MANKATO, Minn. - No. 2-seeded and eighth-ranked St. Cloud State got 11 strikeouts from Logan Birr to top No. 5-seeded Augustana 6-4 Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament at Franklin Rodgers Park.
SCSU improves to 43-10, while Augustana falls to 30-20.
The Vikings will play No. 6-seeded Minnesota Duluth at noon on Thursday.
Birr (10-0) worked 6.0 innings and allowed three runs on three hits. It was his second game this season with double-figure strikeouts. Kyle Fischer tossed the final 2.2 innings and fanned two to notch his second save of the season.
Travis Cariveau led the Huskies at the plate, going 2 for 5 with three RBIs.
Derek Hansen (7-4) struck out six in 7.0 innings but gave up six runs (four earned) on 11 hits to take the loss.
David Borchardt hit two home runs and finished 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Marcus O'Neill put together a 3-for-4 performance and drove in one run.
SCSU jumped out to an early lead, plating three runs in the first inning off four hits. The Huskies added another for a 4-0 lead after Cariveau hit a solo home run in the third.
Augustana answered with three runs in the fourth. Borchardt smashed a lead-off homer, Hewes dropped in an RBI double two batters later and O'Neill drove in the final run with his single to right field. Hansen also singled in the frame.
The Huskies used a Viking mistake to increase their lead to two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jake Kurth's attempt to throw out Garrett Fischer at third base was off the mark, allowing an SCSU run.
Augustana had a handful of opportunities to push in the runs from the fifth to eighth innings, but the Vikings left six runners on base in that span, including loading the bases with one out in the sixth.
SCSU moved its advantage to 6-3 in the seventh inning.
Borchardt launched another solo home run in the ninth to close scoring.
The contest was the fifth between the two schools in the last five days. The Huskies have won all five.
Augustana is now 2-5 all-time in the NSIC Tournament.