‘Cats go yard 12 times in weekend sweep

Mason Schweizer, Staff Writer

If chicks dig the long ball, then the Wayne State baseball team is the envy of men everywhere.

The ‘Cats belted a dozen home runs over the weekend on their way to a three-game sweep of Minot State in Minot, N.D.

WSC took both games of Saturday’s doubleheader by 8-4 and 5-3 scores before slugging seven dingers on their way to a 25-13 thrashing on Sunday. Sunday’s nightcap was cancelled due to weather.

The ‘Cats improved their record to 7-18 overall and 4-5 in conference play after going 3-1 last week.

Before partaking in their own slugfest over the weekend, the ‘Cats travelled to St. Paul to take on Concordia-St. Paul on April 6. Heartbreak struck yet again this season for WSC when they saw a 4-2 fifth inning lead turn into a 9-4 loss to the Golden Bears.

Starter Teague McFadden was chased in the fifth before recording an out, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks to take the loss. Aside from the seven-run, eight-hit outburst that the Golden Bears had, the WSC pitching staff dominated, allowing three hits in the rest of the game.

Nick McIntee led the ‘Cats offensively, going 2-3 with a double and a pair of RBIs. Albert Johnson was the only other Wayne hitter with multiple hits in a game the ‘Cats controlled aside from one tough inning.

WSC got back on the winning side of things over the weekend at Minot State. Preseason All-American Nate Ackerman had a hat trick of homers in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, driving in six of WSC’s eight runs.

Wayne’s other two runs in the game came on Minot State wild pitches in the sixth, giving the ‘Cats a total of eight runs, doubling up the Beavers.

After giving up four runs in the first two innings, Tanner Ledezma settled in nicely, tossing five innings, allowing only the four early runs on six hits, good enough for the win.

Ackerman continued his power surge in the nightcap, blasting another bomb to go along with a Bodie Cooper roundtripper to lead WSC to a 5-3 win.

After a 3-0 first inning lead, the Beavers fought themselves back to a 3-2 deficit, but Ackerman’s solo shot in the sixth and back-to-back doubles from Cooper and Johnson secured a 5-3 win.

Mitch Ragan had his best outing on the mound this season, striking out 12 batters in six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.

The offensive onslaught only increased Sunday, with the ‘Cats putting up a touchdown’s worth of dingers to blow the Beavers out 25-13.

WSC struck early and often, getting out to a quick 4-0 lead after two. The fun really began in the fourth inning, though, when the ‘Cats threw up an eight spot on the scoreboard.

McIntee and Aaron Krier homered, and patient at-bats netted the ‘Cats four walks, all of which ended up scoring.

Cooper homered in the fifth, Ackerman hit his fifth ding of the weekend and 10th of the season in the sixth and Johnson, Curtis Bussard and Jenkins deposited balls in the bleachers in the seventh to finish the home run derby for the ‘Cats.

Matthew Wood picked up the win, thanks to the aerial assault that his offense provided. He was shaky at times, and surrendered five runs and seven hits while striking out eight in four innings.

The ‘Cats will look to stay hot Wednesday, when they host a 1:30 p.m. doubleheader against Winona State at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex here in Wayne.