SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The No. 22 Augustana baseball team (29-11, 22-4 NSIC) took the first two games of a home doubleheader against Winona State (16-17, 9-12 NSIC) on Friday evening with a 4-2 victory in game one and a 10-5 win in game two.
The two wins secure the conference series against the Warriors in the first meeting since 2016, but the two teams will meet again tomorrow for a doubleheader. The second game is set to be a non-conference matchup.
In game one, the Warriors took an early lead by scoring two in the second inning. The Vikings struck back in the third inning, however, driving in four runs. Augustana's first run of the game came on a JT Mix RBI infield single that scored Bjorn Hanson from third. Nate Crossman promptly stole home on a double steal attempt to tie the game up at 2-2.
Mix scored on a wild pitch to put the Vikings ahead, and Will Olson followed up with an RBI double to left center to plate Riley Johnson. The Warriors and Vikings would remain scoreless the rest of the game to secure a game one win for Augustana.
Max Steffens (5-0) took the hill for Augustana in game one and pitched his third consecutive complete game while giving up just two earned runs. Steffens struck out six and allowed only two hits and surrendered zero walks.
The second game of the doubleheader saw the Vikings snatch the lead early on by taking a 4-0 lead after the second inning after an Olson two-run homer that was followed up by a RBI bunt single by Michael Svozil. The final run of the inning was scored on a Mix RBI single to left field.
The Vikings scored one run in each of the next three innings to stretch the lead to 7-0. Olson blasted a solo home run to deep left field in the third inning for his second homer of the game. Winona State staged a comeback during the seventh inning as they scored five runs, but Augustana struck back in the bottom of the eighth for three more runs.
In the eighth, Nate Crossman doubled down the left field line and cashed in two RBI and Svozil drove in another run on a groundout. The five run lead proved to be enough and the Vikings held on for the 10-5 victory.
On the mound, Seth Miller (4-3) earned the win after pitching five complete innings and gave up just two hits. Michael Brandt and Thomas Bruss combined to pitch the final 2.1 innings. The pair surrendered no hits over the final two-plus innings.
The Vikings return to action tomorrow against Winona State in a doubleheader beginning at noon. The first game is set to be a nine-inning contest, while the second game is scheduled for seven innings.