Newly-minted #4 St. Cloud State (14-3, 2-1 NSIC) travels to Mauston, Wisconsin on Thursday for a two-game midweek series with Winona State (8-6, 2-1 NSIC). Game one of the set is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with the second at 3:30 p.m.
SCSU enters the tilt after a statement Northern Sun opening series win over Minnesota State-Mankato, and earned a #4 ranking in the recent NCBWA poll. The Warriors took two out of three against Northern State last weekend, earning back-to-back wins after falling in the opener.
Game one will feature a pair of true-sophomore lefthanders, with Matt Osterberg on the mound for the Huskies and the Warriors throwing Austin Savary. Osterberg is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA across 10.0 innings as a starter this season. Savary was one of the most reliable arms on the Winona State staff in 2018, going 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 3.37 FIP over 9 appearances and 48.0 innings, striking out 43 (20.3%), walking 16 (7.5%) and holding opponents to a .679 OPS. However, the southpaw has struggled in his two appearances this year, allowing 10 runs and 14 hits in just 5.0 innings. He’s been struck with an extraordinary unlucky BABiP of .583, a sign of a possible silver lining.
Cal Giese makes his second start off Ulnar Nerve surgery in the second game of the series, squaring off with Winona State true-freshman Kyle Gendron. Giese struggled in his first start against Concordia-St. Paul, largely due to an inability to get ahead of batters. Spotting the fastball certainly will be a focal point for the Huskies’ All-American lefthander, as will working efficiency with a lower pitch count. Gendron has made a pair of outings this season, firing 12.2 innings to the tune of a 4.26 ERA with three strikeouts, three walks and a .631 OPS against.
Winona State features a young, talented lineup headlined by one of the Central Region’s best pure hitters: junior first baseman Sam Kohnle. A career .380 batter, the righthanded stick is slashing .438/.517/.563 with 6 doubles through 14 games while striking out at a shockingly low 3.3% clip. Lefthanded-hitting outfielder Tanner Williams is tied for the NSIC home run lead with four, and tablesetting second baseman Zac Stange slashes .319/.439/.489.
Both games can be heard on the KVSC Sports Stream, with Husky Den PreGame at 12:15 p.m.