Baseball Unable to Convert with Runners on Base, Drop Two to Vikings
The Northern State University baseball team was unable to string together a rally in the final two games of the weekend series with Augustana University on April 10. The Wolves dropped both games to the Vikings with game scores of 13-0 and 11-6. Northern drops to 11-13 overall and 4-8 in the NSIC after the series. Game One NSU ace Colton Boucher started for the Wolves in game one, keeping Augustana on their heels through the first three innings of play. Boucher held the Vikings to just three hits, however Augustana found a grove in the fourth and fifth tallying seven hits and 11 runs, seven of which were earned). Nate Zeise and Kris Johnson entered in relief for NSU. Zeise threw 1.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while Johnson held Augustana hitless in his one inning of work. Offensively the Wolves were unable to find a groove against Augustana starter Ryne Lees who threw a complete game shutout. Northern tallied five team hits, led by sophomore Lucas Lorenz who went 2-for-3 at the plate. Jack Schmidt, Ben Allen, and Ashton Williamson added the team’s final three hits of the game with doubles by both Schmidt and Williamson.
Game Two The Wolves fell behind early in game two of the day, giving up four runs in the first two innings of play. NSU however fought back to bring the score within one on two separate occasions. With the Wolves on their heels, Augustana rallied with five runs in the final three innings to secure the victory. The Northern defense was shaky in the opening innings of the game with a trio of errors and a pair of unearned runs behind starting pitcher Nick Hoffard. Hoffard settled in for the Wolves, holding the Vikings scoreless in the fourth and fifth to keep the offense in striking distance. He threw 5.1 innings for NSU giving up six runs, three of which were earned, and ten hits. Marcus Manderbach entered in relief of Hoffard and threw 2.2 innings. Manderbach gave up two earned runs on four hits and added a strikeout. Luke Chevalier also entered and threw one inning of relief. The Wolves connected for 11 hits in the game, however were unable to string things together with runners in scoring position leaving a total of 13 runners on base. Augustana was able to convert leaving only three runners on base in the win. Schmidt led the team going 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles. Schmidt also added a run scored and an RBI. Matt Stubbs and Lorenz each added two hits in the loss with a run scored. Stubbs connected for one of the team’s five doubles and added a run batted in. Kubitz knocked his second homerun of the season with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to bring the Wolves within one of the Vikings on the scoreboard.