MANDAN, N.D. -- Minnesota Crookston scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and held off Wayne State 7-5 Thursday evening in an elimination game at the 2023 Northern Sun Conference Baseball Tournament. WSC ends the year at 25-26 while Minnesota Crookston continues its season with a 38-19 record.

After the Golden Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the first for the early lead, Wayne State put together five hits to score four runs in the top of the third for a 4-2 lead.

Hunter Babe’s RBI single scored Cade Lynam (single) with the first WSC run.  Quinn McCafferty had a fielder’s choice that brought home Carter Thomas (single) for the second run.  A Blake Stanley sacrifice fly drove home Babe with the third run while the fourth run was the result of McCafferty scoring on a wild pitch.

UMC scored single runs in the third and fifth innings to tie the score at 4-4, but the ‘Cats regained the lead in the top of the sixth with one run for a 5-4 advantage.  Babe delivered a two-out single that saw Chase Douglas (single) score to put WSC back in front.

But the Golden Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh with the final two coming on a two-out triple that gave UMC a 7-5 lead.

The final two innings saw WSC get just one base runner as McCafferty singled with two outs in the ninth but was retired on a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Wayne State held a 16-9 advantage in hits over Minnesota Crookston, leaving 10 runners on base.  Babe finished 3 for 4 with two RBI to lead the ‘Cats at the plate.  Colin Lynam had three singles going 3 for 5.  Thomas was 2 for 5 with a double and run scored while Cade Lynam went 2 for 4 with one run scored.  McCafferty and Braden Cannon each added two hits to the Wildcat attack.

Jackson Shelburne started the contest and worked 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits.  Sophomore reliever Jacob Kneifl pitched the next three innings and gave up two hits and two runs.  Senior Logan Walters worked 2/3 innings and was charged with the loss yielding two runs on two hits while Kolt Davis finished the game pitching the final inning allowing one hit.