The University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) baseball team was unable to build off their Friday win falling 9-0 and 12-2 against St. Cloud State in a pair of NSIC games played at the UMC Baseball Field. 

GAME ONE – St. Cloud State started game one with a big inning following a two-out rally to take control of the game. Following a lead-off walk, Jayden Grover (Jr., Cooperstown, ND) tallied back-to-back strikeouts before a two-out single to center field scored the first run of the game. A single to right field off the bat of Jordan Joseph (Sr., St. Michael) plated two more runs giving the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead. Matt Quade (Jr., Paynesville) doubled down the left field line scoring Joseph and capping off St. Cloud State’s first inning with a 4-0 lead. Blake Flint (Jr., Phoenix, AZ) was dialed in on the mound for the Huskies holding Minnesota Crookston to just one hit over five innings while St. Cloud State added to its lead in the fifth inning. “He was good,” said UMC head coach Steve Gust. “He located as well as any pitcher we’ve seen this year. He was hitting his spots, he was getting calls. The bottom line is he was able to make pitches when he had to, got ahead and like I said hit a lot of spots. Like I said, he pitched a heck of a game; that’s for sure.” In the top of the fifth inning, Mitch Mallek (Sr., Plover, WI) blasted a solo home run over the center field fence pushing the Huskies’ lead to 5-0. After two errors and a single, St. Cloud State loaded the bases for Toran Shaidi (Sr., Ames, IA) who tripled to right field clearing the bases and giving the Huskies an 8-0 lead. St. Cloud State added one final run in the sixth inning as the Huskies looked the part of a nationally ranked team beating UMC 9-0 in seven innings. “We just need to be a little bit better everywhere; hitting is a piece of it,” summarized Gust. “We need to understand the adjustments we need to make if an umpire is calling a ball or two off the plate, we need to foul those pitches off and have a more aggressive mentality. A little more pep in our step. It wasn’t our best effort in this game.”

G1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
SCSU 4 0 0 0 4 1 0 9 12 0
UMC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Jayden Grover – UMC 4.1 9 8 5 1 7
Tyler Hegg – UMC 0.2 1 0 0 0 1
Henry Pesch – UMC 1.0 2 1 1 0 0
Matt Nelson – UMC 1.0 0 0 0 0 1

Griffin Fussy – 1-2
Hunter Baldwin – 1-1

GAME TWO – St. Cloud State started game two quickly with back-to-back hits opening the game before a sacrifice fly to right field plated the Huskies’ first run of the game giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. SCSU added to its lead int he second inning with a rbi double through the left side of the infield before Gaskins homered to left field with one runner on giving the visitors a 4-0 lead. St. Cloud State added one more run with a double to right center pulling ahead 5-0 before UMC started to rally. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Griffin Fussy (R-Soph., Ham Lake) singled on a bunt to start the inning before Reed Hjelle (Sr., East Grand Forks) singled through the right side of the infield putting runners on first and second base. Brock Reller (Soph., Grand Forks, ND) reached on a fielder’s choice with an out made at second base leaving runners on first and third base with one out in the inning. Ben Thoma (Soph., Clearbrook) lined out to left field plating Fussy from third base giving Minnesota Crookston its first run trimming UMC’s deficit down to 5-1. Jonathan Lund (Sr., Tolna, ND) singled to continue the inning before Scott Finberg (Jr. Stillwater) singled to left field scoring Reller and trimming UMC’s deficit down to 5-2 after four innings. St. Cloud State’s Najee Gaskins (Jr., Vail, AZ) walked to open the sixth before Jordan Joseph hit a triple to right center field scoring Gaskins from first base pushing SCSU’s lead to 6-2.  A single to right field plated another run as the Huskies’ lead grew to 7-2. A hit-by-pitch followed by a walk loaded the bases before the Huskies walked three-straight batters with the bases loaded pushing their lead to 10-2. A wild pitch plated the final run of the inning as the Huskies advantage expanded to 11-2 after six innings. A sacrifice fly hit to left field in the seventh inning pushed St. Cloud State ahead 12-2. Minnesota Crookston was unable to extend the game with one run in the eighth as St. Cloud State closed out a 12-2 win in eight innings. “I think the bats were a piece of it, but I think totally they just outplayed us in pretty much every phase of the game,” summarized UMC head coach Steve Gust. “Their pitching was better; and their hitting was better, they played better defense, even their baserunning was better I thought. We just got outperformed by one of the country’s best teams. I think it’s a good learning lesson. If we don’t come ready to play, and this not just against some of the best teams in the country, but this is against any team in the NSIC, if we don’t come ready to play we’re going to get beat soundly, and that’s exactly what happened today.”

Minnesota Crookston falls to 21-16 overall and 14-9 in conference play. UMC returns to the diamond on Wednesday when they travel to Aberdeen, SD to take on Northern State in a doubleheader starting at Noon. St. Cloud State improves to 31-7 overall and 19-5 in conference play. 

G2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
SCSU 1 3 0 1 0 6 0 1 12 12 0
UMC 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 3


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Conner Richardson – UMC 4.1 8 5 5 2 3
Aaron Hollcraft – UMC  1.0 2 3 2 1 1
Louis Gerzin – UMC 0.2 0 3 0 4 1
Esten Beneda – UMC 1.0 0 0 0 1 0
Garrett Hohn – UMC 1.0 2 1 1 0 0

Scott Finberg – 1-3, RBI