The Minot State Beavers baseball team matched up against the University of Mary Maruaders. It was a win or go home game for the Beavers, as they dropped their first game in the NSIC conference tournament earlier in the week.
Senior outfielder Drew Behling played a key role in keeping the Beavers season alive Thursday afternoon as his go-ahead grand slam helped boost the Beavers to a 6-3 victory.
Leading up to the big blast, RJ Martinez (6-1) got the start and was the winning pitcher for the Beavers. Martinez faced the minimum in the first inning, capitalizing on that early momentum to keep the Marauders quiet throughout the day.
Martinez went six innings for the Beavers, allowing one run on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. He threw 98 pitches, getting eight outs via the flyout and four outs via the groundout.
The Beavers got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning. Behling worked a full count, then doubled to left field with one out. Dalin Ludlow brought him home on an RBI single, giving the Beavers an early 1-0 lead.
However, despite the Beavers offense, the Marauders wouldn’t go away quietly. In the top of the fourth inning, back-to-back singles by Derek Shoen and James Martin with no outs put them in a prime position to tie or take the lead. After a drop third strike with Krece Papierski at the plate, the Marauders would tie the game at 1-1 after he reached base safely.
The Beavers and Marauders would stay locked at 1-1 until the sixth inning, when Drew Behling had other plans. Declan Buckle got the big inning started with a single, followed by Ricky Apodaca with a single of his own. Blake Gallagher reached on a fielder’s choice, loading the bases for Behling with two outs.
In dramatic fashion, Behling would then go deep to center field, giving the Beavers a 5-1 lead and putting the game out of reach. He finished his day going 2-for-3 with a double, home run, and four RBIs. Behling, however, was not the only Beavers’ player who put together a strong game at the plate.
Declan Buckle went 2-for-4 with two singles, Blake Gallagher went 1-for-4 with an RBI, and Dahlin Ludlow went 1-for-3 with an RBI. On the mound, Trevyn Badger, Zach Newman, and Craig Schmich combined for two shutouts innings from the bullpen.
The Beavers will have to wait to see who their next opponent is. They will play the loser of the Minnesota State, Mankato and St. Cloud State game. First pitch for the Beavers is scheduled for 45 minutes after the game.