Wayne State dropped a twinbill to #24 Augustana Sunday afternoon at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in a cold and windy affair. The two losses drop Wayne State to 31-15 (22-11 NSIC) while the Vikings move to 33-14 (26-6 NSIC) in the season.
Augustana drew first blood in the first game of the afternoon, cranking six runs and seven hits in the opening inning off the arm of Hunter Wienhoff. The Vikings capitalized on Wildcat errors, with all six runs being unearned.
The Vikings continued their offensive production in the second, putting the Wildcats in an early 8-0 hole after two innings. After the lead-off hitter reached on base from a Wildcat error, Will Olson doubled and later scored to put pressure on the ‘Cats.
Wayne State responded in the bottom of the third after seniors Garrett Graveline and and Jake Lorenzini reached on base to lead off for Wayne State. Graveline reached home after an Alex Logelin sacrifice fly to right field to put the ‘Cats on the scoreboard. Unable to add more to the tally, the Wildcats entered the fourth trailing 8-1.
A Viking single in the top of the sixth added to their production, scoring two more runners and once again increasing their lead. Lorenzini grabbed one of the runs back in the bottom of the frame, bringing around Payton Barnes (hit-by-pitch) with an RBI single.
Augustana added three more runs in the top of the seventh, including a two-run shot over the left field fence from Riley Johnson and an RBI single to reach the eventual score of 13-2 in favor of the Vikings.
Wienhoff (8-2) finished the afternoon with three strikeouts in two innings pitched, giving up nine hits. Freshman Ryan Petersen provided four innings of relief with three strikeouts and four hits, giving up two runs. Grant Carl and Josh Renken also made appearances out of the bullpen, with the latter throwing in the seventh, giving up one hit while striking out two batters and forcing a ground out.
Lorenzini and Miller provided the Wildcats with offense, each grabbing two hits in three at bats. Lorenzini and Logelin recorded the two RBI for the Wildcats.
Augustana started the scoring in the second game as well getting the better of starter Cade Herrmann early on as the Vikings grabbed a run from a sacrifice fly to left field.
Andrew Hanson responded in the second inning for the ‘Cats, launching a lead-off appearance at the plate over the left field wall to tie the game up. The sophomore grabbed his fifth of the season with the four-baser.
Another Viking lead came about just half an inning later, as a JT Mix double brought a runner home from third and put Augustana back up on the scoreboard with a 2-1 lead.
Augustana took an unusual approach at the plate in the top of the sixth, grabbing four base hits off of bunts. A combined six hits added four insurance runs to the Vikings lead to extend their advantage to 6-1.
Two runs in each the top of the eighth and ninth innings added to the Viking lead, taking game two of the doubleheader 10-1 while grabbing the series win over the Wildcats.
Herrmann (4-1) received the loss with two strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, giving up five hits and four runs. Staebell pitched 2.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts on seven hits and four runs. Zenner also made an inning appearance, striking out two with two hits and runs.
The Wildcats recorded eight hits, highlighted by a solo shot from Hanson in the second inning. Kyle Thompson went two for four in the contest with a double.
Wayne State wraps up the regular season in a midweek doubleheader against the Peacocks of Upper Iowa in Fayette. The first pitch is slated to start at 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.