Alex Fenske and Leo Zerr each belted a home run for the Marshall baseball team as the Tigers trampled Redwood Valley 11-2 Friday in a Southwest Conference game played in Redwood Falls.
With two on and two out in the first inning, Fenske hit what Marshall head coach Steve Fleck said was a "no-doubter" over the fence to get the Tigers (10-3 overall, 7-2 SWC) off to a strong start.
The Cardinals (3-8, 1-5) responded with two runs off of Marshall starter Aaron Mathiowetz in the bottom of the first, but that's all Mathiowetz and the Tigers allowed. Mathiowetz worked six innings, giving up five hits while striking out six and walking none. Jared Holland closed out the game with a scoreless seventh.
For Fleck, Friday's game was a textbook win.
"It was a good game for us. We had the opportunity to play everyone and all the guys who came in did a good job," Fleck said.
"Offensively, we did good with our situational hitting and on defense we turned three double plays. That always helps because just when the other team thinks they have something going, you take the wind out of their sails."
The Tigers combined for 12 hits as a team on Friday. Fenske finished the game going 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Marshall's Matt Campion was 2-for-3 with three runs scored, and Mason Schnaible was 1-for-4 with an RBI double.
Redwood Valley was led by Braydin Kvistero, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI double. The Cardinals had seven hits, five of which Fleck said were infield hits which were aided by a slow infield that was wet due to some light rain.
The Tigers wrap up their conference schedule next week. Marshall will take on Worthington on Tuesday, then face Jackson County Central in a doubleheader on Thursday in Jackson. JCC and Worthington are tied for the conference lead, each with one loss in SWC action.
"We started out behind by losing our first two conference games and have rolled off seven straight since," Fleck said. "Worthington and Jackson are tied for the conference lead and we're just a game back. We all play each other next week, so we've given ourselves a chance. That's all you can ask for."
Marshall 302 402 0-11 12 1
RV200 000 0-2 7 1
MAR-Aaron Mathiowetz, Jared Holland (7). RV-Jeremy Hester, Tyler Kohout (5). WP-Mathiowetz. LP-Hester. HR: MAR-Alex Fenske, Leo Zerr. 2B: MAR-Mason Schnaible; RV-Braydin Kvistero.