Wayne State fended off final inning rallies in both games to defeat Southwest Minnesota State in Northern Sun Conference baseball played Wednesday afternoon at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in Wayne with the Wildcats winning the opener 5-4 followed by a 4-3 win in the second contest. WSC is now 11-17 and 9-9 in league games while SMSU falls to 9-15 and 4-10 in NSIC contests.
The opener saw WSC take a 4-0 lead into the top of the seventh, only to watch the visiting Mustangs produce four runs in the top of the frame.
The Wildcats then used a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice to load the bases and a walk off wild pitch to win the game 5-4.
WSC opened the scoring in the second on a Garrett Graveline groundout to score David Janes (single) for a 1-0 lead.
Travis Miller belted a two-run homer over the left field wall in the third putting the ‘Cats ahead 3-0.
Tanner Simons doubled in the fifth and scored on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.
Sophomore starter Aidan Breedlove took a shutout into the seventh, but the Mustangs rallied with four runs on four hits and one Wildcat error to even the score at 4-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Rob Ramsey walked. Pinch runner Jake Lorenzini went to second on a intentional pass to Simons. Jackson Petersen reached on a fielder’s choice when SMSU failed to cover second base to load the bases. Lorenzini then scored on a wild pitch for the game winning run.
Both teams had six hits in the game. Miller was 2 for 3 with a two-run homer and two RBI. Simons doubled and scored twice while Bryce Bisenius, Andrew Hanson and Janes each singled.
Reliever Lawson Zenner (3-3) picked up the win, retiring one batter in the seventh. Breedlove went 6 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs (one earned) on six hits with nine strikeouts.
The second game saw sophomore starter Hunter Wienhoff hold off a SMSU rally in the ninth inning as the right-hander fired a complete game win with 10 strikeouts on 124 pitches to give WSC a 4-3 win.
Similar to the first game, WSC built an early 4-0 advantage, scoring one in the first, two more in the third and one in the fourth inning.
Miller had an RBI double in the first to bring in Bisenius (double).
WSC took a 3-0 lead in the third on a Miller RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Janes.
The ‘Cats used a Peyton Barnes RBI single in the fourth for a 4-0 lead scoring Lorenzini (walk).
SMSU got on the scoreboard in the fifth with a solo homer to make the score 4-1.
Wienhoff took a three-hitter into the ninth, but again the Mustangs would not quit coming up with two runs on three hits and one Wildcat error to make the score 4-3. Wienhoff used a strikeout and fly out to centerfield to end the contest and preserve the win.
Both teams also had six hits in the second contest. Miller was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Barnes was 2 for 5 with an RBI while Bisenius doubled.
Wienhoff improved to 3-3 with his third complete game of the year, striking out 10 without a walk while allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits.
Wayne State is scheduled to host Northern State this weekend in a four-game NSIC series with doubleheaders scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at noon each day at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in Wayne.