CARY, N.C. – Sophomore starting pitcher Jason Hoppe struck out 10 batters in Minnesota State-Mankato’s 6-0 victory against Southern New Hampshire Wednesday afternoon as the Mavericks eliminated the Penmen from the NCAA tournament.
The game against Southern New Hampshire was the second meeting between the two schools in the tournament as the Penmen beat MSU 3-2 in the opening round after the Mavericks committed five fielding errors.
However, Minnesota State-Mankato was on the other end of the fielding miscues Wednesday afternoon as this time it was the Penmen defense that committed five fielding errors which led to three unearned Maverick runs leading to the team to its 50th win this season.
Hoppe stole the show on the mound for MSU winning his eighth game of the season after fanning 10 batters while allowing six hits in a complete-game shutout. The complete game was the third for Hoppe this season while he has struck out 36 batters in his last three starts.
In his last three outings, Hoppe has pitched 27 innings while allowing just three walks and three earned runs in three Maverick victories.
The Mavericks were first to find the scoreboard taking a 1-0 lead on a bases-loaded RBI groundout by senior Ben Kincaid which drove in senior Matt Kuchenbecker for the first run of the afternoon.
Minnesota State-Mankato added two more unearned runs in the second inning as freshman catcher Nolan Johnson scored after a throwing error by Southern New Hampshire starting pitcher Junior Mendez who tried to throw out Johnson after a sacrifice bunt attempt by freshman Connor McCallum.
Junior Lucas Skjefte brought in the Mavericks second run of the inning on an RBI groundout scoring senior Jeremy Sudbeck who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning giving the Mavericks the 3-0 lead.
After adding another run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Kincaid, MSU put two more insurance runs on the board in the eighth with a pair of two-out RBI singles by Kuchenbecker and senior Pat Dockendorf.
The Mavericks were led at the plate by Dockendorf and Kincaid who each went 2-for-5 while Kincaid added two RBI.
Minnesota State pounded out 10 hits compared to just six by the Penmen while the Mavericks committed no errors for the first time in its three World Series games.