Augie and Crookston split in baseball doubleheader

Vikes hand Crookston first loss in NSIC baseball
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 11:23 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The Augustana baseball team moved to 10-4 overall and 6-4 in the NSIC with a doubleheader split against Minnesota Crookston Tuesday afternoon. The Golden Eagles entered Tuesday undefeated at 12-0, before falling 13-8 in game one. Crookston took game two by a score of 9-5.

Game One

The Viking offense got going early in game one. Senior outfielder Riley Johnson reached base via a bunt single in the bottom of the second, stole second base and then advanced to third on an error. Senior shortstop Sam Baier then drove Johnson in with a lined shot to center field for the first run of the day. Junior catcher Will Olson followed with a solo home run to left-center field to make it 2-0 Augustana.

Already up 2-0, the Vikings put up an eight spot in the bottom of the third to balloon their advantage to 10-0. In the frame, sophomore outfielder Carter Howell singled, stole a base and then scored on an error, junior infielder Jordan Barth notched an RBI single and Baier drove in a run with a groundout for a 5-0 lead.

Senior infielder Christian Kuzemka then smoked a two-run homer to left center for a 7-0 lead. Olson, the very next hitter, made it back-to-back jacks with a longball down the left field line. Later in the inning, freshman catcher Drey Dirksen laced an RBI triple past the Crookston left fielder and then came around to score on a steal of home while Howell stole second.

The Golden Eagles pushed two across in the top half off the fourth but Augustana countered with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

In the bottom of the fifth, junior outfielder Jaxon Rosencranz singled up the middle, stole second and then stole third, before scoring on an RBI single by Howell. In the bottom of the sixth, Johnson scored on an RBI single off the bat of Baier. Baier came around to score the thirteenth and final run of the day for Augustana on an RBI double from freshman infielder Tate Meiners.

Minnesota Crookston scored four times in the top of the sixth and twice in the top of the seventh to bring the final score to 13-8.

Overall, Augustana received two hits apiece from Howell, Johnson, Kuzemka and Olson. Barth, Baier, Meiners, Rosencranz and Dirksen all finished with one to bring the Vikings hit total to 13.

The Vikings also wreaked havoc on the basepaths with three steals from Rosencranz, two apiece from Howell and Johnson and one apiece from Baier and Dirksen.

On the mound, junior lefty Jed Schmidt got the start and tossed four innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts.

Game Two

After starting game one with a 10-0 lead, the Vikings started game two down 5-0 after the top of the first.

In the bottom half of the frame, Howell singled and came around to score as Barth blasted a two-run homer to left-center to move the score to 5-2.

The Golden Eagles, however, didn’t let up and scored once in the bottom of the second and twice in the bottom of the fourth.

Down 8-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Rosencranz launched a solo homer to left field, his third big fly of the season. The Vikings then inched closer in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single off the bat of Johnson after Barth doubled down the left field line with two outs.

In the bottom of the eighth, Howell pushed the score to 8-5 with an RBI single. Minnesota Crookston, however, responded with a solo homer in the top of the ninth and held the Vikings scoreless in the bottom half of the frame for the 9-5 victory.

Offensively, Howell and Barth notched three hits apiece, Olson had two and Johnson, Kuzemka and Rosencranz had one apiece.

On the mound, freshman righty Caleb Kranz impressed with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief while conceding just two hits with eight strikeouts.

Up Next

The Vikings hit the road for a 10-game road trip, starting Friday with a three-game series against the Bemidji State Beavers.

Recap courtesy Augustana Athletics

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