WARRENSBURG, MO (Dakota News Now) – Augustana Baseball fell to No. 3 Central Missouri in the NCAA Central Region Tournament, 7-4, on Saturday night. The No. 1-seeded Mules forced a second game with the No. 5-seeded Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday. The winner of Sunday’s game qualified for the NCAA Central Region Super Regional.
Sunday’s contest will have live stats and live video available at //GoAugie.com/Live or on the GoAugie Fan app presented by CellOnly.
Jed Schmidt was Augustana’s starting pitcher and went 1.2 innings on the mound. Caleb Saari entered the game in the second inning and struck out five batters, going 6.1 innings on the hill.
With Saari’s fifth strikeout in the eighth inning, Augustana broke another team single-season record with the 560th strikeout of the season. The previous record was 559 strikeouts set in 2018.
The Vikings were the first team to score, posting two runs in the first inning. Carter Howell kicked off the game for AU with a triple down the left field line to score Max Mosser. Mosser reached base after a single down the right side. Howell scored after Jordan Barth found himself at UCM shortstop.
Central Missouri took the lead late in the second inning with three runners crossing the plate.
In the third inning, Howell tied the game three-for-one with a solo homer to left center. The home run is Howell’s 14th of the season.
Luke Ballweg brought Jaxon Rosencranz home in the fourth inning on a pitch to second baseman and the Vikings took the lead, 4-3.
A two-run homer in the fifth inning gave the Mules a one-run lead. Central Missouri pushed their lead to three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead 7-4, which turned out to be the final score.
Howell led with two runs and two RBIs. Dirksen, Rosencranz and Howell each had two hits in the game for six of the VIkings’ nine hits.
Augustana will face Central Missouri in the final match of the double-elimination tournament with the goal of qualifying for the Super Regional next weekend. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
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