Huber’s Ejection Sparks Augustana Comeback Win Against Wayne State
Down 6-3 When Skipper Was Tossed, Vikings Rally To Win 16-8
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Augustana baseball team emerged victorious in its game-three senior-day celebration against the Wildcats of Wayne State Sunday afternoon in a wild 16-8 ballgame that featured four Viking homers. The Vikings have not lost a weekend series this year and move to 28-9 overall and 24-9 within the NSIC.
Wayne State built a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a couple of two-run RBI singles. Augustana cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the frame on a bases-loaded RBI single off the bat of freshman infielder Max Mosser and a sacrifice fly line out off the bat of junior infielder JT Mix.
Up 4-2 already, the Wildcats pushed a couple of unearned runs across in the top of the third to take a 6-2 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Augustana, again, cut the lead in half when Mix legged out an infield single with runners at the corners, picking up his second RBI on the day.
In the top of the fifth, Wayne State took a 7-3 lead on a wild pitch, however, the Vikings responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning.
Junior infielder Jordan Barth sent a jolt through the park with a leadoff solo shot to right-center to start the frame. After junior infielder Christian Kuzemka walked, senior outfielder Riley Johnson celebrated his senior day with a towering two-run homer over the center field wall to pull the Vikings within one run at 7-6.
Later in the inning, Mosser worked a two-out walk to bring Mix to the plate. Mix took advantage of the two-out free pass and launched his first home run of the year, a majestic shot down the right field line that gave him four RBIs in the game and gave the Vikings an 8-7 lead.
A Wildcat RBI single in the top of the sixth tied the ballgame up at 8-8 and made for an exciting final three frames.
Senior righty Parker Hanson took the mound in the top of the seventh inning and steadied the ship for the Vikings, tossing three scoreless innings while surrendering just one hit and striking out two.
The Augustana offense provided Hanson with some run support in the bottom of the seventh with a big-time two out rally. Freshman infielder Tate Meiners nearly launched a go-ahead solo homer with two outs and instead settled for a double off the top of the wall.
Barth and junior catcher Will Olson followed Meiners with free passes to load the bases for Kuzemka. The senior then smoked a base hit up the middle, scoring Barth and Meiners and giving Augustana a 10-8 lead, one which they would not surrender.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, there was no shortage of insurance runs for the Vikings as they scored six times to put the contest out of reach. Mix started the fun with an RBI double (his fifth RBI of the day) and scored on an RBI single off the bat of sophomore outfielder Carter Howell.
Later in the frame, Meiners and Barth reached on free passes to load the bases for Olson with one-out. Olson promptly responded with a grand slam over the left field wall and into the trees. Olson’s homer was also his 12th of the year, which leads the NSIC.
After a quiet ninth inning from the Wildcat bats, Augustana took home the 16-8 game-three victory and series victory, with Hanson earning the win on the mound.
Junior righty Thomas Bruss provided a solid bridge out of the bullpen in the game with four innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts. The junior also lit up the radar gun, touching 97 several times in the game.
At the plate, Mix and Olson each tallied three hits while Rosencranz had two. Howell, Meiners, Barth, Kuzemka, Johnson and Mosser all finished with one. The Vikings also stole an impressive 10 bases in the game with Howell and Rosencranz notching three apiece.
The Vikings are back in action for their final regular-season series of the year next weekend in Fayette, Iowa, against the Upper Iowa Peacocks. The three-game series starts Friday with a doubleheader at 1:30 p.m. followed by a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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