CARY, N.C. -- Seven strong innings from ace Tyler Mitzel and a 4 RBI performance from Michael Svozil prompted the Augustana baseball team to a 8-2 victory over Southern New Hampshire Thursday afternoon in the Division II College World Series from the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The win moved the Vikings to 3-0 in the series and clinched a spot in the championship game on Saturday, June. 2 at 2 p.m. central time.
Augustana (51-9 overall) will play the winner of the Florida Southern - Columbus State game which takes place Friday, June 1 at 2 p.m. central time.
The College World Series is a double-elimination tournament, meaning the team who faces the Vikings in the championship game will have to beat them twice. Florida Southern and Columbus State each have one loss.
Knotted at one heading into the bottom of the second inning, Ryan Menssen, a senior catcher from St. James, Minn., jump started the Vikings with a two-out single to center field. After a JT Mix walk, Riley Johnson tallied his second hit of the day, singling to the third baseman and beating the throw for a two-out infield hit that loaded the bases. Svozil kept the momentum rolling by doubling to right-center field, clearing the bases to put Augustana up 4-1.
The Penmen added a run in the top of the third inning on a Caleb Potter RBI double down the right-field line to cut into the Vikings 4-2 lead.
Augustana came firing back in their half of the fourth inning, as Menssen ignited the offense by singling down the right-field line to lead off the side. JT Mix followed that up by battling at the plate and drawing a walk after an 8-pitch at-bat. Johnson drew another walk to load the bases with no outs. Svozil grounded into a double-play, but Menssen touched home plate to give the Vikings a 5-2 lead.
Svozil, a junior from Millbrae, Calif., drove in his fourth run of the day, scoring Johnson on a single to right field to give the Vikings a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Lucas Barry placed a perfect bunt down, raced down the first base line, to beat out the throw and allow Jordan Barth to score to give the Vikings a 7-2 lead. In the same inning, Aiden Ladd scored on a wild pitch to cushion Augustana’s lead to 8-2.
Tyler Mitzel, a senior right hander from Sioux Falls, S.D. started his second College World Series game, going seven strong innings and allowing just one earned run on seven hits while striking out five batters to improve to 12-0 on the season.
Micheal Brandt pitched the 8th inning, allowing no runs, no hits and fanning two of the three batters he faced. Austin Orvis followed that up by pitching a near flawless 9th inning, allowing just one walk before retiring the final three outs for the Vikings.
Svozil (3-for-5, 4 RBI), Johnson (2-for-4) and Menssen (2-for-4) each had multi-hit games for the Vikings.
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