Wild series ends with high-scoring split
Wayne State and Minnesota Crookston lit up the scoreboard in the first two games of their four-game set on Saturday, and the scoreboard’s electrical system might need an overhaul after the two teams combined for 48 runs in splitting the final two games on Sunday at the Chapman Complex.
In the first game, every starter had at least one hit, one run and one RBI as the Wildcats cranked out a season-high 22 hits in a 20-9 blowout win over the Golden Eagles.
The Wildcats scored in every run, highlighted by an eight-run explosion in the fifth inning. In that inning, Tanner Simons had a two-run single and Alex Kreft had a two-run double, while RBI singles were stroked by Cody Jenkins, Chris May and Curtis Bussard. Bodie Cooper also had a sacrifice fly in the eight-run fifth.
Bussard led the 22-hit attack with four hits and had three RBI’s. Kreft had three hits, including a home run, and four RBI’s. Albert Johnson and Cooper each had three hits, with Cooper hitting a homer. Simons, Jenkins and May each had two hits, and Aaron Krier had two hits, including a home run.
Taner Ledezma got the win, striking out seven in five innings of work. He gave up six runs, five of them earned, and nine hits while walking one.
In the nightcap, Wayne State let a 9-5 lead get away as the Golden Eagles came back, salvaging a split with a three-run ninth inning to post a 10-9 win.
The Wildcats trailed 5-1 in the fourth when they scored four in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 9-5 advantage, only to let that lead get away at the end.
Cooper had an RBI double and Nate Ackerman singled Cooper home before coming in on Kreft’s home run to right field to tie the game at 5-5 in the fourth.
In the fifth, Jenkins and Albert Johnson had RBI doubles, Ackerman added an RBI single and later scored on a throwing error to give Wayne State it’s biggest lead of the game, but it wouldn’t hold as the Golden Eagles came back with single runs in the seventh and eighth, followed by a three-run ninth that started with a running error that brought home two runs. They scored the game-winner on a single and shut down the Wildcats in the bottom of the ninth to salvage the split.
Jenkins was 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI’s to lead Wayne State’s 14-hit effort. Johnson also had three hits and Ackerman, Kreft and Simons each had two hits. Joey Lenihan was saddled with the loss in relief of starter Mitch Ragan and reliever Connor Keating.
Wayne State is 4-17 overall and 1-5 in NSIC play. Next action for the Wildcats is Wednesday when they play a doubleheader at Concordia-St. Paul, starting at 1:30 p.m.