No. 3 Minnesota State-Mankato splits doubleheader with Mary
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Third-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to drop Game 1 2-1 before bouncing back with a 14-2 victory via the 10-run rule in the second affair as it split with host Mary in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action at the U-Mary Baseball Complex.
MSU's third consecutive split moves it to 24-7 overall and 12-4 in NSIC play, while the Marauders now stand 9-21 on the year with a 4-10 ledger in league action.
The first contest featured a pitchers dual between MSU junior righthander Mathias Butala and U-Mary junior southpaw Michael Vollrath. MSU placed runners in scoring position in the first and third innings before breaking through in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to center by sophomore Taylor Branstad scoring junior Connor McCallum.
Minnesota State placed two runners in scoring position in the fifth inning and loaded the bases in the seventh but was unable to add any insurance runs leaving the door open for the Marauders in the bottom half. Two Butala strikeouts bookended a pair of U-Mary singles and stolen bases putting runners at second and third with two down. The junior righthander induced a groundout back to the mound but a throwing error scored both U-Mary runners ending the contest, 2-1. Butala (2-2) registered a career-high 12 strikeouts while allowing just four hits and two unearned runs.
Game 2 saw MSU claim a three-run lead after two innings of play. The Mavericks struck twice in the top of the first as junior Nolan Johnson collected a RBI single, before senior Todd Standish touched home on a double steal. Johnson picked up another RBI with a sacrifice in the second.
The Mavericks blew the game open in the top of the fourth with a nine-run inning kick started by three MSU runs off two hits to begin the inning. Then freshman Eric Peterson clubbed a two-run double down the left field, before senior Parker Sullivan tagged a RBI double of his own. Standish completed the outburst with a three-run bomb to left field, his third of the season.
U-Mary answered back with a pair of runs in its half of the fourth, but MSU came right back with a pair in the top of the sixth to cement the 14-2 final.
Junior righthander Joey Reed (1-0) earned his first win with MSU in his first start scattering six hits, two earned runs and one walk during four innings. Freshmen Lucas Henning, Mitchell Bauer and Michael Hadden each tossed an inning of scoreless relief to secure the win.