Wayne State provided late game drama at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex Sunday afternoon, forcing three walks in the ninth to walk off and grab a sweep over the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 4-3. The win moves the Wildcats to 14-7 (5-3 NSIC) while the Bulldogs drop to 4-12 (2-6 NSIC).
Lawson Zenner made a strong impression early on the bump for the Wildcats, giving up a hit in between three strikeouts in the first inning.
After both teams went scoreless with two hits apiece in the opening two innings of action, the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third frame as they finally found some success against the Savage, Minnesota product. With runners on second and third with an out, Tyler Wojciechowski found a gap to left field for a two RBI single.
The Wildcats matched Minnesota Duluth in their half-inning, grabbing two runs back to even the score. A stolen base from Brendan Madsen (hit by pitch) and two balks sent the junior home before an Andrew Hanson double brought Kyle Thompson around to send the game to 2-2 into the top of the fourth.
The defense on both sides highlighted the fourth, highlighted by a throw down from catcher Jake Lemar to catch a Bulldog runner stealing to end the inning.
After Zenner’s fifth strikeout of the afternoon in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs rallied for three straight singles to grab another run and go on top for the second time of the day before the junior forced two fly balls to end the inning.
Zenner ended the day with five strikeouts and no walks, giving up nine hits in five innings, leaving with no decision.
Wayne State again matched scores with Minnesota Duluth to bring the score to 3-3. Alex Logelin’s single through the left side helped swing some momentum to the ‘Cats. Logelin would advance on a wild pitch and subsequent error on the throw down to second to put him in scoring position with Thompson up to bat. The Omaha native placed a shot right down the left field line to bring Logelin home, but the Wildcats were unable to capitalize later in the inning with runners on second and third.
Andrew Staebell’s eighth appearance of the season became a dominant one, as the freshman tossed three innings without a hit as both sides tightened up defensively and were unable grab an advantage.
Aaron Ras relieved Staebell in the ninth, walking the first batter he faced. Quickly recovering, Ras sent the next three batters back to the dugout to escape a potential jam.
The Wildcat offense moved Lorenzini (double to left) to third on a sacrifice bunt, forcing the Bulldogs into two straight intentional walks to load the bases.
Bryce Bisenius stepped up to the plate, forcing a five-pitch walk to end the game and complete the series sweep over the Bulldogs in a 4-3 win.
Hanson led the Wildcats offensively, batting 3-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Kyle Thompson also added an RBI on 2-3 hitting, while Bisenius earns an RBI on his ninth inning walk.
Ras was credited with the win, moving his record to 2-1 on the season. Sean Flahrety gets the loss for the Bulldogs, falling to 1-2 on the season.
The Wildcats are back in action at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in midweek NSIC action, facing the Marauders from the University of Mary in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is slated to begin at 12 p.m.