A two-run home run by designated hitter Steven Kremer in the top of the seventh inning put the Southwest Minnesota State baseball team up for good in a 7-6 win over Northern State in the second game of a doubleheader played Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Mustangs won the opener 3-2 behind a strong outing by pitcher Steven Wehr. The two wins moved SMSU to 12-22-1 overall, 7-13 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and kept the Mustangs alive in the hunt for a spot in the NSIC tournament.
The Wolves, who have dropped 12 straight games, fell to 13-23 overall and 6-16 in conference play.
The two teams were scheduled to play another doubleheader Sunday, but those games were canceled.
Wehr pitched six solid innings for the Mustangs in Game 1, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Corby McGlauflin came on to toss a scoreless seventh and earned the save.
All three of the Mustangs' runs came in the fifth inning. Kremer had an RBI double to left center field to score Kyle Young, then Kremer later scored on a throwing error. A Tanner Neale sacrifice fly scored Ryan Engels, who had previously reached base on an error.
SMSU000 030 0-3 3 2
NSU000 100 1-2 6 2
SMSU-Steven Wehr, Corby McGlauflin (7). NSU-Nathan Nietfeld. WP-Wehr. LP-Nietfeld. S-McGlauflin. 2B: SMSU-Steven Kremer. LOB: SMSU 2; NSU 5.
SMSU 301 000 300-7 10 2
NSU 104 100 000-6 7 1
SMSU-Colton Smit, Eric Giddings (3), Dylan Shoemaker (5), Jordan Kontz (7), McGlauflin (9). NSU-Clint Manzo, Kassidy Gaines (6). WP-Shoemaker. LP-Gaines. 2B: SMSU-Kyle Young, Kremer; NSU-Robbie Rocamora, Derek Thymesen. HR: SMSU-Kremer. LOB: SMSU 5, NSU 9.
SMSU finished with just three hits in the win.
The Mustangs got off to a great start in the second game of the twin bill, scoring three runs in the opening inning off of NSU starter Clint Manzo. But the Wolves scored a run in the bottom of the first, four runs in the third and another in the fourth on their way to a 6-4 lead.
After three scoreless innings, SMSU busted out in the seventh with three runs. Jon Ellis started things off with a single to the shortstop, then Jordon Kontz singled through the left side. A groundout by Brian Ness advanced the runners, and a Kyle Young sacrifice fly to left field scored Ellis. Then Kremer stepped to the plate and belted the go-ahead home run to right field.
The Mustangs didn't allow a run in the final five innings and held on for the victory. Colton Smit got the start for SMSU and went 2 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (zero earned) on no hits with four walks. He also hit a batter and had a strikeout. Eric Giddings pitched the next 1 1/3 innings before Dylan Shoemaker came on to throw two shutout innings. He earned the victory. Kontz threw the next 2 1/3 innings before McGlauflin entered to register the final two outs and earn the save.
Kontz went 4-for-5 at the plate and scored two runs. Kremer finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He had a double to go along with his home run.
The Mustangs are scheduled to face Bemidji State for a doubleheader Wednesday in Bemidji before they return to Marshall for four games against Minnesota-Crookston over the weekend. The two doubleheaders against the Golden Eagles will be the Mustangs' only games of the season played at Alumni Field.