Good pitching and productive bats recently helped break a school record for the Augustana baseball team, when theywon 15 straight games this season.
The 1989 season yielded a twelve-game winning streak and stood as the school record for nearly 24 seasons until this year’s stretch of success.
The streak began on April 13 in the first of four games against Northern State in Omaha, Neb.
Augustana led 7-6 going into the bottom of the seventh inning and entrusted pitching responsibilities to junior Derek Quame.
Northern State scored one unearned run, but the Vikings answered with a run of their own in the 8-7 extra-inning win.
Augustana head coach Tim Huber showed faith in Quame several times in pressure situations over the course of the winning streak.
“I never try to change what I am doing on the mound,” Quame said. “I need to throw my breaking ball and fastball for strikes and let the defense behind me make plays.”
Quame is currently one save short of the single-season school record 10 saves.
Augustana won the next three games over Northern State, 5-1, 3-1, 14-3.
The streak continued with two wins over Upper Iowa, 7-6 (eight innings) and 5-4.
Freshman first baseman Alex Fink recorded two runs, three hits, four RBI’s, and one walk in the conference doubleheader.
“It helps being in the lineup with a lot of older hitters because often times pitchers give me better pitches to hit,” Fink said.
Currently, Fink’s season batting average of .473 is the all-time record in Augustana baseball history of batters with at least 30 at-bats.
Augie picked up four more convincing wins over Minnesota-Crookston, 22-2, 11-1, 14-0, 13-1.
Sophomore Jordan Milbrath pitched eight innings in the second of two wins over Minot State University on April 25, tying the previously-held twelve-game win streak.
Milbrath credits his teammates for his success.
“We all have confidence in each other to do [their] own job, and it makes it easier on everyone, especially the pitcher,” Milbrath said. “When I know I can just go out and throw strikes it makes it easier for me to pitch.”
Augie defeated Dakota State, 13-4, breaking the win-streak record on Saturday, April 27.
The success continued into the doubleheader Sunday with Morningside College. The Vikings picked up two more wins, 10-2 and 7-1, improving the winning-streak to 15 games.
However, the streak snapped on Wednesday afternoon at St. Cloud State as the Vikings dropped the first game in the doubleheader, 8-1. Augustana battled back to win the second game of the set, 3-1. The game was the first on the road in the past nine games.
With the split, Augustana’s record goes to 32-16 (17-7 NSIC).
Wayne State is slated to play four games at Ronken Field on May 3 and 4. There will be an official Grand Opening for the newly-renovated Karras Park, home of Ronken Field. Ceremonies begin at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.