North Dakota snowstorm doesn’t keep Wildcats from returning home, sweeping Sioux Falls

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North Dakota snowstorm doesn’t keep Wildcats from returning home, sweeping Sioux Falls

Freshman pitcher Cade Herrmann readies to throw across the plate in Sunday’s 4-2 victory against the Unviersity of Sioux Falls Cougars, completing the weekend sweep.

Freshman pitcher Cade Herrmann readies to throw across the plate in Sunday’s 4-2 victory against the Unviersity of Sioux Falls Cougars, completing the weekend sweep.

Emmalee Scheibe

Freshman pitcher Cade Herrmann readies to throw across the plate in Sunday’s 4-2 victory against the Unviersity of Sioux Falls Cougars, completing the weekend sweep.

Emmalee Scheibe

Emmalee Scheibe

Freshman pitcher Cade Herrmann readies to throw across the plate in Sunday’s 4-2 victory against the Unviersity of Sioux Falls Cougars, completing the weekend sweep.

Austin Svehla, Staff Writer

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A weather cell that dropped massive amounts of snow in North Dakota made the Wildcat baseball team’s stay in North Dakota longer than anticipated, delaying the team’s return to Friday night. After Wednesday’s doubleheader split against Minot State, WSC returned home in time for a three-game sweep over Sioux Falls on Saturday and Sunday to bring its record to 27-9 on the season.

Wednesday’s doubleheader at Minot State was played in less than ideal weather conditions, with the temperature hovering around 30 degrees the entire day. Aaron Ras got the start on the mound for the Wildcats and pitched four innings of one-run ball while recording seven strikeouts.

WSC opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when Alex Logelin doubled to center and Kyle Thompson brought him home on an RBI single to right to make it 1-0 Wildcats. Minot tied the game at one run apiece in the bottom of the fourth, but WSC took the lead again in the seventh when Logelin scored Jake Lemar on a sac fly to center to give the ’Cats a 2-1 advantage.

The Beavers knotted the game up again in the bottom half of the seventh when Darrell Doll hit a pinch-hit homer off Andrew Staebell to send the game to the eighth inning tied 2-2.

Charles Hasty pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth for WSC, but the Wildcats did not produce any runs until the 10th inning when Thompson scored Brendan Madsen on a sac fly to put WSC up 3-2.

In the bottom half of the 10th, Lawson Zenner toed the mound for WSC. Zenner allowed the Beavers to load the bases but recorded two outs and needed a third to seal the win for Wayne State. That’s when the Beavers’ Andrew Black proceeded to smack a fly ball over the wall in left for a walk off grand slam, lifting Minot State over WSC by a final of 6-3 in 10 innings.

“The guys really played tough,” head coach Alex Koch said. “We were up there in some bad conditions and cold weather and came out and pitched well. We just couldn’t quite hit well enough in that game. We had runners in scoring position, but we couldn’t quite get the big hit in that one.”

In the back end of the doubleheader, both teams provided another tightly-contested ballgame throughout where offense was very minimal. Ryan Obrecht was given the start for the Wildcats and continued his recent hot streak on the mound by pitching seven innings of scoreless ball on five hits while recording six strikeouts.

“He (Obrecht) has put himself in a staple in some type of starting role when the conference tournament comes,” Koch said. “He keeps proving that he can beat good teams and we’re happy for his success. He’s a hard-working kid and he’ll find himself having some type of role in the postseason.”

Minot’s Reilly O’Rourke had an impressive outing himself, going 5 2/3 innings and not allowing a run. With the impressive pitching, the end result would likely come down to who could put a single run on the board first. That team was Wayne State in the top of the eighth inning.

After Logelin singled and Thompson walked, Bryce Bisenius advanced both runners when he grounded out to second. Andrew Hanson walked on four pitches to load the bases for the Wildcats with two outs. Peyton Barnes stepped in and earned a walk of his own to bring home Logelin for the go-ahead run. Colin Chick struck out the following at bat to strand runners on each base, but one run was all WSC needed, as Staebell pitched a perfect eighth to seal the 24th win of the season for the Wildcats and earn a split on the day. The victory gave Obrecht, who still has a perfect record on the year, his fifth win of the season.

 

“They came back in the second one and got a big win after a pretty devastating loss,” Koch said. “When you lose on a walk off grand slam, you kind of see how your guys respond and our guys responded well, and they found a way to win.”

 

After Wednesday’s doubleheader, the plan was for WSC to return home by early Thursday and prepare for a three-game weekend set against Sioux Falls. However, a rare mid-April snowstorm dumped itself on the region, closing up Interstate 29 and disallowing the Wildcats to return home when planned.

 

“[Not getting back to Wayne before Saturday’s games] crossed our mind,” Koch said. “It all depended on when I-29 was going to open up.”

 

Wayne State did, however, manage to make it to Bismarck, approximately two hours south of Minot. The Wildcats were forced to stay in Bismarck on Wednesday and Thursday evening, but were fortunate to have an opportunity to practice despite the travel delays.

 

“We were fortunate that Mary University let us practice on their facilities,” Koch said. “It was good to still get a workout and get out of the hotel a little bit.”

 

In the first of two Saturday games against the Cougars, WSC found itself in another pitching duel. Aidan Breedlove pitched five innings, allowing two runs on two hits and recording five strikeouts in what wound up being his seventh win of the season.

 

“[Our starting pitchers] have all been able to build up some confidence,” Koch said. “They have that confidence right now so hopefully they can carry that on.”

 

All of the scoring occurred in the first inning, and because of Breedlove’s quality outing on the mound combined with scoreless relief innings from Staebell and Hasty, three runs were all the ’Cats needed.

 

After Sioux Falls plated two in the top of the first, Logelin reached on a throwing error before Thompson hit an RBI double to right to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage. After Bisenius advanced Thompson to third on a fly out to center, Hanson singled to right to score Thompson and make it 2-0. Barnes followed with a triple to right to score Hanson and conclude the scoring for WSC. The win improved the Wildcats to 25-9.

 

“There’s no one better in our lineup right now than Kyle Thompson,” Koch said. “He’s been hitting in our three hole most of the year and doing a lot of producing. He’s constantly finding his way on base and driving runs in. I think he’s second in the nation in batting average with runners in scoring position.”

 

In Saturday’s second game, WSC’s offense started similarly to the first game, plating three runs in the first inning. Hanson scored Logelin on a single to left to open the scoring, Barnes scored Bisenius on a single to right center and Hanson scored from third on a balk.

 

In the second, Madsen doubled home CJ Neumann to bring the score to 4-0 in favor of WSC. The Cougars scored a run in the top half of the third to cut the Wildcat lead to three runs, but the ’Cats brought their lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the third when Bisenius scored Thompson on an RBI double and Barnes scored Bisenius on a sac fly to center.

 

Logelin homered in the fifth to extend WSC’s lead to 7-1, and Sioux Falls notched two runs in the ninth to cut its deficit to 7-3, the eventual final.

 

“We’ll have to be ready to play anybody, anytime, anywhere,” Koch said.

 

Hunter Wienhoff continued his impressive stretch of starts on the mound, earning his eighth win by throwing eight innings of one-run ball on two hits and three walks while recording seven strikeouts on 115 pitches. Ryan Petersen allowed two runs in a third of an inning of work, and Hasty recorded the last two outs of the game on the mound. The win clinched the series win for WSC.

 

On Sunday, Cade Herrmann became the latest Wildcat pitcher to throw a gem on the mound, as he hurled seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. Herrmann earned his third win of the season and Zenner recorded two innings of perfect ball for the Wildcats to earn his second save.

 

The Cougars were the first to score, notching two runs on three hits in the top of the third. WSC responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own.

 

Neumann led off with a homerun to right to bring the Wildcats with a run. Two batters later, Logelin drew a walk before Thompson mashed a homer to left to put WSC in front 3-2. The Wildcats scored an insurance run in the fifth when Bisenius crushed a homer to right field to extend the Wildcat lead to 4-2.

 

That score would hold, earning the Wildcats a sweep of the Cougars and bringing their record to 27-9 and 18-5 in NSIC play.

 

WSC is in action this weekend for a three-game set at Minnesota State-Mankato starting at 12:00 on Friday. The Mavericks currently hold the longest win streak in the NSIC at nine games and are within one game of Wayne State in the NSIC standings.

 

“It doesn’t matter who it is, we’re not afraid of anybody,” Koch said. “We’ve just got to go out and keep performing like we have been and see how it shakes out in the end.”

the season for the Wildcats and earn a split on the day. The victory gave Obrecht, who still has a perfect record on the year, his fifth win of the season.

“They came back in the second one and got a big win after a pretty devastating loss,” Koch said.

After Wednesday’s doubleheader, the plan was for WSC to return home by early Thursday and prepare for a three-game weekend set against Sioux Falls. However, a rare mid-April snowstorm dumped itself on the region, closing up Interstate 29 and disallowing the Wildcats to return home when planned.

“[Not getting back to Wayne before Saturday’s games] crossed our mind,” Koch said. “It all depended on when I-29 was going to open up.”

Wayne State did, however, manage to make it to Bismarck, approximately two hours south of Minot. The Wildcats were forced to stay in Bismarck on Wednesday and Thursday evening, but were fortunate to have an opportunity to practice despite the travel delays.

“We were fortunate that Mary University let us practice on their facilities,” Koch said. “It was good to still get a workout and get out of the hotel a little bit.”

In the first of two Saturday games against the Cougars, WSC found itself in another pitching duel. Aidan Breedlove pitched five innings, allowing two runs on two hits and recording five strikeouts in what wound up being his seventh win of the season.

“[Our starting pitchers] have all been able to build up some confidence,” Koch said. “They have that confidence right now so hopefully they can carry that on.”

All of the scoring occurred in the first inning, and because of Breedlove’s quality outing on the mound combined with scoreless relief innings from Staebell and Hasty, three runs were all the ’Cats needed.

After Sioux Falls plated two in the top of the first, Logelin reached on a throwing error before Thompson hit an RBI double to right to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage. Bisenius advanced Thompson to third on a fly out to center. Hanson singled to right to score Thompson and make it 2-0. Barnes followed with a triple to right to score Hanson and conclude the scoring for WSC. The win improved the Wildcats to 25-9.

“There’s no one better in our lineup right now than Kyle Thompson,” Koch said. “He’s constantly finding his way on base and driving runs in. I think he’s second in the nation in batting average with runners in scoring position.”

In Saturday’s second game, WSC’s offense started similarly to the first game, plating three runs in the first inning. Hanson scored Logelin on a single to left to open the scoring, Barnes scored Bisenius on a single to right center and Hanson scored from third on a balk.

In the second, Madsen doubled home CJ Neumann to bring the score to 4-0 in favor of WSC. The Cougars scored a run in the top half of the third to cut the Wildcat lead to three runs, but the ’Cats brought their lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the third when Bisenius scored Thompson on an RBI double and Barnes scored Bisenius on a sac fly to center.

Logelin homered in the fifth to extend WSC’s lead to 7-1, and Sioux Falls notched two runs in the ninth to cut its deficit to 7-3, the eventual final.

Hunter Wienhoff continued his impressive stretch of starts on the mound, earning his eighth win.

On Sunday, Cade Herrmann became the latest Wildcat pitcher to throw a gem on the mound, as he hurled seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. Herrmann earned his third win of the season and Zenner recorded two innings of perfect ball for the Wildcats to earn his second save.

The Cougars were the first to score, notching two runs on three hits in the top of the third. WSC responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own.

Neumann led off with a homerun to right to bring the Wildcats with a run. The Wildcats scored an insurance run in the fifth when Bisenius crushed a homer to right field to extend the Wildcat lead to 4-2.

That score would hold, earning the Wildcats a sweep of the Cougars and bringing their record to 27-9 and 18-5 in NSIC play.

WSC is in action this weekend for a three-game set at Minnesota State-Mankato starting at 12:00 on Friday. The Mavericks currently hold the longest win streak in the NSIC at nine games and are within one game of Wayne State in the NSIC standings.

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