Young’s huge game helps SMSU baseball team earn split with Warriors

Power for both the Southwest Minnesota State and Winona State baseball teams was undoubtedly on display during their doubleheader in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Thursday. The two teams combined for 29 runs off of 43 hits, including eight home runs, while splitting the twin bill.

Winona State, led by a pair of long balls from Seth McMullen, blasted SMSU 11-3 in the seven-inning first game.

“They hit the ball very well,” SMSU head coach Paul Blanchard said. “We left some pitches in the middle of the plate and they took advantage of it. They hit the ball all over the park.”

The Warriors scattered 14 hits over six innings at the plate, four of which were home runs and three were doubles.

A Jarred Carlson RBI for SMSU in the top of the second inning tied the game at 1-1, but Winona State scored a pair in the bottom of the inning and four more runs in the third to take a 7-1 lead.

Colton Smith, who started for SMSU, was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits in two-plus innings of duty.

In Game 2, the power switch flipped in the Mustangs’ favor as Kyle Young charged the Mustang offensive surge. Young launched two home runs as part of a career day for the senior outfielder. Along with his two homers, Young also had a career-high five hits and career-high six RBIs in the game.

On the back of Young’s big game, the Mustangs topped Winona State 10-5 in nine innings and improved to 7-13-1 overall (2-4 NSIC).

“A team like Winona has a very rich history of success, they went to the World Series two years ago. We were hoping in that second game that we could do something,” Blanchard said. “We had a freshman on the mound in Tyler Klingenberg and Kyle certainly had a great day for us.

“He got his home runs with guys on base, which is even better. He had five RBIs on home runs alone. That was timely hitting, we talk about it all the time and we certainly had our share.”

Young was also responsible for the first five SMSU runs, as the Mustangs jumped out to 5-0 lead after the top of the third. A three-run homer in the top of the first and two-run shot in the third chased Winona starting pitcher Matt Bonestroo.

SMSU added a run in the fourth off of a Ryan Engels solo home run and another in the seventh, while three runs in the eighth put the game out of reach.

Winona State totaled 12 hits in the game, but were unable to take advantage as SMSU relievers Dylan Shoemaker and Corby McGaluflin preserved the Mustang lead.

“It’s nice have those guys in the bullpen,” Blanchard said of his two senior relievers. “There going to have a chance to have some success. They have some experience. We got some key outs and a double play. It worked out very well for us. Corby came in and got three strikeouts. He was fresh and he had some extra velocity it looked like and just pitched outstanding.

“Dylan Shoemaker pitched three innings and didn’t give up a run. Against an offense like that, which had hit the ball all over the park the game before, we were able to hold them down and keep the lead and get a win out of it,” Blanchard added.

Klingenberg picked up the win for the Mustangs, pitching five-plus innings while allowing five runs on nine hits.

The Mustangs are scheduled for a four-game series with Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday and Sunday in Marshall, though field conditions may force the games to a neutral location.