"This was a tough test for us since we only have 1 returning sophomore and 18 freshmen," said Spartan head coach Cody Hughes.
The week started by playing Mayville JV in an exhibition which M State lost 23-4. "This was a team that made it to Nationals last year," reported Hughes. "It was competitive in the beginning and as the game went on Mayville kept hitting and we didn't."
The next day the Spartans played a double header against Lake Region College. M State hit a lot better scoring 11 runs in two games but couldn't muster a victory, losing 10-8 and 13-3.
The Spartans then played Bismarck State who won their conference last year and lost to them 18-5. The next day they played two more tough opponents in NCAA division 3, Concordia University in Wisconsin and NJCAA division 1 Cochise CC from Arizona. The game against Concordia was an exhibition which the Spartans lost 18-1. Cochise then recorded a 13-0 victory. "These were two very tough games," noted Hughes. "We should have been more competitive but I think since it was our 5th and 6th game in four days the kids didn't have much left.
After a day off to recharge their batteries the Spartans came back and played Douglas College. It was a back and forth game with the game tied in 5th inning. A couple of costly errors gave Douglas the lead allowing them to take the victory, 7-4.
The final two games of the trip were against Bismarck State and White Rock University.
The first game against Bismarck started off well with M State jumping out ahead 4-1 in the 3rd inning. BSC tried to answer back but each score was answered by Spartans. With the score 5-4 in the 6th inning M State scored four runs to add to the lead. The final score was 10-6 giving the Spartans their first win of the season. The second game was not so fortunate with White Rock opening up a 4-0 lead in the 3rd inning. The Spartans answered back with 2 runs in the bottom half of the inning but couldn't manufacture anymore as they fell 8-2.
"I'm really proud what the boys have done," concluded Hughes. "They could have easily just folded up after the first 6 games and mailed it in for the last three but they didn't and to me that says a lot about their character. We played well and fought hard and even though we didn't finish with the record we wanted I'm very proud these young men."
The Spartans are scheduled to play double headers on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids.
Courtesy of Craig Olson Sports