By Sam Goetzinger | @KVSCSports
After a solid win in game one of the weekend series against the University of Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State looked to continue dominance with a double header on Sunday. Game two of the series in Mauston, Wisconsin started exactly how SCSU hoped. The Huskies opened the scoring in the bottom of the first after some early mistakes from the Bulldogs. Junior Najee Gaskins was able to reach first base after an error at short by UMD. Senior Mitch Mallek managed an infield single and Gaskins maneuvered his way over to third. An error at first base allowed Gaskins to stroll home for the first run of the game. Left handed senior Sheldon Miks got the start for game two, he was able to hold the Bulldogs scoreless in the first two innings. It did not take long for the cardinal and black to get back on the board. In the bottom of the second inning the big bat of senior Caeden Harris lead off the triple out of the gates. A couple of batters later, junior Aaron Hammann was able to drive into center field for a base hit and an RBI knocking in Harris. Hammann reached second base on a passed ball and then following that senior Ethan Ibarra took first base off an error at third by UMD. The Huskies didn’t want the scoring to end in the inning, junior Lenny Walker notched another base hit for SCSU and drove in Hammann to make it 3-0 after two innings. Miks held the Bulldogs in the third and then in the bottom of the inning things got interesting for SCSU. Mallek started it off with a walk, from there senior Matt Meyer singled and Mallek was able to get all the way to third. In the next at bat, Mallek did one of the rarer sightings in baseball and stole home to put the Huskies up by 4 runs. Like the second inning, the Huskies wanted to add on some more. After the steal, Harris reached on another error from UMD. Senior Toran Shahidi helped Harris move to third with a single of his own. Harris capitalized on a wild pitch by the Bulldogs and moved the Huskies up by 5-0 early in the ball game. The fourth frame was quiet by both sides, but in the top of the fifth some life was shown by UMD. An error and a couple of timely hits got the Bulldogs on the board, but still some more work need to be done to get back into the game. Before that could be done, the Huskies struck again in the sixth inning. Hammann walked to lead off and then was able to make his way to third throughout the next couple of at bats. Another passed ball allowed Hammann to come home to plate another run for SCSU. Later in the inning, the big bat of Mallek added on to his already impressive game with a two-run shot for his eighth of the season. With the Huskies up 8-1 after six innings, the Bulldogs only had the top of the seventh to try and mount a comeback for game two of the series. The cardinal and black called on sophomore Trevor Koenig to close things out ending Mik’s day. After a base hit, a hit by pitch, and two fielder choices the Bulldogs notched one more run to push the deficit to six. Koenig then turned on the jets and struck out the final two batters to put game two in the books with St. Cloud State taking the win commandingly 8-2 over Minnesota Duluth. Sheldon Miks picks up the win going six innings strong, with no earned runs and nine strikeouts. He also improves his record to 6-1 on the season. Game three of the series would follow in Mauston, Wisconsin and a chance for the Huskies to pick up another sweep on the season.
The #9 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies looked to seal the three-game sweep with one more to be played against the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Sunday. The Huskies came out strong to start the first inning in Mauston, Wisconsin. Senior Najee Gaskins lead off the game with a double for SCSU in the bottom of the first. A balk allowed Gaskins to take third with nobody out in the inning. Freshman Dylan Haskamp drew a walk to bring up Senior Mitch Mallek. Mallek built off his impressive game two of the series by driving in the first run of game three with a dribbler to first base scoring Gaskins from third. With the groundout by Mallek, Haskamp was able to hustle all the way to third from first with senior Mat Meyer stepping up to the plate. Meyer was able to fend one off over to short, driving in Haskamp to put SCSU up 2-0 to end the first inning. Action was still in the second inning with no team putting any runs up. In the bottom of the third, the bats for St. Cloud State woke up again and it started with junior Aaron Hammann depositing a lead off single. Gaskins followed that up with a single of his own, and then later in the inning Meyer smacked one into left center to drive in Hammann from second to extend the lead to 3-0. Like the second, the fourth inning came up quiet as well. It wasn’t until the fifth that UMD decided to start the scoring on their side. A double to start and then a key single by the Bulldogs helped them mount their first run of the ballgame. The Huskies quickly answered in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff single from Gaskins. Haskamp struck out following the single but Gaskins was able to steal second and put himself in scoring position. The tear that Mitch Mallek has been on continued in the fifth with an RBI double to extend the lead to 4-1 in favor of SCSU. The Bulldogs weren’t a fan of the runs being scored by St. Cloud State, and in the sixth inning they tallied on a couple of their own. Back to Back singles helped put runners in scoring position. UMD drove in both those runs with a double to make it a one run ballgame going into the bottom of the sixth. Senior Jordan Joseph led off for the SCSU in the sixth and notched a single to get a man on board. During the ensuing at bat Joseph utilized his speed and stole second. Junior Matt Quade drove in Joseph from second with an RBI single to left field. With the Huskies up 5-3 after six, they needed some insurance runs to help secure the win. They would grab another one in the bottom of the seventh with a couple of singles from Mallek and Meyer. Senior Caeden Harris would go on to drive Mallek in from second base. Duluth picked up one run to start the eighth, but SCSU responded with one of their own in the bottom of the frame after Gaskins was hit by pitch and then stole second. Junior Lenny Walker drove in Gaskins from second with a single to make it 7-4 for St. Cloud State. That’s how it would end as SCSU takes the sweep over UMD by a final score of 7-4 in game three of the weekend series in Mauston, Wisconsin. Senior Blake Flint got the call for the final game and he would pick up the win, his 20th career victory, going for 5.1 innings, three earned runs, and 4 strikeouts. With the solid start Flint bumps his record to 5-1 on the season. Matt Butler came in relief in the sixth inning and picked up his fourth save throwing 3.2 innings with no runs allowed and eight strikeouts. The Huskies improve their record to 27-6 on the season and are now 15-4 in conference play. They take on Bemidji State for a mid-week double header against the Beavers on Tuesday. Both games can be heard on the KVSC Sports Stream with Thomas Breach on the call. First pitch times and game location on Tuesday is to-be-determined.