Minnesota West baseball loses to Dordt JV, ready to begin MCAC play on Saturday
The Bluejays lost 8-7, 21-13 against Dordt JV. Minnesota West plays RCTC on Saturday, after the Yellowjackets forfeited a doubleheader scheduled for today.
WORTHINGTON — The Minnesota West men's baseball team features a high octane offense that can put a lot of runs on the scoreboard.
The Bluejays had 50 runs in their week-long stay in Arizona this March. The Bluejays took victories in three of 11 games.
Now the Minnesota West team has returned to Minnesota and seeks to hit the ground running in Minnesota College Athletic Conference play. On Thursday, the Bluejays took on Dordt’s junior varsity team in a doubleheader losing 8-7 in the first game and 21-13 in the second.
“We have a good team, we lack some depth but overall I think we should be pretty strong,” said Minnesota West coach Joey Kinley. “Offensively we are very good. I feel our actual starting pitchers are very good as well.”
Kinley said the games against Dordt were helpful to see the skill level of players who have not played a lot of innings yet for the Bluejays.
“We wanted everyone to get some playing time,” said Kinley. “That is a good opportunity for that.”
The Bluejays had six pitchers on the mound across the two games against the Defenders. Pitching three innings apiece in game one were Jacob Peterson and Levi Nystrom.
Peterson started the game and had two strikeouts, four walks and four hits. Nystrom in relief allowed no runs, one hit, two walks and two strikeouts.
In game two the Bluejays started Nicolas Espitia who went two innings, gave up nine runs with eight being earned, eight hits, three walks and had five strikeouts. Jowendley Allee went one and two-thirds innings with four hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Of the seven runs scored when he was on the bump, only two were earned.
Henry Falcon pitched one inning, allowing four walks and one hit and three earned runs. Mikey Garcia pitched two innings allowing four hits, one walk, one strikeout and two earned runs.
Garcia hit two doubles in game one. Robert Reyes and Yohan Hiraldo had two RBIs apiece in game one.
In game two, Daniel Castro led the team in RBIs with three. Reyes, Jose Navarro and Fernando Marte had two RBIs respectively.
The Bluejays’ offense is one that coach Kinley feels will be a great strength for the team and that opposing pitchers will face tough at-bats in all nine batting spots.
“We have the ability to do damage and we have the ability to score a lot of runs very quickly on this team,” said Kinley. “Overall I would say our team is close. We have guys from all over the world. It actually does not matter — language barriers and things like that. They all get along and they have fun with it.”
Kinley is in his second season as head coach for Minnesota West baseball, but his first full season with players recruited by him and with fall practices. Kinley was a former baseball player at Minnesota West, and played three seasons at Dakota Wesleyan.
“It does help that I have been through it,” said Kinley. “It helps that I have had the junior college experience, I am from Worthington and I know what it takes to win baseball games. I just want to help translate some of that stuff to these guys.”
The Bluejays’ scheduled doubleheader for Friday with Rochester Community and Technical College were forfeited by the Yellowjackets. The Bluejays were credited with 7-0 wins against a team that coach Kinley predicted will be a team to watch in the MCAC.
Minnesota West is set to play RCTC on Saturday. The first game is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the second game is scheduled to take place after.