SMSU baseball’s offensive outburst not quite enough

Racking up 16 hits, including eight for extra bases, and scoring 11 runs will usually get the job done on the diamond, but for the Southwest Minnesota State baseball team on Tuesday, that was just not the case.

The Mustangs had season highs in hits and runs, but were bested by the Minot State Beavers 13-11 on Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz.

“We walked the leadoff batter the first five innings, and that’s not how you want to start pitching-wise,” SMSU head coach Paul Blanchard said. “Walking eight guys and giving up 16 hits, we have to pitch better.”

SMSU, which is now winless in its last seven games, was led at the plate by Brian Ness. Ness finished the game 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. He also scored a pair of runs.

Another Mustang contributing to the offensive output was Ryan Engels with a career-high three hits and three runs scored. Kyle Young, Steven Kremer and Jarred Carlson each bagged a pair of base hits. Kremer had a couple of doubles and Carlson was credited with a triple.

SMSU led at just one point in the game, following a two-run top of the second to grab a 3-2 lead. The Beavers answered back in the bottom half of the inning with four runs of their own to take a 6-3 lead.

Ness launched a solo shot and Kremer drove in a run with a two-out double to cut the lead to a run in the top of the third, but again the Beavers had an answer.

Minot State sprung for two runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth, which SMSU matched with one in the fifth and two in the sixth. Ness drove in both runs in the top of the sixth on a two-out single for the Mustangs.

SMSU looked as though it would head to the eighth inning trailing 9-8, as Minot State hit a fly ball with two outs. The Mustangs couldn’t come up with it, however, and the Beavers drove in four runs following the error to take a 13-8 lead.

“It’s a different type of game on this kind of surface without a cloud in the sky,” Blanchard said “The sun was at a tough angle and there were balls that weren’t caught by both teams. We had a ball that was misplayed and they took advantage with a big inning.”

The Mustangs scored three runs in the top of the eighth, including two on Carlson’s triple, but got no closer.

Colton Smit was roughed up in his start for SMSU, picking up the loss after allowing six runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work.

SMSU will look to end its current skid with a nine-inning non-conference game against Bemidji State.

SMSU 122 012 030-11 16 2

Minot State 240 210 40X-13 16 2

SMSU-Colton Smit, Eric Giddings (2), Brandan Alfson (3), Landon Gacke (6); M-Austin Zorn, Doug Rolfson (6), Jamin Heller (7), Shane Seddon (8). WP-Zorn. LP-Smit. S-Seddon. HR: SMSU-Brian Ness. 3B: SMSU-Jarred Carlson; M-Mike Turcotte. 2B: SMSU-Ness, Ryan Engels, Kyle Young, Nick Tillo, Steven Kremer 2; M-Mitch Olson 2.