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USF Baseball Swept At Mary

Coo fall 8-6 & 8-4
Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (Dakota News Now) - The University of Sioux Falls Baseball Team (7-10, 3-10 NSIC) dropped a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference decisions to U-Mary (8-7, 6-4 NSIC) on Saturday. USF lost, 8-6 and 8-4.

In fact, USF lost the three games to Mary by a total of eight runs (6-4, 8-6 and 8-4) and led at one point in all three games. USF will look to end a three-game slide when they travel to Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D., on Wednesday, April 7 for a mid-week doubleheader.

Breaking Down the 3-game series --- Despite three close losses, USF had several positive things including a career-first grand slam from Ryan Bernardy and Tyler Cate’s first-career HR. In addition, USF hit .287 as a team with 27 hits in 94 at bats and 14 runs scored. The Cougars hit three home runs (Tyler CateRyan Bernardy and Grant Lung). The Cougars slugged .468 with a .414 OBP and had a .925 fielding percentage on seven errors. Freshman second baseman Tyler Cate had a big series and hit .545 with six hits in 11 at bats and two runs scored with a home run and two RBI. He had a .909 slugging mark and .643 OBP while fielding 1.000. Cate, who had a team-best 10 total bases, moved his average to a team-best .320 with his resurgence this weekend. Jared Binsfield hit .500 as did Kyle Gulbrandson as both players had three hits in six trips. Tyler Blackburn hit .375 with three hits while Zane Butts hit .364 with four hits. Ryan Bernardy had a team-best four RBI with his grand slam which was his 16th career homer (4th all-time at USF) and a team-best fifth of the season. With this weekend’s performance, USF improved its batting average to .267 and OBP to .383. The Cougars now have 40 stolen bases, 135 hits, 102 runs and 27 doubles with six triples and 11 home runs in 17 games.

On the mound USF had a 7.77 earned run average with 19 earned runs allowed on 22 hits with 20 strikeouts against 14 walks. Matt Graham had a solid start in game one and had the best earned run average at 2.57 with five hits allowed in seven innings with three strikeouts.

Game 1 – Mary 8 Sioux Falls 6

Despite three hits from Jared Binsfield, two by Tyler Cate and a grand slam from Ryan Bernardy, the Cougars dropped an 8-6 decision in the opener of a doubleheader.

USF fell behind 4-1 but rallied on Bernardy’s grand slam and took the lead in the sixth inning when Connor King scored on a wild pitch. However, U-Mary scored three runs, although just one was earned, in the sixth inning for the 8-6 lead and then held off USF in the seventh inning.

Bernardy hit his 16th career home run (4th all-time at USF, DII era) and fifth of the season. Case had two hits a run scored and RBI while Binsfield had three hits in a game for the first time this year. Kyle Gulbrandson also had two hits and two runs scored while Zane Butts and Sam Michels each had a hit.

Keenahn Coyle had his first start of the season and allowed four earned runs on five hits across four innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He threw 60 pitches and face 20 batters. Alex Bertram worked an inning of shutout relief and had two strikeouts. Alex Krout (3-2) took the loss as he allowed three hits and three runs (one earned) with a strikeout in his one inning of work (sixth inning).

Game 2 -- Mary 8 Sioux Falls 4

In game two, the Cougars led early but couldn’t hold onto the lead and dropped an 8-4 decision to U-Mary despite a solid outing on the mound from Caleb Ditmarson and the first career home run from Tyler Cate.

USF took a 2-0 lead in the second inning before Mary had four runs in the second inning on the strength of a pair of home runs and added another in the third inning. USF cut the deficit to 6-4 with single runs in the fifth and sixth frames but couldn’t draw closer. Then, the Marauders had single runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the final score of 8-4.

Cate finished with two hits, RBI and run scored and both Tyler Blackburn and Zane Butts also had a pair of hits. Grant Lung had a hit and RBI and Ryan Bernardy and Butts both hit triples but did not score.

Ditmarson had a difficult second inning but otherwise was solid in his start. He worked five innings and allowed five earned (four in the second inning) with five hits allowed and recorded seven strikeouts with three walks in throwing 104 pitches. Jake Haugen (inning, hit, run, strikeout, walk), Zach Shastay (2/3 inning, hit, run, two walks, strikeout) and Payton Livingston (1 1/3 innings, two hits, run, walk and three strikeouts) also work for USF.

Ty Jones (1-1) earned the win for Mary as he allowed seven hits and three runs with two walks and two strikeouts in throwing 91 pitches across five innings. Three other Mary pitchers saw action including Andrew Brooks who finished with one inning on one-hit relief.  Quentin Evers had the big game offensively with two hits including a three-run home run off Ditmarson in the second inning. Calvin James had two hits and an RBI.

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