A controversial call at first base that resulted in the ejection of Wayne State baseball coach Alex Koch turned out to be the game-winning run for Minnesota State in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Mavericks outlasted the Wildcats 3-2 in extra innings Thursday afternoon in the NSIC Baseball Tournament semi-finals played at Faber Field in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
The game was a pitcher’s duel between Wayne State freshman Aiden Breedlove and Minnesota State junior Brody Rodning. Neither team recorded a hit until the fifth inning.
Breedlove allowed a first inning walk to the Mavericks, then retired 11 straight MSU batters until issuing a two-out walk in the fourth inning.
Rodning gave up two walks in the Wildcat second to Tanner Simons and Bodie Cooper, then retired the next 11 Wayne State batters until giving up his first hit of the game, a single to Peyton Barnes in the top of the sixth. Barnes moved to third after Cody Jenkins reached on a MSU fielding error to put runners on first and third with two out, but Rodning got David Janes to groundout to third to end the inning.
Minnesota State broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with the first hit of the game, a solo homer by Hunter Walsh, to put the Mavericks in front 1-0.
The ‘Cats put two runners on in the eighth but again came up empty. Tandon Dorn singled to lead off the inning with Barnes recording a walk with two outs to put runners on first and second, but Cody Jenkins flied out to left field to end the possible scoring threat.
The Mavericks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth off Wildcat reliever Keenan Breen as Eric Peterson tripled and scored on a Dylan Dresel RBI single off Breen’s leg for a 2-0 Minnesota State lead.
Wayne State rallied in the top of the ninth inning off MSU reliever Aaron Brozek, scoring two runs to knot the score at 2-2.
David Janes led off with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Mitch Gullikson. Tanner Simons walked and both players scored on a Bodie Cooper double to the gap in left center field that made the score 2-2 with one out. Maverick reliever Ricky Digrugilliers then came on and got Tandon Dorn to ground out to the pitcher followed by pinch hitter Bryce Bisenius flying to deep left to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Minnesota State got two hits off WSC reliever Bobby St. Pierre and had runners on first and third before St. Pierre got out of the inning.
WSC’s best chance to score in extra innings came in the 10th when Peyton Barnes doubled and advanced to third, but was left stranded.
Minnesota State opened the bottom of the 11th with Josh Wenzel reaching first base on a controversial call that was ruled a single, resulting in the ejection of Wildcat head coach Alex Koch. Wenzel moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and reached third on an infield single. WSC then intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases. With a 3-2 count on Minnesota State’s Hunter Harnisch, he was hit by the pitch from St. Pierre allowing the winning run to score to end the game with the Mavericks winning 3-2 in 11 innings.
Wayne State had five hits in the contest. Bodie Cooper had a two-run double while Peyton Barnes ended 2 for 4 with a double and single. David Janes doubled with Tandon Dorn recording a single.
Aiden Breedlove pitched seven standout innings in a start for the Wildcats, giving up just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and three walks. Keenan Breen worked the eighth inning and was charged with one run on two hits. Bobby St. Pierre (5-6) suffered the pitching loss working the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits and one run while walking one batter.
Minnesota-Duluth scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning, handing Wayne State its second straight extra inning loss Thursday eveing at the NSIC Baseball Tournament in St. Cloud, Minnesota as the Bulldogs eliminated the Wildcats with a 5-2 victory. Earlier in the day, WSC dropped a 3-2 11- inning contest to #1 seed Minnesota State. Wayne State ends the year with a 29-24 record while UMD stays alive in the tournament at 25-27.
The Bulldogs scored first in the top of the third on a double and sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
WSC tied the score with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but left the bases loaded. Tandon Dorn started the inning reaching on an error with Jackson Petersen doubling to put runners on second and third. Aaron Krier followed with a sacrifice fly to score Dorn, tying the game at 1-1. But after Peyton Barnes singled and Cody Jenkins walked to load the bases, David Janes flied out to center field to end the inning.
The tie was short lived as Minnesota Duluth regained the lead in the top of the eighth with one run, chasing starter Teague McFadden, for a 2-1 Bulldog lead.
The Wildcats responded quickly in the bottom of the eighth with a run to tie the game at 2-2, but left the bases loaded for a second straight inning. Tanner Simons and Bodie Cooper posted back-to-back doubles to open the inning. Kyle Thompson walked and Dorn reached on a UMD error for the second time in the game to load the bases, but the Bulldogs got a strikeout and fielder’s choice to get out of the bases loaded jam for a second straight inning and the game would end up going extra innings.
Minnesota Duluth wasted little time setting the tone in the 10th inning, using a single, double and home run to score three runs to take a 5-2 lead.
Wayne State held a 12-7 advantage in hits over UMD. Aaron Krier finished 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and one RBI. Tanner Simons, Jackson Petersen and Bodie Cooper each went 2 for 5 with a double with Cooper getting one RBI. Peyton Barnes, Cody Jenkins and Kyle Thompson each added singles.
Starting pitcher Teague McFadden fired 7 1/3 innings and allowed just three hits and two runs with six strikeouts and three walks. Keenan Breen faced one batter in the eighth inning and was charged with one hit. Junior left hander Kyle Kennebeck (1-1) was tagged with the pitching loss, allowing three runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings of work with six strikeouts and no walks.