Don Weast, Associate Athletic Director
Emporia State swept a pair of one run wins from Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday afternoon at the Trusler Sports Complex. The Hornets won game one 4-3 and took the nightcap 2-1.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first, Emporia State got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Mack Gowing walked went to second ona Mason Brown single and advanced to third on a Bryce Fischer fly out. Kaden Shaffer then hit a sac fly to center to make it 1-0 Hornets.
It would stay that way until the top of the third. Corey Krolikowski singled through the right side to lead off the inning. He went to third when Max Laney throw was off line on a Eric Yachinich sac bunt attempt and scored on Colin Baumgard’s fielder’s choice when the Hornets could not turn an inning ending double play.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth when Krolikowski tripled and scored on a sac fly by Yachinich. The Hornets responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Trevor Turner led off with a walk and was able to beat a throw at second on Max Laney’s sac bunt attempt. Garrett Francis beat out a bunt single to load the bases. Gowing then singled through the left side to tie the game and Brown hit a sac fly that plated Laney for a 3-2 Emporia State lead.
With one out in the Bulldogs half of the sixth Henry George reached on a bunt single and went all the way to third when Brown’s throw went down the right field line. Tyler Midas then singled up the middle to tie the game at 3-3. Brian Grove led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and advanced to third on a failed pick off attempt. Turner then delivered a sac fly to left to give Emporia State a 4-3 lead.
Holman retired the side in order in the top of the seventh for the complete game win. He allowed just one earned run on six hits with five strike outs in 7.0 innings.
Gowing was one for two with a run scored and an RBI while Turner had a run and an RBI with a walk.
Ten pitchers combined to hold the two teams to just three runs in the nightcap. Both teams were scoreless through the first four innings.
In the top of the fifth Minn.-Duluth loaded the bases with just one out to chase Hornet starter Nathan Gieber. Jacob Tetuan came on in relief and got a fly ball to shallow right that was not deep enough to score the run. Tate Kastens then made a diving catch at third to save at least two runs and end the inning. Emporia State broke through in the bottom of the fifth when Brian Grove led off with a single and went to second on Turner’s sac bunt. Tanner Arst then delivered an RBI double to deep center field to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
That lead held up until the eighth inning. Cory Krolikowski doubled into the right field corner. Taylor Thompson, who started the inning on the mound for the Hornets, misplayed a sac bunt attempt that allowed Krolikowski to score from second and tie the game. Mack Gowing was hit by pitch to lead off the Hornets half of the eighth. He went to second on Matt Brown’s ground out and scored on Bryce Fischer’s single up the middle.
Mason LeClair came on to close out the ninth and after a lead off infield single got two strikeouts. He threw two pitches to Krowlikowski when he felt something in his side and was relieved by Trey Taylor. Taylor walked Krolikowski and then struck out Chase Thomas to end the game.
The Hornets and Bulldogs will wrap up their three game series on Sunday at approximately 3:00 p.m. Minnesota Duluth will take on William Jewell before the conclusion of the ESU-UMD series.