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Vikings Sweep Minnesota-Crookston, Extend Win Streak To 10 Games

Marcus O'Neill, Augustana Vikings
Augustana College

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Augustana nearly no-hit Minnesota Crookston in a 14-0 win in game one before earning a 13-1 win in game two. With its two wins, Augustana (26-15, 14-6 NSIC) has now won 10 straight games, which is two shy of tying a school record for the longest winning streak.

Augustana won 12 straight games during the 1989 season from March 23-April 11.

The Vikings improve to 27-1 all-time against Minnesota Crookston (0-31, 0-18 NSIC) with the series sweep.

GAME ONE
Tyson Gau earned his first win of the season for Augustana tossing 4.0 strong innings and not giving up a hit. Grant Larson came into the game in relief of Gau and kept the Golden Eagle bats quiet in 2.0 innings. Derek Quame came into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and was just one out away from completing the combined no-hitter when UMC’s Jordan Prill singled through the right side of the infield with one out.

The last time Augustana threw a no-hitter was on March 12, 2000, a 1-0 win against Minnesota Crookston.

The Vikings pounded out 14 hits in the opener, led by Jake Petersen and Nate Hewes, who each went 3-for-4 at the plate. Petersen finished the game with a double, two stolen bases and a career-high four RBI. Hewes added a double and three RBI for the Vikings.

Augustana took an early lead scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Petersen led off the game with a sharp single to center field on an 0-2 count before stealing second base. Tony Viger then sent a single to center field on the very first pitch of hit at bat to score the game’s first run.

On Viger’s single, the UMC center fielder did not field the ball cleanly allowing Viger to advance all the way to third. Viger came in to score as Alex Fink grounded out to the second baseman to make the score 2-0.

Augustana extended its lead to 5-0 in the top of the second inning scoring three runs on three hits. Hewes got on base with a one out single and moved up two bases after two throwing errors by the Golden Eagles. Zach Dibble then walked and stole second after Brian Duxbury grounded out to put runners on second and third.

Petersen then drilled a line shot to right field to drive in two runs. Marcus O’Neill was up next and after Petersen stole second base delivered an RBI single to center field for the third run of the inning.

Augustana tacked on two more runs in the top of the third inning starting on a two-RBI double by Hewes extending its lead to 7-0.

The Vikings scored four more runs in the fifth and three in the seventh to bring the lead up to 14-0 and that would stand as the final score.

GAME TWO
After scoring five runs through the first five innings, Augustana used a seven-run sixth inning to cruise past Minnesota Crookston 13-1 in the series finale. The Vikings got a strong start from Bennett Johnson, who improved to 3-1 on the season with the win, as he tossed 5.0 innings while allowing just five hits and striking out eight batters.

Matt Musser and Michael Letkewicz each worked one inning and held the Golden Eagles hitless. Musser struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth inning while Letkewicz fanned two batters in the bottom of the seventh.

Fink and O’Neill each went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Vikings. Fink finished the game with three RBI while O’Neill drilled his third triple of the season.

The Vikings got the scoring going early in game two, plating two runs on two hits and one UMC error. O’Neill tripled to left field with one out and came around to score on the same play as the Golden Eagle left fielder threw the ball wildly back into the infield allowing O’Neill to score. Fink later singled up the middle to score Viger who reached earlier on a walk.

After an inning and a half of scoreless baseball, Minnesota Crookston got on the board with an unearned run in the bottom of the third to make it a 2-1 game. The Vikings pushed their lead back to two at 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning after Goihl scored on a ground out by Hewes .

The Vikings went in front 5-1 after Fink sent a two-RBI single to right field scoring Petersen and Dibble who started the inning with back-to-back singles. Augustana then scored seven runs on seven hits in the top of the sixth inning to push its lead to 12-1.

In the sixth, Ben Ludgwigson sent a double to right center to score two runs, which opened the flood gates as the Vikings would plate five more runs in the inning.

Augustana added a run in the top of the seventh inning when Eric Docken walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run and make the score 13-1.

Letkewicz came in and shut the door on the Golden Eagles getting two strikeouts and a groundout in the final frame.

In the four-game series with Minnesota Crookston, Augustana scored 60 runs on 63 hits, including 12 doubles, two triples and two home runs.

Augustana returns to action on Wednesday hosting Minot State in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Karras Park Home of Ronken Field.

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Courtesy: Augustana College

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