Minot State keeps season alive in win over St. Cloud State
With yesterday’s severe weather subsiding, the Minot State Beavers baseball team was back in action on Friday as the NSIC conference tournament continued in Brandon, S.D. The Beavers (27-22) were set to face the St. Cloud State Huskies (37-12).
The teams last met during Senior Weekend at Corbett Field, where the Huskies came to town and swept the Beavers in three games. This time, they met on a neutral site with Minot State carrying a 6-6 record and St. Cloud State owning a 17-5 record under neutral conditions.
After coming off an exciting win that included a go-ahead grand slam on Thursday, the Beavers looked to keep up their momentum and, most importantly, keep the season alive. Facing off against an opponent they have not beaten this season, the Beavers decided they weren’t going to finish the year winless against the Huskies, ultimately coming out on top of a close battle with a 4-3 victory.
Right-hander Dominick Parkhurst (5-1) was on the bump for the Beavers, looking to get redemption for his last outing against the Huskies where he was tagged for four runs and his first loss of the season.
Parkhurst would be successful in his redemption opportunity, however this time around he would have a much longer day of work. He went for seven innings on the day, four of which he faced the minimum number of batters.
The Beavers’ bats got behind Parkhurst early, giving him a lead in the top of the third inning. Drew Behling and Dalin Ludlow strung together consecutive singles to start the inning. Declan Buckle then drove in the pair on a single of his own, giving the Beavers a 2-0 lead.
Behling extended the Beavers lead and kept his hot bat going with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning to make it a 3-0 game. Consequently, with the way Parkhurst was dealing, a 3-0 lead seemed insurmountable for the Huskies.
While that nearly came to fruition, the Beavers got an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning which proved to be the game winner. Ricky Apodaca walked, advanced to second on a Blake Gallagher single, and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kaiden Cardoso. This gave the Beavers a 4-0 lead with only 12 more outs to go.
The Huskies were shut down at the plate with Parkhurst keeping them scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Sam Riola of St. Cloud State hit a two-run home run to close the score to 4-2. With one swing, it felt like an entirely new ballgame.
Parkhurst would go for one more inning before his day would come to an end. He tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits, two walks, and picked up two strikeouts. He qualified for the win with his performance, giving him his fifth win of the season.
St. Cloud State added another run in the bottom of the ninth, making it a 4-3 game. The drama continued to build as they had runners on first and second with two outs. Noah Myhre came into the game for the Beavers and got a strikeout to end it, securing the 4-3 win and picking up a save in the process.
Offensively, the Beavers were led by Drew Behling who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Declan Buckle who went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, and Kaiden Cardoso who went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Once again, Minot State awaits their next opponent. They will play today against the winner of the Minnesota Duluth and Winona State game.