The University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle Baseball program improved to 12-0 on the year with a 10-6 victory over the Upper Iowa Peacocks in a Northern Sun Conference game in Fayette, Iowa.
UMC got on the board in the second inning when Scott Finberg (Sr. Stillwater) walked, and Jake Hjelle (Fresh. East Grand Forks) hit a two-run home run for a 2-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles added more runs in the top of the third inning. Landyn Swenson (Sr. Devils Lake) reached on an error. Ben Bryant (Soph. Fargo, ND) walked before he was picked off for the first out of the inning. After an infield fly-out, UMC was looking for another big two-out rally. Mason Ruhlman (Sr. Algonac, Mich) followed with a walk, and after a pitching change, Brock Reller (Jr. Grand Forks, ND) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Finberg drew a walk to score a run for a 3-0 lead. Upper Iowa had another pitching change, and Hjelle took advantage of the new pitcher with a double down the leftfield lie to score two runs, and the Golden Eagles led 5-0.
Upper Iowa had a big inning in the bottom of the fifth inning. The inning got off to a great start for the Peacocks with a leadoff solo home run. Upper Iowa added five more runs on four hits and took a 6-5 lead.
UMC tied the game in the top of the sixth inning when Hjelle hit his second home run of the game, this time a solo home run, to tie the game at 6-6.
The Golden Eagles regained the lead in the top of the eighth inning when Landyn Swenson led off the inning with a walk. After a strikeout, Will Zimmerman (Sr. Park River, ND) doubled down the left-field line to score a run for a 7-6 lead. Zimmerman advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a Ruhlman single up the middle for an 8-6 lead.
UMC added some insurance runs in the ninth inning. Hjelle continued his solid day with a leadoff single and was followed by a Parker Stroh (Fresh. Grand Forks, ND) home run for a 10-6 lead.
Upper Iowa didn’t score in the bottom of the ninth inning, and UMC held on for the 10-6 victory.
UMC was led offensively by Jake Hjelle, who was 3 for 5 with two home runs, five rbi’s, and three runs scored. Parker Stroh was 2 for 2 with a home run, 2 rbi’s, and a run scored. The late relievers came up big for UMC, with Tyler Hegg (Soph. Thompson, ND), Garret Hohn (Sr. Wausau, Wis), and Brody Sorenson (Fresh. Grand Forks, ND) combining for 4.2 shutout innings while only giving up one hit to solidify the Golden Eagle victory.
UMC improves to 12-0 on the year. UMC’s schedule will get a little tougher now as they will travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Tuesday to take on the 9-3 Augustana Vikings in a Northern Sun Conference doubleheader. Augustana will be the second team the Golden Eagles have played this season with a winning record (Winona State). Upper Iowa drops to 3-8 on the year.