SMSU BASEBALL: Johnson drives in six runs as SMSU cruises past DWU

TUCSON, Ariz. – Connor Johnson finished with a career-high six RBIs and was one of four Southwest Minnesota State players to finish with three hits as the Mustangs cruised past Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 18-5 in college baseball at the Tucson Invitational played at the Kino Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson, who also scored three runs, was a home run shy of the cycle and is the first Mustang to drive in six runs since Austin Stubbs in 2015. Johnson was making just his second career start as a hitter for the Mustangs after spending his first two seasons as a pitcher.

Shane Sellner, Spencer Franko and Ben Heichel all collected three hits as SMSU finished with a season-high 18 hits.

SMSU (2-3) trailed 5-3 after three and a half innings, but took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning with just one hit, but took advantage of four walks, a hit by batter and a fielding error by DWU.

SMSU expanded the lead in the fifth as Tanner Strommen recorded a run-scoring single to plate Nathan Kuhn. Later in the frame, Johnson ripped a three-run triple and also scored on the play due to a throwing error to push the Mustang lead to 11-5.

SMSU blew the game open in the home half of the sixth scoring seven runs on four hits and one DWU error. Sellner delivered the big blow in the frame with a two-out, three-run double.

Kuhn and Spencer Rudnik both added two base hits to help the charge, while Kuhn scored three times.

Chase Meyer (1-0) earned the victory on the mound tossing five innings, allowing seven hits, five runs (three earned) with five strikeouts and two walks. Michael Revenig tossed two perfect innings of relief to finish off the win.

Southwest Minnesota State returns to action today to face conference rival Concordia-St. Paul (1-1) for a 4 p.m. CST non-conference game.

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