Baseball splits against Winona before four-game cancellation

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Baseball splits against Winona before four-game cancellation

 Cody Jenkins fields a ground ball against Winona State.

Cody Jenkins fields a ground ball against Winona State.

Photo by Tess Riecke

Cody Jenkins fields a ground ball against Winona State.

Photo by Tess Riecke

Photo by Tess Riecke

Cody Jenkins fields a ground ball against Winona State.

Mason Schweizer, Staff Writer

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Rain postponed, and ultimately cancelled, a four-game series for the Wayne State baseball team against Northern State over the weekend.

 
But before the weekend rains came, the ‘Cats split a twinbill last Wednesday with Winona State at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in Wayne.

 
The 1-1 week gives the ‘Cats a record of 8-19, with a 5-7 conference mark.

 
In the first game, WSC put up a whopping six runs in the first, thanks in large part to Nick McIntee and Bodie Cooper, who both had two-run hits in the opening frame.

 
While Cooper has performed well all year, McIntee has been coming around as of late, much to the pleasure of head coach Alex Koch.

 
“Nick is a senior for us and was supposed to win our starting DH spot at the beginning of the year, but he struggled early,” Koch said. “It’s good now to see him swinging like he can.”

 
Though the ‘Cats scored six times in the first, that six-run frame was sandwiched by three-run first and second innings from the Warriors, who edged ahead with two more runs in the third.

 
But the back-and-forth early battle continued, and WSC went back on top in the bottom of the third with four runs, three of them coming from a Curtis Bussard long ball.

 
Winona tied the game in the fifth, but the ‘Cats answered again with RBI doubles from Tanner Simons and Cooper, taking a 12-10 lead.

 
WSC added three more insurance runs in the sixth to go up 15-10, and held on for a final score of 15-11.

 
Starter Teague McFadden couldn’t finish the second inning, but was bailed out by a bullpen that has made enormous progress as of late. Spencer Morris tossed 3 1/3 innings to pick up the victory, allowing four runs on four hits.

 
“It was really good to see our bullpen succeed,” Koch said. “Spencer Morris did a wonderful job keeping us in the game and Joey [Lenihan] shut the door.”

 
Game two was over shortly after it started, as the ‘Cats found themselves on the wrong side of a 21-3 thrashing.
For Koch, it was a game that the team just has to forget about and move on.

 
“No [there was nothing to take away]. We needed to have a better start out of Spencer Johnson to have a chance in that game.”
Johnson allowed four runs in the first inning, and the ‘Cats found themselves behind 8-0 after three, and never found a groove in any facet of the game.

 
However, Nate Ackerman continued his power-trip, belting his 11th dinger of the season. The three-run blast in the seventh was the only scoring for WSC in the nightcap.

 

Ackerman, who was a preseason All-American, got off to a slow start, and was moved down to the sixth spot in the lineup. But with six homers in the past couple weeks, he has been showing he is more than deserving of his accolades and praise.

 
“Nate is expected to perform like this. He has all the ability to do it, and we will need him down the stretch,” Koch said.
“There is no one in the conference with his ability.”

 
The ‘Cats will play a four-game series with Augustana this weekend, with noon doubleheaders scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in Wayne.

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