Coo & Crookston Split Doubleheader

USF Wins First Home Game At Birdcage

SIOUX FALLS – The University of Sioux Falls Baseball Team recorded its third straight walk off win in game 1, 4-3, before falling in game two, 9-4, to Minnesota Crookston in NSIC play at the Birdcage (Sioux Falls Stadium) on Saturday.

The games were the first played by the Cougars at the Birdcage, USF’s new home field. A week ago, wet conditions prevented USF from playing its home opener at Sioux Falls Stadium.

In the opening, Matthew Minnick had his second walk off hit in two games as the Cougars used a strong pitching performance from senior Zachary Miller to pick up the 4-3 win. It was USF’s third straight walk off verdict. In game two, the Cougars fell to UMC, 9-4, as Parker Hanson had a strong pitching outing for the Golden Eagles. While USF had 11 hits, they left nine runners on base as they struggled to come up with timely hits.

The two teams will square off in a doubleheader again on Sunday at the Birdcage with first pitch set for 1 p.m.

G1 – USF 4 UMC 3, 7 innings      
Miller tossed his first complete game of the season as the Cougars won in walk off fashion, 4-3 over Minnesota-Crookston in seven innings. Minnick had an infield single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to help USF to the victory.

Miller (1-3) threw 95 pitches over seven innings, allowing just four hits and three runs while recording three strikeouts in his first win of the season in four decisions. Cody Pamperin took the loss for UMC as he fell to 1-2. Pamperin allowed eight hits and four runs, three earned, with two strikeouts.

Josh Rehwaldt led USF on offense with three hits in three at bats while Noah Durkin, who scored the game winning run, had two hits and an RBI.

In the first inning, Rob Johnson belted the first home run by a USF player at the Birdcage. It was his second homer of the season. Rehwaldt, who followed with a single two batters later, scored on an error by the Golden Eagles for a 2-0 lead. After Dylan Gavin reached by error, Durkin delivered an RBI single to plate Gavin as the Cougars took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

In the top of the third inning, UMC tied the game with three runs on three hits, including Anthony Stewart’s two-run HR.

In the game-deciding seventh inning, the Cougars found some late magic after Durkin doubled to lead off the inning and Johnson had an infield hit to advance Durkin to third. With one out, Minnick delivered with his walk off hit, an infield single to shortstop which plated Durkin.

G2 – UMC 9 USF 4
Behind the pitching of Parker Hanson, the Golden Eagles picked up a split of the doubleheader with a 9-4 decision in game two. Hanson allowed two runs on six hits to USF, which plated single runs in the fifth and seventh innings and added two more in the ninth. Meanwhile, UMC jumped to a 5-1 lead and never looked back. They built on their lead with a run in the seventh and three more in the eighth inning.

In the top of the third, UMC opened the scoring on a fielder’s choice grounder that plated Stewart. After two runs in the fourth, the Golden Eagles added two more in the fifth inning on a two-run HR by Mitchell Bornhauser as UMC pushed the lead to 5-0.

USF finally broke through with a run in the 5th as Connor Merriam, who singled, scored on RBI ground out by Johnson.

UMC added a run in the seventh inning on Borhauser’s infield single to take a 6-1 lead after 6 ½ innings. However, USF cut the lead to 6-2 after Gavin, who had walked, scored on a sacrifice fly by Johnson. In the following inning, UMC plated a trio of runs which increased the advantage to 9-2. With two outs, the Cougars pushed two runs across as Johnson and Rehwaldt scored on an error and a double from Trevor Crow to trim the deficit to 9-4.

Keenahn Coyle (0-2) started and took the loss for USF after working three innings and allowing four hits and three earned runs with two strikeouts and five walks. Chris Thompson worked two innings, allowing two runs on one hit with three walks and a strikeout. Dan Johnson also worked for USF as he tossed three innings, allowing four hits and four earned runs with two strikeouts. Mitchell Lyall finished up for the Cougars as he threw an inning of scoreless relief and recorded a strikeout.

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