The Winona State University (WSU) baseball team saw their best pitching performance of the season in a pair of conference contests, as the Warriors swept Bemidji State University (BSU) 5-2 and 10-0 in the friendly confines of Loughrey Field last Wednesday.
Bailey Banaszynski brought his A game in the first contest, going the full seven innings for the complete game win. Not to be outdone, Warrior teammate Cameron Kramer tossed a four-hit effort in the nightcap and enjoyed solid run support to send fans home early, as WSU earned the 10-run rule to end the game in the seventh inning.
In the NSIC double-header opener, a seven-inning affair, BSU and Winona State matched scoring, with the Beavers and Warriors each drawing first blood in the second inning. Nathan Loomis scored Austin Savary on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the second, and Tanner Williams plated Derek Martin in the third on a single to push Winona State up 2-1.
The fifth inning was friendly to the Warriors; after Banaszynski sent the Beavers down in order, a Sam Kohnle double scored Martin and Stange to stretch WSU’s lead to 4-1. Winona State tacked on a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth when Stange singled in Brinkman.
Bemidji State was only able to muster one run in the top of the seventh, an unearned tally after an error and a double. Banaszynski struck out Jake Carlson to end the game, allowing the sophomore from Milwaukee to pick up the complete game win.
At the plate for the Warriors in game one, Derek Martin went 2-for-3 with a double, scored twice and drew a walk. A balanced WSU offense saw Zac Stange, Sam Kohnle, Tanner Williams Derek Baumgartner and Carter Brinkman all collect hits for head coach Kyle Poock, with Kohnle’s being the only extra-base effort. WSU was patient at the plate, drawing five walks.
With the Warrior win, Banaszynski moved to 2-0 on the year and as importantly, got WSU off the schneid in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) action with the first conference victory of the season.
Kramer came dialed in for the nightcap against Bemidji State, retiring the side in order in the first, third and sixth innings. Both Kramer and his BSU counterpart, Alex Fietek, tossed 1-2-3 innings to open the game, but Winona State got their offense on track in the second stanza, scoring one run on a wild pitch. WSU added two more in the third, when both Derek Martin and Zac Stange scored after back-to-back base hits.
Winona State was nursing the three-run lead heading into the bottom of the fifth when the Warrior bats exploded to put the game away.
A Nick Herbst single with the bases loaded scored Cooper Kapanke and Sam Kohnle to stretch the lead to 5-0. Then, Carter Brinkman homered deep to right center, knocking in three RBIs, and running the WSU advantage to 8-0. Derek Martin’s single scored Nate Loomis moments later and WSU exited the fifth inning with a 9-0 lead.
Kramer retired the side in order in the top of the sixth and in the bottom of the inning, Brinkman scored Baumgartner on a sacrifice fly to crack double digits for the Warriors after six innings of play. When Kramer wrapped up the BSU top of the seventh with only a single surrendered, Winona State won on the 10-run rule, leading by double digits after seven innings.
Individually, the top of the Warrior order excelled at the plate with Zac Stange, Derek Martin and Sam Kohnle all going 2-for-4 and each scoring a run. Baumgartner was 1-for-2 with a walk and Brinkman’s 2-for-3 effort included his three-run homer and four RBI in the contest.
Kramer’s control was the story of the game, as he scattered four hits over seven innings while striking out four. After conceding a single and a double in the second inning, the sophomore from Anoka, Minn., allowed just two singles, in the fifth and seventh inning, respectively. With the win, Kramer moves to 1-0 on the year and boasts an impressive 1.59 ERA.
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