CITY,ND(VCSUVIKINGS.COM)-Dondrei Hubbard delivered a pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday as Mayville State defeated Valley City State 5-2 in fall baseball action.Hubbard’s liner to center field scored Nick Gonzalez from second base, breaking a 1-1 tie and sparking a four-run rally for the Comets.
Mayville State improves to 6-1 overall, while Valley City State drops to 0-7.
VCSU pitched strong and played solid defense most of the game, but the season’s offensive struggles continued for the Vikings as they pushed across just two runs Wednesday in Valley City.
Mayville State scored in the top of the first inning and almost made it last the entire game, but VCSU was able to push across the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. It wasn’t enough though as Mayville took the game with four runs in the ninth.
Jonathan Vance gave the Vikings six strong innings on the mound to start the game, allowing just two hits and one run. Vance walked three and struck out five. The lone run he gave up came in the top of the first inning. Drake Yoshioka drew a walk from Vance to start the game, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then came in to score on Brady Nygaard’s one-out single through the right side.
Andrew Frank relieved Vance in the seventh inning and shut down the Comets as well. Frank set down the first six Mayville batters he faced, including four on strikeouts.
The Viking finally pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brady Anderson drew a leadoff walk to start the inning, and Brady Smith followed with a two-strike flair single to shallow right field. Nate Bagby was retired on a pop out and Brennen Neva hit into a fielder’s choice, putting runners on first and third with two outs. Neva moved to second on a stolen base, and Grant Wehseler followed with a two-out, two-strike RBI single to right field that scored Brady Anderson to tie the game. Neva attempted to score from second but was thrown out at the plate, ending the inning with a 1-1 tie.
Manville’s Jonathan Folena ended Frank’s streak of outs by drawing a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth. Pinch runner Nick Gonzales moved to second on a groundout and then came in to score on Hubbard’s pinch-hit RBI single, giving the Comets a 2-1 lead. Mayville would push across three more runs in the inning with two outs, putting the game out of reach.
Valley City State got one back in the bottom of the inning on Jared Meiklejohn’s RBI single but left the tying run on deck.
VCSU scored its two runs on seven hits and committed one error. Mayville State had five runs on just four hits and also committed one error.
Brady Smith went 3-for-3 to lead the Viking offense. Anthony Necochea, Jared Meiklejohn, Brennen Neva and Grant Wehseler each had a hit. Meiklejohn and Wehseler each had an RBI. Frank took the loss after allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings.
Mayville State’s Jacob Torgerson earned the win after pitching two innings in relief. Zach Mahoney gave the Comets seven shutout innings to start the game, allowing just four hits. Drake Yoshioka, Brady Nygaard, Dondei Hubbard and Nolan Handley all had a hit and RBI for Mayville.
Up next: Valley City State (0-7) hosts Dickinson State University for a doubleheader on Sunday, Oct. 2. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. in Valley City.