FEELING SUPER! Augustana upsets Central Missouri again to advance to Super Regional which they’ll host
Vikings defeat Mules 8-6 to win Central Region Pod and advance to Super Regional for fourth time in five years
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dakota News Now) - For the second year in a row, the Augustana baseball team defeated No. 4 Central Missouri and is heading to the NCAA Super Regional. The Vikings brought down the No. 1 seeded Mules, 8-6, capping off an unbeaten trip to the NCAA Central Regional.
It was the Mules with an early 2-0 advantage after the top of the first inning. The Vikings snapped the lead in the bottom of the first, adding two runs to make it a tie game. A triple by Nick Banowetz sailed into right field, sending Jack Hines home to get AU on the board. A sacrifice fly by Drey Dirksen plated Banowetz, keeping it a tight matchup.
In the third inning, Central Missouri took its second lead of the contest, scoring three runs to gain the 5-2 advantage. The lead didn’t last long as the Vikings responded with a high-scoring fifth frame.
With two runners on, Dirksen blasted the ball over the fence in left, sending Banowetz and Hines home to tie the game at 5-5. The long ball favored Augustana again when Ragan Pinnow smashed a three-run homer to left field, giving the Vikings their first lead of the game.
The Mules added their sixth run of the game in the seventh, but Augustana squashed any attempt at a rally and held on to the lead.
Hines, Dirksen and Luke Ballweg were commanding at the plate, logging two hits apiece including a double from Hines and a homer from Dirksen. Pinnow added three RBI while Dirksen led with four.
On the mound, Caleb Kranz was the starter for the Vikings. Kranz tossed 2.1 innings and logged a strikeout. Kai Taylor took over for Kranz and spent 3.1 innings on the hill, earning the win and striking out three Mules. Ethan Cole spent 1.2 innings in the game before Seth Miller tossed the final 1.2 innings and struck out one batter.
It was deja vu for Miller as last season he also entered the game in relief to shut down the Mules and earn the save.
The Vikings are NCAA Super Regional bound and will host NSIC rival Minnesota State-Mankato in the best-of-three game series. Game one at Ronken Field will be on Friday night at 6:00 PM. Game two will follow on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Should the Mavericks and Vikings split a third, winner-take-all game will immediately follow at 4:00 PM.
Copyright 2023 KSFY. All rights reserved.