Baseball wins over Valley City State
Despite soggy, cold weather on Sunday, the Mustangs got in five suspenseful innings of baseball at Lewis & Clark Stadium that resulted in a 4-1 win over Valley City State.
Valley City led off the game with a single from Brady Smith and a double from Grant Wehseler. Morningside starting pitcher Aaron Homme managed to escape the two on, no out jam by inducing a ground out and limiting Valley City to a score on a sac fly and a strikeout that closed the inning at 1-0.
The second, third, and fourth innings became a pitcher’s duel as both pitchers allowed scoreless frames.
In the top of the fourth, Valley City started a small rally with back to back one out singles, and a hit batter loaded the bases. Homme got his fifth strike-out of the game before yielding to Elliot Conover who was able to get the Valley City pinch hitter to pop out, leaving the bases loaded.
In the home half of the fourth, Levi Davidson and Dylan Gasner had back to back singles to put runners on the corners for the Mustangs with only one out. Brandon McClintock was hit by a pitch, which left the bases loaded. The inning would end when Adam Carlson pinch hit and popped up to third base, leaving three Mustang runners on base.
The suspense built again in the top of the fifth. Valley City State’s Nate Soulis singled to left field to get on base, then advanced twice on two separate wild pitches. Kody Lane got on base after a walk, and Nate Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Valley City. Conover was able to muster a strikeout for the Mustangs, though, closing the inning with the score still at 1-0 in favor of Valley City.
Carter Kratz led off the bottom of the fifth for the Mustangs by hitting a single. Braden Smutz would be walked in the next at bat, and Jordan Pierce was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Morningside. Valley City went to its bullpen, but Andrew Kasperbauer ripped a double to left center, clearing the bases and giving the Mustangs a 3-1 lead.
The Mustangs weren’t done just yet. After Davidson got on base with a single to third base, Valley City had a series of wild pitches and pitching changes that allowed Kasperbauer to score, making it 4-1 before the inning ended. It would also be the end of the game due to the inclement weather, with the remainder of the planned doubleheader cancelled.
“Both of our pitchers, Aaron Homme and Elliott Conover, did a nice job working out of a couple situations with runners in scoring position. They did a nice job of pitching in some tough conditions, “ said Mustangs Head Baseball Coach Adam Boeve. “Our guys battled through a very wet day of baseball, but it was great to get out on the field and compete.”
Conover received credit for the win and Almanza took the loss. Homme pitched three and two-thirds innings for the Mustangs, allowing four hits, one earned run, and five strikeouts. Kasperbauer had a big day for the Mustangs offense, going one for three with three RBIs and a run scored. In all, Morningside had five hits in 18 at bats during the contest.
The Mustangs will be back in action in spring 2019.