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Spartans Split with Northland

April 10, 2014

The M State baseball team hosted a doubleheader with Northland Community & Technical College on Wednesday, losing 6-0 to the Pioneers in the opener and winning the second game 4-2.

In the first game, Northland scored four runs in the first inning on only one hit. Four walks, one error, two stolen bases and a few passed balls were the deadly ingredients for FF, something they just couldn't overcome. Thomas Lindgren (4 IP, 8K, 6BB, 1 H, 5R, 4ER) and Kyle Goplerud (3 IP, 4K, 4BB, 0H, 1ER) combined for 12 strikeouts but walked a total of 10 batters.

"Most times when you give up one hit and strike out 12 batters, you find yourself on the winning side of the game," said Head Coach Jarrod Asmus. "But when you factor in 10 walks and two errors, things change dramatically. We need to understand that walks are like singles, and errors are as lethal as doubles. Winning teams throw strikes, play good defense and don't strike out."

M State got things going early in the second game, pushing across a pair of first inning runs. With two outs, Cole Easley was hit by a pitched ball, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Carter Paulson then walked. Paulson advanced to second base, and Easley scored on a passed ball. Gabe Pankonin then hit an RBI single to score Paulson. In the fourth, Tyler Nielson singled with one out, then stole second. Tanner Picht walked. Nielson and Picht executed a double steal, which led to a throwing error by the catcher, who threw the ball into left field. The left fielder bobbled it, allowing both runners to score. Hunter Arnold (7 IP, 12K, BB, 3H, ER) fired a complete game for the victory.

"This was a much better output from our pitcher and our defense," said Asmus. "We walked only one and gave up only three hits (two in the last inning) and committed no errors. Baseball is a simple game, unless we make it hard for ourselves. Throwing strikes and not walking batters makes it easy on ourselves. Not committing any errors or having mental breakdowns makes it easy on the pitcher. Offensively, if we can cut down on our strikeouts (15 today), success will find us more. It was great to finally get outside in Fergus Falls, hopefully a sign of good things to come for Spartan baseball."

Fergus Falls is at home on Friday at 2 p.m. against Anoka Ramsey Community College and then in Willmar to play Ridgewater College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Last modified: April 11th, 2014 at 11:26am