The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Baseball team continued their outstanding two-out hitting by scoring 12 of their 22 runs with two-outs as they beat the University of Sioux Falls 15-3 and 7-5 in a Northern Sun Conference double-header played in Brandon, South Dakota.
UMC has scored 51 runs with two outs this season, out of the 123 total runs. 41 percent of their runs have come with two outs this year.
GAME ONE –
UMC has jumped out to an early lead in almost every game played so far this season, and a lot of the big hits have come with two outs, and Wednesday wasn’t any different. In the top of the first inning, with one out Will Zimmerman (Sr. Park River, ND) singled with one out, and after a ground out, Zimmerman stole third before Brock Reller crushed a home run over the centerfield fence for a 2-0 lead.
Sioux Falls answered with two runs in the bottom of the first taking advantage of a four-pitch walk, a wild pitch, and a UMC error followed by a 2 rbi single, and the game was tied at 2-2 after one inning.
UMC, as they have all season long, bounced back with a big inning. Jake Hjelle (Fresh. East Grand Forks) led off with a single, Bobby Chu (Sr. Redwood City, CA) was hit by a pitch, and Eli Jung (Jr. Dickinson, ND) walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, Ben Bryant (Soph. Fargo, ND) singled to score a run. Zimmerman reached on a fielder’s choice with nobody scoring, and after a pitching change, Mason Ruhlman (Sr. Algonac, Mich) walked to score a run. Reller followed with another walk to score a run, and the Golden Eagles led 5-2. Sioux Falls was retired in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom of the inning.
UMC had some pitching control problems in the third inning with two walks, and after getting to fly outs, there were two more walks, and Sioux Falls scored a run to get within a 5-3 deficit.
After neither team scored in the fourth inning, UMC opened up the game with a big five-run fifth inning. Reller started the inning with a strikeout but reached on a passed ball. Reller stole second base before Scott Finberg (Sr. Stillwater) singled to score a run. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning, UMC started their two-out magic again as Chu singled, Jung doubled to score a run. After a pitching change, Landyn Swenson (Sr. Devils Lake, ND) walked to load the bases. Bryant followed with a walk to score another run before Zimmerman doubled to left field to score two more runs for a 10-3 lead.
UMC added some insurance runs in the sixth inning, again with two out. A pitch hit Hjelle to lead off the inning, Chu singled, and after the next two batters were retired, Hjelle stole third base and scored on an error. Bryant walked, and another run scored on another Zimmerman double for a 12-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Reller doubled to lead off the inning. A pitch hit for Finberg, and Hjelle singled to score a run. The next two UMC batters were retired but a run scored on the second out. TJ Hokanson (Jr. Chanhassen) pinch-hit and singled to right field to give UMC a 15-3 lead. After giving up a single to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, Trace Brayton (Fresh. Prentice, Wis) retired the next three Sioux Falls batters, including two strikeouts, and UMC won the game 15-3
FOR THE GAME ONE BOX SCORE, CLICK HERE
Neither team scored in the first inning, but UMC started the scoring in the top of the second. After a flyout to start the inning, Finberg was hit by a pitch, and Hjelle blasted a home run over the leftfield fence for a 2-0 Golden Eagle lead.
Sioux Falls got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run to get within a 2-1 deficit.
UMC answered in the top of the fifth inning when Landyn Swenson hit a home run over the centerfield fence for a 3-1 lead.
The Golden Eagles added some more runs in the top of the sixth inning when Finberg hit a solo home run. After the second out of the inning, Parker Stroh (Fresh. Grand Forks, ND) hit a solo home run. Jung followed with a double and scored on a Swenson double for a 6-1 lead.
Sioux Falls hit a solo home run to get within a 6-2 deficit in the bottom of the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Sioux Falls hit another solo home run to get within a 6-3 deficit.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Sioux Falls led off with a double and a single to score a run. Later in the inning, they scored another run on a ground out and got within a 6-5 deficit going into the ninth inning.
UMC struck out to lead off the inning in the ninth inning, but Zimmerman followed with a double before stealing third base. Ruhlman followed with a ground out to score Zimmerman to give the Golden Eagles an important insurance run.
UMC brought in Jake Dykhoff (Jr. Wadena) to pitch the ninth inning. Sioux Falls led off with a single, but Dykhoff struck out the next two batters, and he got the third out on a fly to right field to win the game 7-5.
FOR THE GAME TWO BOX SCORE, CLICK HERE
UMC improves to 9-0 on the year for the best start in program history and will travel to Upper Iowa on Saturday for a doubleheader, and they will play again in a single game on Sunday. Sioux Falls drops to 4-5 on the season.