Each game went extra innings as Wayne State College and Minot State braved the elements Wednesday afternoon in a Northern Sun Conference baseball doubleheader in Minot, North Dakota with temperatures in the low 30’s and feel like temperatures near 20 degrees all day. The host Beavers won the opener 6-3 in 10 innings with the Wildcats prevailing 1-0 in eight innings in the second game. WSC is now 24-9 overall and 15-5 in the NSIC while Minot State is 18-12 and 11-6 in league games.
Both games were dominated by pitching, but the host Beavers used a dramatic walk off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning to capture the opener 6-3 in 10 innings.
The Wildcats scored first in the third inning as Alex Logelin doubled and came home on a Kyle Thompson single to right field for a 1-0 lead.
Minot State knotted the score in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of two Wildcat errors, a walk and hit batter to tie the score at 1-1.
WSC regained the lead in the top of the seventh when Jake Lemar singled and scored on a Logelin sacrifice fly. But the host Beavers countered with a pinch-hit homer to right center field to send the game into extra innings tied at 2-2.
Wayne State scored in the top of the 10th for a 3-2 lead when Brendan Madsen doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Thompson.
Reliever Lawson Zenner, the fourth Wildcat pitcher, came on in the 10th and walked two batters and allowed a single to load the bases with one out. After recording a strike out for the second out of the inning, Minot State got a walk-off grand slam homer to hand the Wildcats a heartbreaking 6-3 loss in 10 innings.
WSC outhit MISU 9-6 in the contest as Logelin went 2 for 2 with a double and run scored. Lemar finished for 4 with a pair of singles while Madsen finished 2 for 5 with a double and run scored.
Zenner (1-2) suffered the pitching loss. Starter Aaron Ras worked four innings, striking out seven batters while allowing two hits and one run (unearned). Freshman Andrew Staebell pitched the next three innings. Senior reliever Charles Hasty worked two innings of relief and gave up just one hit.
The second game saw the two teams battle to a scoreless game that went into extra innings.
Freshman starter Ryan Obrecht had another impressive start, holding the Beavers scoreless over seven innings of work allowing just five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
The lone run of the contest was scored by the Wildcats in the top of the eighth inning. Logelin singled up the middle with one out. Kyle Thompson walked followed by a groundout by Bryce Bisenius advancing Logelin and Thompson to second and third.
Following a pitching change, Minot State walked Andrew Hanson to load the bases with Peyton Barnes drawing a bases loaded walk to bring home Logelin with the lone run of the contest.
Staebell came on in the bottom of the eighth and retired the top three batters in order to preserve the 1-0 Wildcat victory.
Wayne State had one more hit than Minot State in the contest, 6-5. Logelin and Barnes each had two hits to pace WSC with Madsen and Bisenius each recording a single.
Obrecht moved to 5-0 on the season with the win while Staebell fired a perfect eighth inning to account for his third save of the season.
Wayne State is scheduled to host Sioux Falls in a three-game NSIC series Saturday and Sunday at the Pete Chapman Baseball Complex in Wayne with a doubleheader Saturday at 12 p.m. followed by a nine-inning game Sunday starting at 12 p.m.