Jordon Kontz went 4-for-4 from the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored to help power the Southwest Minnesota State baseball team to a 9-4 victory over William Penn (Iowa) Wednesday in Tuscon, Ariz.
The Mustangs finished with 15 hits in the game against the Statesmen, who are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Adam Thygesen also had a strong day at the plate for SMSU, posting three hits, three RBIs and crossing the plate three times. Kyle Young, Brian Ness and Ben Korger each added two hits in the win.
"Adam Thygesen, Jordon Kontz and Brian Ness, I think they were 0-for-13 combined (Tuesday) against Concordia and we still managed to win," said SMSU head coach Paul Blanchard. "Today they had nine hits amongst the three of them and it was nice to see them turn it around. ... It was nice to see the top of the order do its stuff."
William Penn scored one run in the first and three in the second to take a 4-1 lead going into the third, where SMSU tied things up with three runs of its own. The Statesmen were held scoreless for the rest of the game.
SMSU pulled ahead in the fourth when Thygesen drove in Doug Mead with a single. The Mustangs added another run in the seventh, taking advantage of a pair of Statesmen errors, and put the game away with a three-run eighth inning. William Penn committed five errors in the game, while SMSU had one.
Blanchard said the weather was windy and cool on Wednesday, which was different than what his team had been used to playing in in its first five games in Arizona. He said the Mustangs kicked the ball around a bit in the first couple of innings, but settled down and the pitching took control from there.
Alex Alvarez earned the win on the mound, giving up six hits, four runs (three earned) and two walks with five strikeouts in five innings of work. He also hit a pair of batters.
Landon Gacke came on in the sixth and pitched three shutout innings in relief. He surrendered two hits and two walks, and also struck out two batters. Dylan Shoemaker pitched the final inning for SMSU, allowing one hit, hitting a batter and striking out a batter. Blanchard said Shoemaker is working on a different delivery, a submarine delivery, and had a strong final inning for the Mustangs.
"It was nice to see those guys do well," Blanchard said of his relief pitchers. "Landon is a younger guy and his first outing wasn't what he would have liked. This outing he did a very good job. He had a couple of walks, but didn't give up any runs and got out of a couple of jams."
The Mustangs, who are now 5-3 on the season, resume play at the Tuscon Invitational today at 10 a.m. against St. John's.