SMSU BASEBALL: SMSU splits home-opening doubleheader with CSP

Photo by Sam Thiel SMSU’s Andy Andresen (5) prepares to catch a fly ball as Keenan Wenzel (2) looks on during their game against Concordia-St. Paul on Friday at Legion Field. SMSU defeated CSP 9-3 in Game 1 before falling 20-6 in Game 2.

MARSHALL — Keenan Wenzel belted a grand slam, while John Bezdicek fired a complete game four-hitter to pace Southwest Minnesota State to a 9-3 victory in game one of a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference baseball doubleheader at Legion Field on Friday afternoon. CSP hit five home runs in game two and split the twinbill earning a 20-6 victory.

The two teams conclude the series today with a 12 p.m. nine-inning game. With the split, SMSU is now 6-7 overall, 4-6 NSIC, with CSP now 7-9, 3-8 NSIC.

Nathan Kuhn led the SMSU 12-hit attack in game one with three hits and two runs scored. Brodie Smith, Kip Gronholz and Wenzel all finished the game with two hits. Bezdicek (2-0) held CSP scoreless through five innings and closed the game striking out seven while allowing three walks and three runs.

SMSU started the game off with a bang as Brodie Smith led-off the bottom of the first with a home run to stake the Mustangs to a 1-0 advantage.

The Mustangs added to the lead in the second as Robbie Smith stroked a lead-off double and came around to score on a two-out run-scoring single by Brodie Smith.

SMSU opened the game up in the fifth with three clutch two-out hits. Nathan Kuhn started the rally with a single and with two outs moved to second on a single by Derek Smith. Kip Gronholz then stepped to the plate and smacked a 0-2 pitch for a run-scoring single to push the margin to 3-0. Robbie Smith worked a walk to load the bases before Keenan Wenzel drilled a grand slam over the center field to give SMSU a 7-0 lead. It was the first career home run for Wenzel. It was also SMSU’s grand slam since Jayden Fleck hit one also against CSP on March 15, 2019.

CSP rallied with a pair of runs in the sixth and loaded the bases with two outs, but Bezdicek ended the threat with a ground out to keep SMSU in the lead at 7-2.

SMSU would collect two hits and take advantage of a two-out CSP error to score two unearned runs in the sixth to make the score 9-2.

In game two, CSP jumped to a 4-0 first inning lead with a pair of two-out, two-run home runs.

SMSU answered back in the home half as Matt Bezdicek followed singles by Brodie Smith and Jake Hendricks to push across the Mustangs’ first run. A throwing error plated a second run before Gronholz hit a two-out RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-3 after one inning.

The Golden Bears belted a pair of two-out, solo home runs in the second and then pushed across three runs on three hits in the third to extend the lead to 9-3 and never looked back in snapping a seven-game losing streak.

SMSU scored its final runs in the seventh inning as Chase McDaniel hit a two-run home run, his first long-ball of his career, while Hendricks hit a solo homer.

The Mustangs had nine hits in game two with Hendricks finishing with three and Matt Bezdicek adding two.

Jake Wensmann (2-2) started and suffered the loss tossing two-plus innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits.

The Golden Bears finished game two with 20 hits, including nine for extra bases.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic



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