The Matt O’Brien era officially got underway as the UMN Morris baseball team (1-1) opened its 2020 season Friday against the University of St. Thomas (TX) (4-8). The Cougars picked up a 7-4 victory in eight innings before falling 11-4 in game two.
GAME ONE | Minnesota Morris 7, St. Thomas 4 (Eight Innings)
HOUSTON – With two outs in the top of the first, Julien Shadle doubled to left center to score Malachy Brink to put the Cougars up 1-0.
After the Celts tied things up in the bottom of the first, Brink hit a double to left center to put the Cougars back up 3-1 in the top of the second. Thomas brought in a run in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score within 3-2.
In the top of the seventh, Alex Baumann singled through the left side to score Evan Benson to make it 4-2 for UMN Morris. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Caleb Edmonds hit a two-run home run to send the game into the eighth inning.
During the top of the eighth, Benson doubled to left to score Michael Nezerka and Josh Doss to make it 6-4 in favor of the Cougars. After Benson advanced to third on a wild pitch, Brink singled up the middle to score Benson to secure the 7-4 win.
Joe Wehr pitched 6.2 innings and struck out eight. Brink was 4-for-5 with three RBI,
Benson went 1-for-4 with two RBI.
GAME TWO | St. Thomas (TX) 11, Minnesota Morris 4
HOUSTON – The Celts jumped out to a 9-0 lead in game two after scoring five in the first and four in the second.
After Benson homored to right in the top of the third, St. Thomas tacked on another run in the third and the fourth to make it 11-1.
Baumann hit a pair of home runs on the afternoon, a solo shot in the fifth and a two-run shot in the seventh.
Baumann was 3-for-4 with three RBI, Benson was 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Tyler Carper went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Baumann is the first Cougar since Jackson Gessell to hit two home runs in a game (Northland College – 4/12/2015).
The Cougars are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 22. Minnesota Morris will close out the series against St. Thomas at 11 a.m. before taking on Schreiner at 2 p.m.