Wildcat baseball team drops to 9-7 after first NSIC games


Mike Grosz

Aidan Breedlove took the pitching loss in the first game against NSIC opponent University of Minnesota Crookston. The Wildcats have now dropped to 9-7 on the season and 0-2 in conference play. The Wildcats will be back in action in Wayne today at 3 P.M. against conference opponent Bemidji State.

Hunter Kiburz, Staff Writer

This past weekend The Wayne State baseball team travelled to Omaha Westside High School to play against Minnesota Crookston, due to field and weather conditions in Wayne. WSC drops to 9-6 on the season and 0-2 in conference play on the year, while UMC improves to 9-7 and 2-0 in conference play.

“We need to come out tomorrow and swing the bat way better,” head coach Alex Koch said. “I thought for the most part we played defense and pitched well enough to win both of those games.”

Starting pitching for the Golden Eagles was Zach Rustad. Rustad threw a one-hit shutout and threw seven strikeouts in the first game, which ended 4-0 Golden Eagles. The lefty only allowed three walks and gave up one hit to senior infielder Kyle Thompson.

UMC scored off a solo home run in the second inning and three runs in the sixth inning to account for their scoring offense.

“We play at our best when we have a lot of enthusiasm on our bench and our bench is loud and into the game,” sophomore outfielder Andrew Hanson said.

Omaha Westside graduate took the mound for WSC, junior right hander Aidan Breedlove. Breedlove took the pitching loss and dropped to 3-2 on the season. He walked UMC batters but fanned seven. Senior Charles Hasty came in for relief and pitched one inning for WSC, giving up one run on one hit. Freshman Ryan Obrecht also well saw action in the first game and pitched a perfect inning, with one strikeout, providing a bright spot for the Wildcats.

“We just have to have a short-term memory and forget about how we played today and how our pitchers need to keep doing what they’re doing, we just need to get our bats going,” Hanson said.

The second game saw UMC complete the sweep over the Wildcats, with a 6-4 victory.

Hanson put the Wildcats on the board first with a single and later scored off a throwing error by UMC, after the inning WSC were up 1-0 in the bottom of the second. UMC were able to score in the third and fourth innings with single scores.

Later in the game, Minnesota Crookston connected on a three-run seventh inning to grab a 5-1 lead on the Wildcats.

“It’s all about mindset,” Koch said.

The Wildcats weren’t done after that small burst in the top of the seventh, WSC themselves scored two runs in the bottom to cut into the lead to make it 5-3. Junior outfielder Brendan Madsen doubled to the opposite field and brought home Peyton Barnes who singled in the beginning of the inning and Garrett Graveline who was hit by a pitch.

“We need to come out from the first pitch with an attitude, that we are going to win the game,” Koch said.

Minnesota Crookston scored their final run in the top of the ninth to make the score 6-3. WSC weren’t done though in the bottom of the ninth, starting off the inning with pinch hits from sophomore Colin Chick who singled and junior Jake Nielsen who doubled to right center.

Madsen ended up walking to load the bases with no outs and putting pressure on UMC to make every correct pitch. Junior Alex Logelin’s sacrifice fly to center scored Chick, making the score 6-4 with only one out.

“Alex Logelin has had a great season, he’s been the guy that gets the offense rolling,” Koch said.

Yet again, Minnesota Crookston was able to get out of the inning with a fielder’s choice and a ground out to win 6-4.

On the mound for the Wildcats was junior right-hander Hunter Wienhoff. He ended up suffering the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched. He threw out six and walked four.

Freshman reliever Andrew Staebell came in for the final 2 ½ innings and had five strikeouts with only two hits and one run.

“We just didn’t have any clutch hitting today, that’s all it came down to, we had plenty of opportunities but just didn’t take advantage of them,” Hanson said.

WSC and UMC finished the three-game series on Monday. The Wildcats fell short in their final game, losing a hard fought battle with a final score of 7-8.

The Wildcats will be back in action today, facing NSIC opponent Bemidji State at noon and 3 P.M. WSC will also have a three game series Saturday and Sunday against conference opponent Minnesota Duluth.