Norse men split MPG
WELLS — The Bay College bats came alive in the first game of a baseball doubleheader Sunday as they mercied the Minnesota Post-Grad team 11-1 in six innings here Sunday.
The Norse carried some of their momentum into the nightcap, but it wasn’t quite enough to prevent them from dropping a 13-11 decision in eight innings in their regular-season finale.
Bay (4-29) continues with the Region 13 play-in series in Rosemount, Minn. against Dakota County Technical College this weekend. The Norse trail that series 3-0.
Bay dropped both ends of Saturday’s twinbill, 12-6 and 17-4.
“Saturday was probably the worst day we had all season,” said Bay manager Mike Pankow. “We challenged the guys on a couple levels. We talked about not being afraid to fail. We played 14 innings today and in 13 of those our attitude was good. Hats off to them. They kept battling and were able to win. That’s a nice ball club. They put pressure on us.”
The Norse led 11-6 after the sixth inning of Sunday’s nightcap following back-to-back RBI singles by Sam Schneider (to rightfield) and Logan Michalko (center).
Minnesota climbed within 11-8 on a two-run single to right by Eric Rataczak in the seventh, chasing starter Jackson Bower from the hill. Ethan Hear added a two-run double to left, then tied the score on an error.
In the eighth, Hear again came through for the visitors with a game-winning two-run single to left-center.
“Coming back from an 11-6 deficit, that’s pretty good,” said Minnesota manager Mike Ponsella. “The first game wasn’t pretty. We had way too many errors. Everyone on the team, except for one, pitched this weekend. Our last guy (Hunter Daymond) hadn’t pitched since sixth grade. They had a very good pitcher in the first game (Tanner Halvorson), and the guy who started the second game (Bower) is a very solid pitcher. Taking 3-of-4 over here, that’s awesome. It’s hard to win all four.”
Minnesota used five pitchers in the nightcap. Grant Craft took the loss in relief.
“I thought Jack pitched a heck of a game, and Grant came on in a tough situation,” said Pankow. “Tanner had been battling some injuries. It’s was really nice to see him pitch the first game.”
After Minnesota took the early lead, the Norse answered with seven runs in their half of the first.
Carson Shea gave the Norse a 2-1 lead on a two-run double along the leftfield line.
Schneider added their third run on a bases-loaded walk, and Michalko followed with a two-run bloop single into shallow left for a 5-1 cushion.
The Norse scored two more in the opening frame, then made it 8-1 on Schneider’s sacrifice fly to center in the second.
Minnesota trimmed its deficit to 8-2 on Rataczak’s single to right, and C.J. Jiron scored its third run on a fielding miscue in the third.
Bay made it 9-3 on Billy Garcia’s sacrifice fly to center in the third.
The Gopher State crew moved within 9-6 by scoring three times in the sixth.