Going out in style
When Cole Stober began to struggle in the final inning Saturday against the University of Mary, Minot State University head coach Brock Weppler allowed his senior starter to keep pitching.
Stober’s response summed up the way the rest of the Beavers competed Saturday and during the final two weeks of the season: He finished strong.
The 6-foot-2 righty tossed a seven-inning complete game to lead MSU to a 3-2 victory in game one of a doubleheader at Jack Hoeven Park. Then he sat and watched as several of his classmates keyed a 9-5 win over in-state rival Mary in both teams’ final contest of the season.
“It means a lot just to finish off that last game,” Stober said. “It completes everything for the last four years.”
After suffering a 10-game losing streak in the last two weeks of April, MSU closed its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference campaign by winning five of six and three of four this weekend against the Marauders (17-22-1 overall 8-16 NSIC).
“Our seniors were a core team this year,” MSU senior center fielder Mike Turcotte said. “Every one of those guys worked hard every single game, so it was nice that we could get a few ‘Ws’ for our last games.”
MSU senior left fielder Shayne Court singled up the middle to score sophomore Andrew Roach in the second inning of game one, and the Beavers (15-23 overall, 7-17 NSIC) added two more runs in the fifth.
Junior Alex Fornshell doubled to left-center and scored on Turcotte’s single to left. Two batters later, junior catcher Connor Moughtin plated Turcotte with a line-drive single over the head of Mary second baseman Austin Grundstad.
Stober cruised through six innings, allowing just three hits and no runs. In the seventh, however, Grundstad lined a two-RBI double down the left-field line.
With Grundstad representing the tying run on second, Weppler made a trip to the mound but left his senior in to finish the job. Stober got the next batter, Alex Deyle, to ground out to second to end the game.
“He had thrown well all day,” Weppler said of Stober. “They hadn’t hit him hard and we were pretty much gonna let him run with it out there. I had a lot of confidence in him.”
The Beavers fell behind 5-1 in game two, but scored eight unanswered runs in their final four at-bats to pull away.
Senior Shane Seddon allowed just one unearned run in four innings of relief and classmate Jarrett Duchscher picked up his first save of the season.
Several Beavers got into the action at the plate, with Turcotte, senior Mitch Olson and junior Tyler Stevenson drilling RBI doubles and Fornshell going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, 2 RBIs and three runs scored.
“It seems like all those seniors had a good day today,” Weppler said. “Seddon and Duchscher threw well on the mound and gave us a chance to win. (Turcotte) and Mitch, all those guys played well. It’s a bittersweet game. You know it’s your last game, but I guess beating U-Mary, especially, makes it a little bit easier to swallow.”