St. Cloud sweeps SMSU in season-opener series

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The Southwest Minnesota State University baseball team closed out its four-game opening season series with St. Cloud State without a win, losing each of its two games on Sunday and Monday.

The Huskies defeated the Mustangs 6-2 and 12-0 at Iowa Western Community College’s Doc Ross Field on Sunday and doubled down with 3-1 and 14-2 wins on Monday.

In game one, SMSU struck for the first run of the game in the third inning as senior Isaac Nett belted a solo home run–his 15th long ball of his career–around the right field pole to give the Mustangs a 1-0 advantage.

SMSU added to the lead in the fourth as a walk to Max Kalenberg, a single by Owen Latendresse and a hit by pitch to Keenan Wenzel loaded the bases with one out. Caleb Gardow followed with a bunt single to plate Kalenberg and make the score 2-0.

SMSU starting pitcher Kolby Kiser held SCSU off the board until two outs in the fifth when the Huskies’ Cal James belted a game-tying two-run home run. St. Cloud tookthe lead in the sixth as Sawyer Smith drilled a lead-off home run to make the score 3-2.

SMSU had an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the sixth, but with runners on second and third and one out, a strikeout and fly out ended the threat.

SCSU put the game away with three runs on two hits and two SMSU errors to build a 6-2 lead.

Kiser (0-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Cameron Jensen fired the final 1 1/3 and allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk.

In game two, SCSU took advantage of seven walks and two hit batters to pull away and earn the sweep. SCSU scored a run in the first and three in the third to chase SMSU starter Carter Petron.

SMSU reliever Shay Endres tossed 5 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on four hits with four strikeouts. SCSU added a single run in the seventh and then sealed the victory with a seven-run top of the ninth inning.

McDaniel had two of SMSU’s five hits, while Nett, Tauer and Kalenberg each finished the nightcap with one hit.

Petron (0-1) suffered the loss tossing the first 2 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

On Monday, St. Cloud struck for three runs on a walk and three hits in the top of the first inning off SMSU starter Ryan Chmielewski.

SMSU put together a rally in the second loading the bases behind a single by Jaxon Haase, a walk to Max Kalenberg and a bunt single by Jake Tauer. After two shallow fly outs, St. Cloud State starting pitcher Peyton VanBeck was called for a balk to plate SMSU’s lone run. The inning ended moments later with two runners in scoring position on a ground out.

Chmielewski was solid after the first inning, finishing the game tossing 6 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Owen Latendresse recorded the final two outs with a pair of strikeouts.

Haase had two of SMSU’s four hits with Tauer and Brady Petron each finishing with two hits.

VanBeck tossed a four-hit complete for the Huskies with two strikeouts and two walks.

In game two, SCSU pushed across a run in the first and four more in the third to end the day for SMSU starting pitcher Ansen Dulas after 2 1/3 innings.

SMSU cut the deficit to 5-2 in the fifth as Caleb Gardow followed a two-out single by Keenan Wenzel with a two-run home run for first round-tripper of the season.

SCSU answered back in a big way in the top of the sixth scoring five runs and then put the game away with four more runs in the seventh to win the game via 10-run rule.

The Mustangs were limited to five hits with Gardow leading the way with two, while Chase McDaniel, Haase and Wenzel each had one hit. Kalenberg was hitless in game two and failed to reach base ending his 32-game streak of reaching base dating back to the final 29 games last season.

Dulas suffered the loss allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Kobe Lovell followed and fired 2 1/3 innings giving up two runs on one hit with two strikeouts.

SMSU (0-4, 0-4 NSIC) will look for its first win next weekend with a four-game NSIC series versus Minnesota Duluth. The four games are scheduled to be played in Topeka, Kan., but could be adjusted due to weather conditions.


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