The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

May 7, 2014

Bethany baseball team keeps hope alive

Vikings take 2 of 3 against Minnesota-Morris

Playing the occasional tripleheader has been nothing new for the Bethany Lutheran baseball team the past two seasons.

But a tripleheader on consecutive days?

“That will be a first for me,” 10th-year coach Ryan Kragh said after the Vikings won two out of three games at home Monday against Minnesota-Morris. “But it’s been a weird year.”

The Vikings had a ripe chance for a three-game sweep, but fell 5-4 to the Cougars in the final game.

Now the Vikings must win two more games today in a tripleheader against Martin Luther to qualify for the UMAC postseason tournament later this week in Duluth.

“I thought overall we did well, pitching-wise especially,” Kragh said. “At this point in the year we’re trying to just save arms for tomorrow.”

Lucas Herd nearly went the full seven innings in the loss in Game 3, but the right-hander he was pulled with two outs in the seventh after Morris’ Kylan Hill singled past third to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead.

“I knew I had to throw strikes and let the D do the work, and that seemed to work for the majority of the game,” said Herd, who allowed nine hits and struck out nine batters in 6 2/3 innings. “But they had a couple bloops hits, and that was the difference in the game.”

The Vikings (10-20, 9-9 UMAC) took a 3-2 lead in the third, when Adam Geiger drilled a three-run double high off the left-field wall. The Cougars evened the score at 3-3 in the top of the fifth, when Cody Reinke hit a soft single into the right field, scoring Jake Schmitz.

Down 4-3 in the sixth, BLC tied the game on a Dylan Barth RBI double. The Vikings had an opportunity to regain the lead, but couldn’t execute a safety squeeze.

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