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Cougars finish with most wins since '96

UMM Sports Information

The Minnesota Morris (15-19, 10-11 UMAC) baseball team completed their season on Monday afternoon, dropping two of three games to Bethany Lutheran in Mankato. All three games were close and low scoring, with final scores of 5-0, 2-1 and 5-4; the Cougars lone win was the 5-4 victory in the series finale.

With the results on Monday, the Cougars will just miss out on the UMAC Tournament. The Cougars finish with a 10-11 record in the UMAC, their best record in UMAC history. Currently, Bethany Lutheran and Martin Luther are 9-9 and have three games remaining, but because they play each other one team will end up with 11 wins on the season and make the UMAC Tournament.

Bethany 5, UM-Morris 0

Game one was tight early and neither team had much going in the early innings of play. Chandler Erickson had the Cougars lone hit in the first five innings. Starter Mitch Reller did a good job keeping the Vikings off the scoreboard, working out of a couple jams in the first four innings of work. Bethany got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth taking advantage of two walks and two hit batsmen. They ended up leading 3-0 after five innings.

Morris was unable to respond and ended up with just four hits in the game as the Vikings completed the shutout, winning 5-0.

Bethany 2, UM-Morris 1

The offenses for both teams were silent in game two as both starting pitchers threw gems. The Cougars took a one run lead in the top of the second thanks to a Viking error. Christian Korlath singled to start the inning and scored on a throwing error with one out.

Bethany Lutheran was able to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a two out single to left. The leadoff batter in the bottom of the sixth was hit by a pitch and sacrificed to second. After a balk sent the runner to third, a single down the line in left, gave the Vikings a 2-1 lead. Morris had a runner reach in the top of the seventh, thanks to a fielding error, but unfortunately they could not tie the game.

UM-Morris 5, Bethany 4

Minnesota Morris was efficient in the third game of the series and picked up a 5-4 win. Cody Reinke helped himself out in the top of the first, drawing a two out walk and scoring on a double by Kylan Hill. He then went to work on the mound and held the Vikings scoreless in the first two innings. Reinke gave himself and the Cougars a 2-0 lead in the top of third, doubling to left center to score Eric Terres from second.

The Vikings struck back in the bottom of third, scoring three runs, all on a bases clearing double with two outs in the inning. Minnesota Morris tied the game up in the fifth inning as again Reinke delivered. This time he singled to right center driving in Jake Schmitz.

Mavencamp doubled and scored in the top of the sixth giving Morris a 4-3 lead. Devin Waldvogel picked up the RBI in the inning after singling down the left field line. Bethany quickly tied the game in the bottom half of the inning after back-to-back doubles with one out. Waldvogel came in and shut the door, getting the final two outs of the inning to keep the game tied.

Schmitz was hit by a pitch with one out and moved up to second on a ground out. With two outs in the inning, Hill delivered a double down the line in left to give UMM a 5-4 lead. The Vikings threatened in the bottom of the inning, putting runners on first and third with two outs but Waldvogel induced a groundout to first and picked up his second win of the year.

The Cougars finish with 15 wins on the year, their most since 1996. The 19 losses were the fewest since 1990.

Brooke Kern

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