground out to start the inning, Brock Reller (Soph., Grand Forks, ND) reached on an infield single before Bobby Chu (Jr., Redwood City, CA) walked putting runners at first and second base. Scott Finberg (Jr., Stillwater) reached on a fielder’s choice with Reller being thrown out at third base for the second out of the inning. After a Griffin Fussy (R-Soph., Ham Lake) walk loaded the bases, an error by UMary’s second baseman on a ground ball allowed Chu to score from third base while the bases remained loaded. Landyn Swenson provided the exclamation point of the inning connecting on a grand slam over the left-center field fence giving the Golden Eagles a 7-3 lead. Reed Hjelle followed with his second home run of the game as Minnesota Crookston took an 8-3 lead after three innings. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Marauders took one run back to pull within 8-4 after six innings. The Golden Eagles added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. Ben Thoma (Soph., Clearbrook) Singled to left field to start the inning before a Brock Reller single put runners on first and second base. After a groundout moved both runners into scoring position, Griffin Fussy singled up the middle plating Thoma and Reller pushing UMC’s lead to 10-4 after seven innings. With Bryce Jorgenson (Jr., Thunder Bay, Ontario) on second base following a walk and balk, Jonathan Lund (Sr., Tolna, ND) singled to centerfield allowing Minnesota Crookston’s lead to expand to 11-4 after eight innings. The Golden Eagles were able to close out the game in the ninth inning, despite a UMary three-run home run that pulled the Marauders within four runs as UMC closed out an 11-7 win. 

Minnesota Crookston improves to 18-13 overall and 11-6 in NSIC play. The Golden Eagles wrap up their three-game series against UMary in Watford City, ND on Sunday with a single game starting at 11 a.m. The University of Mary falls to 12-19 overall and 8-11 in conference play.

G2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
UMC 2 0 6 0 0 0 2 1 0 11 10 2
UMary 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 7 11 4


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Jayden Grover – UMC 5.0 6 3 3 3 8
Garrett Hohn – UMC 0.2 0 0 0 0 1
Aaron Hollcraft – UMC 1.1 4 1 1 1 1
Louis Gerzin – UMC 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
Esten Beneda – UMC 0.2 1 3 3 2 1
Matt Nelson – UMC 0.0 0 0 0 1 0
Dalton Grose – UMC 0.1 0 0 0 0 0

Reed Hjelle – 3-4, 2 HRs, 3 RBI, 2 runs, walk
Landyn Swenson – 2-4, 4 RBI, 2 runs
Brock Reller, 2-4, run, walk