Wayne State used the deep shot to power their offense Sunday afternoon at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex, scoring their only runs off homers to propel the Wildcats to a 4-2 win over Sioux Falls. The weekend sweep moves Wayne State to 27-9 (18-5 NSIC) on the season while the Cougars fall to 9-27 (7-16 NSIC) on the 2019 campaign.
Freshman Cade Herrmann received the call to start the game on the mound for the Wildcats, making his eighth appearance and fourth start at the bump for the season. The Omaha native struck out three batters in the first two innings, giving up one hit going into the third.
Sioux Falls finally got the better of the freshman, grabbing two singles to put runners on the corners with one out in the top of the third. An RBI single from Josh Rehwaldt moved a runner to third, where he would jog home on a sacrifice fly to deep right from Grant Lung to take a 2-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the inning.
Wayne State’s calling card over the weekend of answering runs scored by the Cougars in the same inning continued as CJ Neumann took Cougar pitcher Alex Loosbrock yard to right field in the leadoff position, trotting to home to halve the Wildcat deficit. The Cougar lead diminished three batters later off the crack of the bat from Kyle Thompson, sending a no-doubter over the fence down the left field line to bring around him and Logelin (walk). The Wildcats propelled into a 3-2 lead after three.
Herrmann bounced back strong after the third, only allowing one hit and two walks over the course of the next four innings, eventually being replaced after seven strong innings from Wildcat reliever Lawson Zenner.
Wayne State grabbed an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to separate the sides. Bryce Bisenius smashed his team-high eighth home run of the year to extend the score to 4-2 in favor of the Wildcats.
Zenner made quick work in the top of the eighth as none of the Cougar batters were able to escape the infield, going down in order. A flyout and three-pitch strikeout put Wayne State within one out from the series sweep and grabbed just that as Neumann fielded a routine ground ball and stepped on second for a force out to give the Wildcats their 18th win in the last 20 games.
Herrmann (3-0) finished the afternoon with the win, pitching seven innings and giving up just five hits while recording five strikeouts. Zenner nabbed his second save of the season. Loosbrock moved to 1-5 in his 4.1 inning outing.
Andrew Hanson led the Wildcats with three hits, unable to touch all four bags on any of the three. Bisenius finished 2-3 with an RBI on his solo shot, while Thompson’s (7) two-run shot and Neumann’s (1) solo blast were their only hit of the afternoon.
The Wildcats travel to Winona, Minnesota to take on the Warriors of Winona State on Tuesday afternoon. The doubleheader is slated to start at 1 p.m.