MITCHELL, S.D. - The Dakota State University baseball team stepped out of the DAC conference schedule as they faced in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan Wednesday at the Caldwell Park. The Trojans began their nine-game stretch on the road as they defeated the Tigers 7-5 in a single nine-inning non-conference game.
DSU won their 11th game in the last 12 games and raised their overall record to 17-11. DWU lost their fourth straight game and dropped to 21-14 overall.
Trojan Chad Hunt opened the game with a double to deep left field. Donald Strand added a single to advance Hunt to third base. Nick Mutz hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Hunt to put the Trojans up 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
DWU's Mario Mendoza hit an RBI single to score Clayton Grimstad to tie the game at 1-1 by the end of the first inning.
Jake Guild opened the top of the second inning with a double to deep right-center for the Trojans. Chaz Palmer hit a single to left-center to advance Guild to third. Strand hit an RBI double to deep left field to score Guild. Mutz hit his second straight RBI sacrifice fly to score Palmer to put DSU up 3-1.
Tiger Jake Montoya hit an RBI triple to score Ryan Santingo to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the second inning.
Mendoza recorded an RBI single to score Grimstad for the Tigers to earn a tie at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning.
Palmer hit a double in the top of the fourth inning for the Trojans. Strand hit his second RBI double to score Palmer to break up the 3-3 tie. Mutz added an RBI double to deep center to score Strand to extend DSU's lead to 5-3.
The Trojans added two runs in the top of the sixth inning for a 7-3 lead. Strand hit a ground ball RBI to score Guild. Mutz recorded his fourth RBI of the game with a single to score Hunt.
DWU scored two times in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut DSU's lead to 7-5. John Greicar hit two-RBI single to score Santingo and Andrew Fryer.
Both teams were unable to score in the final two innings as the Trojans held on to win.
Dakota State recorded three double plays in the game - all by Hunt, Guild and Ryan Bouricer.
Mutz and Strand combined for seven RBIs in the game for the Trojans. Mutz went perfect behind the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, two sacrifice flies and four RBIs. Strand went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and three RBIs. Palmer was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Guild had a double, a single and two runs scored. Hunt recorded a double, two walks and two runs scored. Bourcier and Garrett Gassman each had a single.
For Dakota Wesleyan, Mendoza went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Santingo had two singles and two runs scored. Grimstad, Greicar, Casey Solem and Fryer each had one single. Grimstad swiped two bases.
Seth Erdmann made his second straight start for the Trojans. He tossed two innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Brandon Womack recorded his first collegiate win as he pitched three innings after Erdmann. He allowed one run on two hits. Nick Bird came in for 1 1/3 innings and gave up two runs (one unearned) on four hits. Josh Caven pitched one shutout inning and allowed one hit. Mutz recorded his fifth save of the season as he closed the game. He gave up one hit in the final inning.
Tyler Earls (1-4) suffered the loss for DWU. He pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on eight hits. He struck out five batters. Parker Bryant tossed two innings in relief and allowed two runs on two hits. Nick Capucilli pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed one hit. He struck out three batters. Mike Hummel pitched one inning and Thomas Pickett closed the game for the Tigers.
Dakota State will return back to DAC conference schedule this weekend. The Trojans will continue their play on the road to Mayville State for a four-game series with the Comets on Saturday and Sunday. First game is slated to start at 1 p.m. on each day in Mayville, N.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director