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Winona State baseball drops two at SMSU

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Winona State University baseball team faced Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday, April 20, trying to make up ground in the NSIC standings as they kicked off a three-game series against the Mustangs in Marshall, Minnesota.

Winona State battled in both games but fell short on both ends of the doubleheader, losing 2-1 in a pitchers’ duel and falling to an 11-7 setback late in the nightcap.

Game 1: SMSU 2, Winona State 1 | Peter Tveite turned in a solid complete-game performance on the mound for Winona State, but the Warrior bats were largely kept in check by Mustang starter Kolby Kiser as the two pitchers combined a tight one-run ball game. Tveite scattered seven hits over the seven innings, but an unearned run led to a setback in the series opener for WSU.

Winona State managed just four hits in the game, with Cole Fuecker collecting half of those returns and driving in the lone Warrior RBI. Fuecker inserted Connor Weed, who had taken advantage of the hit with a pitch and who had advanced moments earlier on a Mustang error. However, Fuecker’s single to score Weed was the only foul of the game for WSU in the opening game.

Game 2: SMSU 11, Winona State 7 | WSU battled back to score two runs in the second inning after the host Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the opening at bats for both teams. Winona State and Southwest Minnesota State traded runs in the middle innings and were tied 7-7 after six frames, but SMSU would pull away with four more runs in the final three innings for the 11-7 victory.

Connor Weed led the WSU attack in game two, belting a home run in the fifth inning between his two hits and scoring twice himself. Warrior teammate Jess Ondell also delivered a long ball for a solo shot in the third. Ryland Wall added a double to the WSU effort, but Winona State left 12 runners on base in the four-run loss.

Kole Hinrichsen got the start on the mound for WSU and went five full innings, allowing six runs, five of which were earned. Hinrichsen struck out four and walked four before giving way to Cole Stanchina. Boyd Skelley joined Stanchina to end the sixth inning. Mason Beltrand pitched the final two Warrior frames, allowing four runs and being saddled with the loss to the Mustangs.

Winona State (14-25, 11-18 NSIC) and Southwest Minnesota State (23-14, 17-11 NSIC) wrap up play in their three-game series tomorrow at noon.