No. 2 Minnesota State sweeps two from Saginaw Valley State to reach 8-1
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Second-ranked Minnesota State claimed both ends of a twinbill with Saginaw Valley State to extend its winning streak to seven games Friday afternoon in the Russ Matt Invitational at Jack Russell Stadium. MSU won the first game 14-2 and claimed Game 2 6-5 after a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
The Mavericks capitalized on a two-out error in the top of the second to race out to a 4-0 lead in Game 1. Freshman Eric Peterson plated two runs with a diamond cutter up the middle, before junior Connor McCallum crushed a two-run triple to gap in right center. Saginaw Valley answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, and MSU responded by using a RBI double by senior Todd Standish and a two-run single by senior Parker Sullivan to add three more runs in the top of the third.
Junior Max Waletich spanked a two-run double to right center in the top of the fourth extending the MSU lead to 9-1. Standish and Sullivan each drove in an additional run in the top of the sixth, before senior Stetson Olson clubbed a three-run homer down the right field line in the top of the seventh, his first of the year. The Cardinals picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh to complete the 14-2 final.
Senior Jason Hoppe improved to 3-0 and was in control throughout, striking out four while allowing seven hits, one walk and an earned run in six innings. Sophomore Matt Stojkov took the loss for SVSU, surrendering nine runs, only four earned, with one strikeout in five frames.
MSU gained a three-run lead in the bottom of the first inning of Game 2. McCallum scored on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded, before Waletich roped a two-run triple down the right field line. SVSU countered with a run in top of the second slicing the lead to 3-1 until sophomore Jon Heiderscheit drove in two runs in the bottom of the fourth with a single to left field.
Senior T.J. Larson had a strong start on the hill until the Cardinal bats came alive in the fifth and sixth innings. SVSU pushed a run across in the fifth then a two-run single by freshman Connor Foley chased Larson from the game in the sixth and reduced the Maverick lead to 5-4. The next Cardinal up drove in Foley with a single through the right side producing a 5-5 deadlock that would not be broken until the bottom of the ninth.
After Standish led off the inning with a double to left field, the senior shortstop swiped third base, and freshman Kevin Kramer stepped up with a single through the left side scoring the run and ensuring the 6-5 victory.
Junior Tyler Ockuly earned his first win of the season by retiring all nine of the 10 batters he faced, with four strikeouts, in three innings of scoreless relief. Larson finished with six strikeouts in five innings of work against five hits, five walks and four earned runs. Freshman David Freed went the distance for SVSU allowing 10 hits, six earned runs and three walks with four punchouts across eight innings.
For the day, Standish was 5-for-7with four runs, three doubles, two RBIs and a pair of stolen bases. Waletich ended 3-for-8 with four RBI, two doubles, a triple and a run scored, while Sullivan was also 3-for-8 with three RBI and a run scored.
Minnesota State is 8-1, while Saginaw Valley State is 3-5.