MLC weekend roundup: Baseball team earns 1st UMAC win of season

Information courtesy of Adam Hussman/MLC SID

MORRIS — The Martin Luther College baseball team picked up its first conference win of the season in the final contest of its three game series with Minnesota Morris over the weekend. The Cougars took game one 13-5 on Friday and Game 2 by a score of 9-4 Saturday afternoon, but the Knights received a complete game performance from Connor Heckendorf in Game 3 on Saturday to guide them to a 9-2 victory.

UMM 13, MLC 5

In Friday’s game, the Knights did a solid job of scoring with two outs, as MLC took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Alex Ritter brought home Jackson Anderson with his RBI single to center field and the Knights put across the other run in the inning when Mark Vogel scored off of a Minnesota Morris error.

The Cougars then scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 4-2. However, the Knights got their two runs back due to some command issues by Parker Gilchrist. Parker Winghart and Spencer Lilienthal were the beneficiaries of the wild pitches and the game was tied up at 4-4.

From there, Minnesota Morris would seemingly put the game out of reach, as they added six runs combined in the bottom of the fourth and fifth frame.

Freshman Joseph Olson was on the mound for the Knights and surrendered eight runs (4 earned) in four innings. The freshman also tossed a career-high in strikeouts (5).

At the plate, Ritter led MLC with three hits and an RBI, while Mason Cox recorded the other RBI in the top of the seventh.

UMM 9, MLC 4

In Game 2 on Saturday afternoon, the Knights recorded a season-high in hits for the conference season (16), but could only capitalize with four runs scored in the game.

Meanwhile, the Cougars struck things open with three runs in the bottom of the first. DH Ben Meuser hit a two-run home run to left center field. Ryan McGie joined the party with a of solo homer shortly after and hit another home run in the third inning to make it 4-0.

Caleb Heckendorf put MLC in the scoring column with a sacrifice fly in the fourth frame and Lilienthal tacked on another in the following inning with a ground-rule double (Cox scored on both runs).

Minnesota Morris then posted one run in the bottom half of the fifth and four more runs to secure the contest in the sixth.

Both teams helped out their pitchers, as there were no errors committed by MLC and just one by the Cougars.

Winghart paced the Knights with four base hits, while Cox and Lilienthal finished with two hits.

MLC 9, UMM 2

In Game 3, Lilienthal and Anderson sparked the Knights with a couple of RBI hits to make it 2-0 early on.

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the top of the sixth inning until the Knights broke through with a four-run frame. Carter Seltz had a two-run single that scored Jackson Anderson and Olson, while Lilienthal added another RBI single that brought in Ritter.

MLC expanded upon their four-run advantage by crossing home plate twice as a team on wild pitches. After that, Cox drove in the finishing touches with an RBI single for the Knights 9-2 victory.

As a team, MLC had 13 hits, with Cox and Lilienthal recording three apiece. The MLC offense had a team-high nine runs and six RBI in UMAC competition to support Heckendorf’s pitching.

Connor Heckendorf had his first career complete game and threw five strikeouts while allowing just two runs scored.

Up next for MLC is a three-game home series against North Central on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.


NEW ULM — The Martin Luther College softball team celebrated its 2024 seniors (Jordyn Heckendorf, Emma Mindock, Hannah Rassat, Olivia Siehr) this weekend during a sunny three-game series with Minnesota Morris.

The Cougars defeated MLC 7-1 on Friday and then won 11-3 and 5-3 in two more games on Saturday.

UMM 11, MLC 3

On Saturday morning, the Cougars’ bats came alive and posted two runs in the first, second, and third inning for the 6-0 advantage.

The Knights’ first run of the game came from a Chloe Berg RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the first. The Knights put together two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut it to 8-3 after Heckendorf scored on a passed ball. Berg drove in the other run with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Following the MLC runs, the Cougars tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth frame to secure the 11-3 victory over MLC.

Minnesota Morris outhit the Knights 10-3 but benefited heavily from six MLC errors out in the field. Skyla Bristol earned the win on the mound for the Cougars, after her eight strikeout complete game performance.

Jessica Horn got the start for the Knights and the junior allowed six runs (five earned) in three innings pitched. Hoffer threw the other three frames and gave up five runs (no earned).

UMM 5, MLC 3

In Saturday’s second game of the day, the Knights gave their best performance of the conference season in the 5-3 loss.

The Cougars scored a run in the first and third inning (2-0), while the Knights evened up the score 2-2 with a run in the fourth and fifth inning. Olivia Siehr got MLC in the scoring column in the fourth with an RBI double to left center field and Berg singled to center field for the tying run.

Sierra Stevens broke the 2-2 tie with an RBI single to left field (4-2), while Thornton manufactured an insurance run (5-2) with her RBI ground out. Berg gave MLC a shot at a comeback in the bottom of the seventh with her RBI ground out to make it 5-3, but Morgan Wilhelm forced Katie Rassat into a grounder to second base for the final out of the ball game.

Horn had her best start on the hill, surrendering five runs (two earned) in seven innings of work. Heckendorf, Hoffer, and Berg all recorded multi-hit games, as Berg finished with another multi-RBI contest.

MLC will now shift its focus towards another three-game series with UW-Superior on the road. The two teams will go at it on Tuesday, April 16, at 2 p.m. for a single game and then complete the series with a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 17.


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