Pages Navigation Menu

Delivering News From The Source

Waldorf fights past Valley City State in extra innings, earns NSAA split

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Aaron Schneider

FOREST CITY – The Waldorf University baseball team came away with a split with Valley City State University, closing out the four-game North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) series in Monday’s doubleheader.

Waldorf (6-16, 2-2) fought to an 8-7 victory in 10 innings during the opener and the Vikings (9-19, 2-2) picked up a 7-4 win in the series finale.

Mitchell Keeran drove in the winning run with a walk-off double, lifting the Warriors to victory in Game 1. The freshman from Clear Lake has produced a team-high eight doubles on the season.

“It was nice to see that we found a way to get that win,” Waldorf coach Joe Tautges said. “Mitchell had a good approach and he knew what he wanted to do. It was a big two-out hit and if you are going to win games, you need two-out hits.”

Junior Kellan Mick went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double and a two-run single. The Warriors pounded out 15 hits and received a 3-for-6 performance from junior Bruce Mau. Juniors Ryan VillarrealMichael Keeran and freshman Jimmy Quirk each provided a pair of hits.

Tom Houdek connected on a two-run single, going 2-for-5 for the Vikings. Tyler Ukestad went 2-for-4 at the plate.

Junior Michael Keeran started on the mound for Waldorf and worked seven innings. He struck out three batters, issued one walk and allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits. Through the first seven innings, Michael Keeran yielded just one run on three hits.

Valley City State strung together six hits to generate a five-run eighth inning. Jared Meiklejohn’s eighth-inning double was the only extra-base hit Michael Keeran allowed during the game.

“Michael pitched a great game,” Tautges said. “It was probably one of his better outings all year. He controlled the strike zone and kept hitters off balance. That big inning started with a couple of missed hits down the left-field line and any little thing can get a team going.”

Senior Trevor Bauer earned the win (2-0) after three innings of relief. He fanned three batters and walked one while giving up a run on one hit.

Andrew Frank pitched the first four and one-third innings for the Vikings. He recorded two strikeouts, issued one walk and relinquished four runs on eight hits.

Valley City State’s Billy Callanan threw two and two-thirds innings on the mound. He struck out three batters and allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits.

Steven Velarde (0-2) was handed the loss after tossing the final two and two-thirds innings. He finished with two strikeouts and surrendered one run on three hits.

Freshman Garrett Gillen put Waldorf on the board with an RBI double in the bottom of the second.

Xavier Padilla evened the score in the third, driving in a run on a fielder’s choice.

The Warriors regained the lead as Michael Keeran delivered a fifth-inning RBI single. Later in the inning, Kellan Mick belted a two-run single to push Waldorf to a 4-1 lead.

Villarreal drove in a run on a seventh-inning groundout. Sophomore Jacob Tedesco and Quirk each added RBI singles to extend Waldorf’s lead to 7-1.

The Vikings came surging back in the eighth. Meiklejohn contributed an RBI double, Joe Demers cracked an RBI single, Houdek singled in two more runs and Brady Anderson later scored on an error.

“Once we get a big lead, we cannot take our foot off the pedal,” Tautges said. “We need to put them down while they’re down.”

Valley City State knotted the score at 7-all in the ninth when Anderson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, pushing in the tying run.

During the bottom of the 10th, Vellarde retired Waldorf’s first two batters. Sophomore Eric Mallo and Mau followed with back-to-back singles. Mitchell Keeran doubled in Mallo to seal the victory.

Michael Keeran and Villarreal each went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI single during the second contest. Mitchell Keeran and Quirk connected for doubles while Mau, Gillen and Mallo contributed singles.

Meiklejohn powered the Vikings with a 3-for-5 performance, which included a three-run homer and an RBI double. Padilla delivered a two-run single, going 2-for-3 at the plate.

The Warriors tallied nine hits, but struggled to cash in with runs when there were opportunities. They left eight runners on base, stranding five who were in scoring position.

“We left a lot of baserunners on,” Tautges said. “A lot of times, we had nobody out with runners in scoring position and didn’t have a positive outcome. Hitters just need to relax, be confident at the plate and know they can get the job done.”

Jordan Roos (1-1) secured the win. He fanned three batters, walked one and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in four and one-third innings.

Tyler Olson notched his first save of the season after throwing two and two-thirds scoreless innings. He recorded four strikeouts, issued a walk and gave up two hits.

Junior Tony Manna (0-6) was hit with the loss. He struck out three batters, walked one and surrendered seven runs on 12 hits in five innings. Freshman Michael Miller pitched two scoreless innings. Miller finished with one strikeout, a walk and yielded one hit in the relief appearance.

Jayden Miller singled in a run during the top of the second to put the Vikings in front. Meiklejohn crushed a three-run blast to extend Valley City State’s lead to 4-0.

Mau drove in a run while grounding out during the third to cut the deficit to three runs.

Meiklejohn connected on a run-scoring double in the fourth. Quirk responded with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning to narrow Valley City State’s lead to 5-2.

Padilla singled in two more runs in the fifth, boosting the Vikings to a 7-2 advantage. Michael Keeran and Viilarreal started a potential comeback as they produced RBI singles during the bottom half of the inning.

The Vikings limited the Warriors to two hits in the final two innings.

Waldorf hosts Morningside College (22-5) on Tuesday in a 2 p.m. doubleheader. The Mustangs own an eight-game winning streak and are receiving votes in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll.

“Morningside is a good team,” Tautges said. “We let things happen [on Monday] that we can’t let happen [against Morningside]. They hit the ball well and play good defense.”

Waldorf’s doubleheader with Morningside marks the third twin bill for the Warriors in a three-day span. The Warriors continue their compact schedule when they face Viterbo University (3-17, 0-2) in a four-game conference series on Saturday and Sunday.

“The mental toughness part is going to come into play [on Tuesday],” Tautges said. “Morningside played Friday and Saturday, so they’ve had a couple of days off. It’s a lot of baseball for our guys, but we need to get games in and it’s good for our mental toughness.”