Sweep was the word that the University of South Dakota club baseball team followed through with after they defeated the University of Northern Iowa in four strait games on March 31 and April 1 this past weekend in Prentis Park.
USD took the first game in thrilling fashion as the team came back from a 11-4 deficit and finished the game with a five-run seventh inning in order to win the opening game 13-12.
Junior Ryan Lauseng, who received his first win of the season in the Coyotes comeback victory, said the team never gave up.
“Our offense put up a lot of runs which helped our pitching a lot,” Lauseng said. “We battled back and showed that we can compete with anyone once we get our bats going.”
Lauseng also said it was nice for him to recieve his first win of the season so he can settle down in future outings.
“It felt good to get the first win of the season,” Lauseng said. “Now I can settle down and focus building off each game in order to get better.”
The second game of the March 31 doubleheader was a back and forth game until the Coyotes pulled away in the last two innings and won the game 7-5. Senior first baseman Steven Johnston led the Coyotes with two runs batted in during the game.
Johnston said the Coyotes played hard in every game against Northern Iowa this past weekend.
“This weekend was a lot different because we didn’t play up tight like we did against Iowa State,” Johnston said. “This weekend we came out and just had fun. We knew we needed to relax and that its not life or death, its just baseball.”
Coming off two previous wins the Coyotes pulled out another close victory as USD just edged Northern Iowa 7-6 only to complete the four-game sweep with an 11-1 slugfest in the final game of the series.
Head coach and outfielder Trevor Freudenthal, who also leads the team with 11 RBIs on the season, said the team has some momentum to build off before their next conference match-up at the University of Iowa on April 14 and 15.
“We had a couple of good comebacks against Northern Iowa,” Freundenthal said. “We were able to string together a couple of hits and build off each other.”
Johnston said the team will be looking forward to their series with Iowa.
“Iowa usually is the top team in our conference,” Johnston said. “We split with them last year and we basically are returning all our players hopefully we can pull out some victoires.”
Freudenthal said the team will have this upcoming weekend off to rest pitchers.
“We have weekday pitchers and weekend pitchers for conference games and non-conference games,” Freudenthal said. “We will be able to rest our weekend pitchers for a weekend now and get ready for Iowa.”
The Coyotes next face Mount Marty College in non-conference action on April 4 in a doubleheader in Yankton starting at 5:00 p.m.