Wildcats sweep Southwest Minnesota State Friday


Wayne State freshman Mitch Ragan fired a four-hit shutout in the opener while Aaron Krier drove in four runs in the second game to lead Wayne State College in a 9-0 and 10-3 sweep over Southwest Minnesota State Friday in Alexandria, Minn.
The games were originally scheduled to be played in Wayne but were moved to Knute Nelson Memorial Field due to rain in northeast Nebraska.
The opener saw Wayne State use a seven-run fourth inning to go with superb pitching from Ragan to register their first shutout of the season.
Wayne State opened the scoring with two runs in the second on an Alex Kreft RBI single that scored Albert Johnson, while Tanner Simons crossed the plate on an SMSU error for a 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats erupted for seven runs in the fourth on five hits and three Mustang errors. Big hits in the inning came from Kreft with a two-run double and Curtis Bussard with a two-run single.
Ragan was solid as he fanned seven batters without issuing a walk in the four-hit shutout win, improving his season mark to 3-2.
Wayne State had 12 hits, led by senior first baseman Albert Johnson who was 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored to extend his season-best hitting streak to 18 games. Bussard ended 3-for-4 with two RBI while Kreft was 2-for-3. Aaron Krier added a double and drove in two runs.
The second game saw Wayne State score five runs in the fourth inning while junior pitcher Matthew Wood struck out nine batters in six innings of work to give Wayne State the sweep.
Wayne State took a 2-0 lead in the second on Krier’s two run double that scored Brandon Fowler and Nick McIntee.
The Wildcats pushed five across in the fourth inning on seven hits. Bussard’s two-run double was the big hit in the inning along with an RBI double from Bodie Cooper and a run-scoring single by Fowler.
After Southwest scored in the sixth on a solo homer, Wayne State scored three in the bottom of the seventh to take a 10-1 lead on a Cody Jenkins two-run single. Southwest scored two in the eighth to close out the scoring.
Wayne State cranked out 13 hits in the win. Krier finished 2-for-2 with a double and four RBI to lead a balanced attack.  Tanner Simons was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored followed by Fowler going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Jenkins finished 2-for-4 with two RBI with McIntee scoring a team-high three runs.
Matthew Wood (3-3) notched the pitching win with six strong innings, striking out nine batters while allowing just one run on four hits. Relievers Mitch Savine, Matt Faulkner and Joey Greco each worked one inning of relief.
Wayne State (11-24, 8-12 NSIC) and Southwest Minnesota State will conclude the four-game NSIC series with another doubleheader Saturday starting at 12 p.m. in Alexandria, Minn.