Central region

Augustana outlasts Mankato at NCAA Central Region Tournament

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AUGUSTANA) – Augustana Baseball defeated No. 22 Minnesota State on Thursday in Game 1 of the NCAA Central Region Tournament in a way from behind, 10-9. On Friday, the Vikings will advance to the Central Region Group No. 1 winners’ group semifinals.

Caleb Kranz picked up the victory for Augustana on the hill as he pitched 4.1 innings while striking out three batters. He entered the game with the Vikings trailing 6-4 and didn’t give up a point on his exit. Caleb Saari earned the save, getting two strikeouts to close the game.

Minnesota State got in quick and early with two runs in the first inning.

In the second set, the Vikings managed to equalize after Max Mosser navigated the ball through the middle, scoring Luke Ballweg and JT Mix. Mix was on base after a single while Ballweg was on base with a fielder pick.

The Mavericks took over late in the second inning, scoring three runs to lead 5-2.

Augustana cut the lead to one run in the top of the fourth inning. Mosser hit a single down the right side that tackled Jaxon Rosencranz. Drey Dirksen scored when Carter Howell pulled out at third baseman.

MSU pushed their lead to two runs with a single that scored a runner to end the fourth inning.

The momentum completely changed in the fifth inning as the Vikings took their first lead of the game. A triple from Rosencranz brought Mix and Jack Hines. Rosencranz was then sent home on Jason Axelberg’s sacrificial fly to MSU’s right fielder.

A solo homer from Howell to start the sixth inning made it 8-6. Howell’s bomb was the 13th of the season for the Viking outfielder. Hines pushed the lead to 9-6 after a single down the right side and Olson managed to score on a Minnesota State pitching error.

Mosser hit a fly ball into left field and turned it into a triple after the ball fell between the MSU shortstop and the left fielder. Mosser scored on Howell’s single in the middle of the next game and AU held a 10-6 lead before the end of the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mavericks hit a three-run homer over the fence into right field to cut the Vikings’ lead to 10-9. That’s when Saari entered the game and stopped the Mavericks to advance to the next round of the 2022 NCAA Central Region Tournament.

Mosser and Howell led the formation with three RBIs apiece. Mix and Rosencranz each scored two points in the win.

The Vikings totaled 14 hits in the win as Mosser led the way with three. Three other Vikings had multi-hit games with Hines, Rosencranz and Howell each recording a pair of hits.


Vikings take on winner of No. 1 Central Missouri/No. 8 Ouachita Baptist game Friday at 3:30 p.m. the Warrensburg, Missouri area.