18th-ranked Augie baseball team hosts SMSU for 2
Vikes go for sweep of Mustangs after walk-off win in game one
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The Augustana baseball team moved to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the NSIC with a doubleheader split with SMSU Thursday night. The Vikings walked the Mustangs off 4-3 in game one and fell 10-8 in game two.
Senior righty Parker Hanson got the start for the Vikings in game one and delivered a strong outing. The senior threw 4.2 innings and allowed just one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts. Junior righty Evan Furst relieved Hanson with 1.1 innings of shutout baseball.
Augustana got off to an early lead in the bottom of the first, tallying two runs on Mustang wild pitches. The Vikings took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth after junior catcher Will Olson smoked an RBI double down the left field line to score junior outfielder Jaxon Rosencranz. Rosencranz singled to start the frame.
Down 3-0, the Mustangs clawed their way back into the game with a run in the top of the fifth and a two-out rally in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 3-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore outfielder Ben Ihrke walked, junior infielder JT Mix earned an infield single and sophomore outfielder Carter Howell walked to load the bases for senior outfielder Riley Johnson. Johnson launched a ball to the left field warning track, nearly hitting a walk-off grand slam, however, the left fielder caught the ball and Johnson settled for the walk-off sacrifice fly, giving the Vikings the 4-3 victory.
Overall, Johnson collected two hits in the game while Howell, Rosencranz, Olson and Mix all settled for one apiece.
The Vikings fell in game two by a score of 10-8. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the second, Augustana scratched a run across on a passed ball to cut the lead in half. In the top of the fifth, the Mustangs notched another run to push the score to 3-1.
After having his 20 game hitting-streak snapped in the previous game, junior NSIC Preseason Player of the Year Jordan Barth came to the plate with two runners on in the bottom of the fifth and sent a three-run homer down the left field line to give Augustana a 4-3 lead.
The lead, however, was short lived, as the Mustangs scored four runs in the top of the sixth and three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 10-4 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Vikings attempted to mount a comeback. Barth came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and added a monster grand slam to his already impressive day to bring the score to 10-8. The Mustangs, however, recorded the final out without allowing another run to secure the victory.
Offensively, Augustana received three hits from Barth, two from senior shortstop Sam Baier and one apiece from Howell and Johnson.
The Vikings continue their homestand this weekend with a three-game series against the Beavers of Minot State. First pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with Sunday’s game three scheduled to start at noon.
Recap courtesy Augustana Athletics
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