SMSU BASEBALL: SMSU comes through with big split at nationally-ranked UMC

CROOKSTON – Southwest Minnesota State’s Kip Gronholz smacked the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th inning to pace the Mustangs to a thrilling 8-7 victory over No. 24 Minnesota Crookston in game two of a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader and earn a split on Thursday afternoon at the UMC Baseball Field.

UMC was limited to three hits in the opener, but it was enough to hold off SMSU by a score of 5-3.

In game two, SMSU scored single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to rally for a 7-5 lead. The Mustangs were one out away from the win, but the Golden Eagles, one of the top power-hitting teams in the country, used a two-out walk and two-run game-tying home run by Brock Reller to send the game into extra innings.

In the 10th, Chase McDaniel started the rally reaching second base on an error by the UMC left fielder. After a pop out, Gronholz singled to right-center to give SMSU the one-run advantage.

Jared Tschetter (2-2), who recorded the final out in the ninth, retired UMC in order in the tenth to secure the victory. He struck out three of the four batters he faced.

In the opener, SMSU freshman pitcher Hayden Molva suffered the loss, but was outstanding as he struck out a career-high 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings.

UMC opened the scoring in the home half of the first inning with a two-out rally. Following two strikeouts, a walk, an error and another walk loaded the bases. Eli Jung then stepped to the plate and hit a high fly ball to left field, but the ball was lost in the sky and dropped for a three-run double.

UMC’s Tyler Jochen hit a two-run home run in the fourth to push the lead to 5-0.

SMSU scored its first run of the game in the fifth Max Kalenberg walked, moved to third on a double by Chase McDaniel and scored on a wild pitch.

In the sixth, SMSU scored again as Brodie Smith smacked a solo home run, while later in the frame Jake Hendricks hit an RBI double to score Nathan Kuhn.

SMSU would strand two runners on base in the sixth and have the tying run at the plate in the seventh to end the game.

The Mustangs finished game one with four hits.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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