NCAA BASEBALL: Mustangs sweep Wildcats

MARSHALL – Southwest Minnesota State breezed by Wayne State in Game 3 of a planned four-game series between the two teams.

Game 4 was cancelled due to cold weather conditions.

After taking the first two contests 5-0 and 3-1, the Mustangs swept the series today with a 12-3 win over the Wildcats.

Senior pitcher Steven Wehr went the distance, pitching all seven innings. He struck out four while allowing three runs, all of them earned, on seven hits to improve his record to 3-2. He didn’t record a walk.

After allowing just four runs in three games, Mustangs coach Paul Blanchard was impressed with his pitching staff as of late.

“On the weekend, we pitched outstanding,” Blanchard said. “It was very nice to see that we pitched that well and we put up some runs today. You get those kind of pitching performances and you’re going to have a real chance to win.”

Wehr used good placement over power for most of game three and it worked to his advantage.

Once he was able to get some momentum going, he was able to get in a rhythm.

“I did a good job of keeping the ball down and a lot of it was jamming them inside,” Wehr said. “When they did hit it hard, luckily it went to somebody on the defense.”

Wehr had plenty of help from his teammates at the plate as well.

Junior first baseman Austin Stubbs, senior first basemen Patrick Rients (designated hitter in the contest) and sophomore outfielder Sam Haas all hit home runs and combined for five RBI.

Senior outfielder Jon Ellis doubled twice in the contest, tallying three RBI while sophomore shortstop Ben Kroger, junior right fielder Brandan Alfson and junior catcher Tanner Neale also recorded doubles on the day.

Junior second baseman Ryan Engles had a triple and recorded one RBI.

The Mustangs scored at least one run in every inning and broke the game open in the fifth, stretching their lead from 3-1 to 8-1 with a five-run frame.

The Wildcats were able to muster just two RBI – one from center fielder Jake Perez and one from catcher Alex Kreft – and recorded seven hits compared to 12 for the Mustangs.

They just didn’t have enough things go right.

“It was competitive early and then we struggled with falling behind in the count.” Wayne State coach Brian Disch said. “Southwest hitters did a good job of hitting fastballs that were up and toward the end of the game. We had guys that hadn’t pitched for awhile and it got away from us. Give credit to them, though, they swung the bats well all weekend.”

SW Minnesota State 12, Wayne State 3

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HITTING: Wayne State (Herman 1-for-3, double, run; Perez 1-for-3, RBI; Kreft 1-for-3, rbi; Schleppenbach 1-for-3, Roberts 1-for-3, run; May 1-1, run; Krier 1-for-3). Southwest Minnesota State (Stubbs 2-for-3, HR, RBI, two runs; Rients 1-for-4, HR, two RBI, run; Haas 1-for-2, HR, two RBI, run; Engles 1-for-2 triple, RBI, two runs; Kroger 2-for-3, double, RBI, two runs; Ellis 2-for-4, double, three RBI; Alfson 1-for-3, double, two runs; Neale 1-for-3, double, run; Hanson 1-for-1, RBI; Kontz 0-4, RBI).

PITCHING: (IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO): Wayne State (McGill 3-6-7-7-2-3; Schulz 1-1-1-1-3-2; Christopher 1-2-1-1-0-1; Lenihan 1-3-3-3-2-1); SMSU (Wehr 7-7-3-3-0-4).