by Sam Goetzinger / email@example.com / Photo : SCSU Athletics
The Huskies returned to home soil for the first time this season to take on the Wildcats from Wayne State College. WSC has had an impressive start to the season thus far coming into the double-header with a 19-7 overall record and are currently sitting in the second spot for the NSIC standings.
The Wildcats had their hands full in the first game at Dick Putz Stadium against SCSU. St. Cloud opened the scoring in the first inning of play, as Junior newcomer Najee Gaskins started things off with a leadoff single against Sophomore starter Aaron Ras. Gaskins was able to utilize his speed and make it to third base, before Shortstop Jordan Joseph popped out to Right Field for the sacrifice fly and the first run of the game. Senior left-hander Cal Giese got the call for the Cardinal and Black on the mound as was able to keep WSC quiet for the first couple of innings. It did not take long for the Huskies to tack on another run, with Senior Caeden Harris getting on base with a single in the second.
Smart baseball by SCSU got Harris over to third and the senior core produced once again with Ethan Ibarra grounding out to short but driving in Harris to make it 2-0. Flood gates opened in the bottom of the third for St. Cloud State as Mitch Mallek deposited a long ball over the ivy at Dick Putz to put the Huskies up 4-0. The homerun drove in Mathew Meyer as well after his leadoff single. But the Cardinal and Black were not done in the third because Senior transfer Toran Shahidi wanted to get in the fun with a homerun of his own to extend the score to 5-0.
The runs did not pick up until the top of the fifth when Senior Travis Miller led off with a triple to put a runner on scoring position for Wayne State. Jake Lemar came through for the Wildcats popping out to right field and driving in their first run of the game to make the score 5-1. Ras was pulled going into the bottom of the fifth by Head Coach Alex Koch of Wayne State. Ras finished the day with 4.0 innings pitched, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts.
The Huskies responded quickly to the one run put up by the Wildcats and it come off the bat of Senior Mallek for the second time in the ball game. With the second two run homerun of the game in the books for Mallek the lead was pushed to 7-1 in favor of SCSU.
It looked like the Wildcats were down, but they were not out. In the top of the sixth a few timely base hits gave WSC a couple more runs and narrowed the deficit to three making the score 7-4.
Giese’s day would come to an end after 4.1 innings pitched, 7 hits, 4 earned runs 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts.
Sophomore right hander Riley Ahern came in relief for the Huskies and slammed the door for a full inning and finished with 3 strikeouts. In the final inning of play for game 1 SCSU called on St. Cloud native Trevor Koenig to close out the Wildcats and he would do just that, picking up his first collegiate save going 0.2 innings and striking out one WSC batter.
St. Cloud State takes game on of the mid-week double header series against Wayne State College 7-4 at Dick Putz Stadium.