Minnesota State Mankato comes up short in NCAA Division II baseball championship

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Top-ranked Tampa used a five-run second inning to end national-champion hopes for Minnesota State Mankato in NCAA Division II baseball, with the Spartans cruising against the Mavericks 8-2 Saturday in Cary, N.C.

According to The Pioneer Press, reporting results from various news services, the Mavs were never really in it, with 'Kato only pulling as close as 5-1 after Tampa had back-to-back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Jake Schrader, Zach Gawrych and Adam Pendleton.

Minnesota State starter Harvey Martin (9-1) suffered his first loss of the season. The consensus Division II pitcher of the year surrendered five earned runs on five hits in one official inning, according to the PiPress.

Minnesota State scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth after Nolan Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Stetson Olson singled up the middle, according the NCAA web site for the game. Taylor Branstad hit into a force at second, but Johnson scored when the throw to first was off target to pull the Mavericks within 5-1.

Lucas Skjefte singled in a run in the top of the ninth for the Mavericks, who outhit Tampa 9-8.

This is the sixth NCAA Division II baseball title for Tampa.

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