Wayne State digs the long ball

Clutch hitting propels the Wildcats to three of four wins over Minot State Beavers

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  • Nate Ackerman takes a swing on a ball in last weekend’s double-header with Minot State.

  • Tanner Simons chases down a Minot State baserunner caught in a pickle during last Saturday’s doubleheader with the Beavers.

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Robbie Androyna, Staff Writer

The first of two games last weekend between the Wildcats and Minot State was an absolute thriller.

Wayne State won 4-1 in the first game at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in Wayne Saturday afternoon.

Catcher Kevin Anderson reached base on a throwing error by Minot State after Curtis Bussard was walked earlier in the ninth inning.

With two outs, Nathan Ackerman stepped up to the plate and blasted a three-run walkoff home run on a 1-2 count to help the Wildcats split a doubleheader.
Ackerman was hitting on all cylinders, going three for five from the plate with three RBI’S on his walk off homer.

“I was just focusing on staying calm, and looking for a good pitch that I could handle and put a good swing on,” Ackerman said. “It was a crazy experience, everyone was really amped up. But after a couple minutes, we all settled down and focused up for the next game.”

Junior relief pitcher Kyle Kennebeck also contributed to the win for the Wildcats.
In the top of the ninth, Kennebeck came in with one out and the bases loaded.
He managed to get out of the tough jam by allowing just one hit and one walk with zero runs crossing the plate.

Eric Browning, NSIC preseason pitcher of the year, dominated the mound. Pitching eight innings while giving up no earned runs, five hits, and striking out six isn’t an easy task.

“I have it in my mind that I am not going to give up any runs before the game even starts,” Browning said.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Wildcats fell to Beavers.
Minot State scored twice in the top of the final and seventh inning to secure the win.

The Wildcats were down 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning when third baseman Michael Herman came in clutch with a two RBI single to tie the game at 4-4.

The Wildcats are keeping their heads high and are positive they will continue to improve throughout the season.

“I think we are getting better every time we step on the field. The guys are really starting to find their grooves and playing up to their potential.” Browning said.

WSC is now 8-8 on the year and 3-1 in conference play. The Wildcats will play Northern State Saturday and Sunday in Wayne at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex.