Wildcats split with Upper Iowa to end baseball season


Wayne State used an 11-run eighth inning to win the second game 15-5 and salvage a split at Upper Iowa in the Northern Sun Conference baseball finale for both teams Saturday at Robertson Woods Field in Fayette, Iowa. after the host Peacocks recorded a 10-4 win in the opener.
The opener saw Upper Iowa score 10 runs in the first three innings as the Peacocks cruised to a 10-4 win.
Wayne State scored two runs in the third, one in the fourth and one in the seventh inning in the first game. The Wildcats were limited to just six hits, two coming from Nick McIntee. Aaron Krier homered and had two RBI's, and Alex Kreft doubled.
Starter Dalton Smith (1-1) suffered the pitching loss, allowing seven hits and six runs, two of them earned, over one inning of work.  Taner Ledezma and Teague McFadden also worked in relief for the Wildcats.
The second game saw Wayne State erupt for 11 runs in the eighth on nine hits as they salvaged the four-game split with the Peacocks.
The Wildcats trailed 5-3 after five innings and 5-4 entering the top of the eighth before their big-inning explosion in the eighth. Chase Egelston’s three-run homer was the key hit in the inning.  Outfielder Nate Ackerman, missing the last two weeks with an injury, came in to pinch-hit and recorded a two-run single while Kyle Thompson and Kreft each contributed RBI singles in the inning.
Wayne State finished with 18 hits in the win, led by senior first baseman Albert Johnson going 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Egelston ended 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI while Curtis Bussard was 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Brandon Fowler, Thompson, Kreft and Zane Zitek each added two hits in the win.
Wayne State used nine pitchers in the contest with reliever Mitch Gullikson, the seventh Wildcat thrower, recording the win. He retired all three batters he faced while improving to 1-1 on the season.
With Northern State’s sweep at Minnesota Crookston and Wayne State’s loss in the opener, the Wildcats were eliminated from qualifying for the Northern Sun Conference baseball tournament and finished the season at 15-28 overall and ninth in the NSIC with a 12-16 league mark.