SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The No. 22 Augustana baseball team (30-12, 23-4 NSIC) split the final two games of a four-game series against Winona State (17-18, 9-13 NSIC), finishing off the conference sweep of the Warriors in a game three 16-11 victory before falling in the non-conference game four 10-7.
The conference sweep against the Warriors keeps the Vikings in the top spot of the NSIC by 2.5 games over St. Cloud State.
In game three, the Vikings scored 14 runs in the first five innings of the game while surrendering three to the Warriors for a 14-3 lead.
The first inning was highlighted by a pair of RBI by Ryan Nickel and Will Olson, while JT Mix led the way in the second inning with an RBI single. Riley Johnson and Nickel each drove in RBI in the second inning as well.
In the third inning, Lucas Wylie hit an RBI single down the left field line before Nate Crossman doubled to right field for an RBI. Johnson capped the inning with a two-RBI double to left field.
Mix, Olson, and Nickel each cashed in RBI in the fifth inning before a Winona State five-run inning in the sixth that pulled the game to 14-11.
Johnson hit a solo homer in the seventh for his fourth RBI to stretch the lead to four and Mix picked up his third RBI in the eighth inning for the final run of the game.
Four Viking batters put up three or more RBI on the game in Mix, Johnson, Nickel, and Olson.
Jed Schmidt (4-2) was awarded the win after 2.2 innings of relief work on the mound, while Ryan Helgeson and Tanner Brown combined to pitch 3.2 innings in relief with zero earned runs.
In game four, Augustana scored the first four runs of the game with Crossman hitting a two RBI single in the first inning and Aiden Ladd and Mix put up RBI in the second inning. Crossman finished the series batting 10-14 in four games with five RBI and four extra base hits.
Winona State scored eight consecutive runs to give them an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. The bottom half of the inning showed the Vikings scoring three runs highlighted by a Ladd three-run bomb to right field.
The Warriors held on against the Viking charge and put up two more runs in the top of the sixth to seal the 10-7 loss for Augustana.
The Vikings return to action Wednesday against Minnesota State in a doubleheader that begins at 4:00 PM at Karras Park, the home of Ronken Field.