Valley City State University opened the inaugural NSAA fall baseball season with a split Sunday at Charlie Brown Field.
The Vikings dropped a 6-0 contest to Mayville State in their first game of the season, but bounced back with a 9-0 shutout of Presentation College in the day's second game.
The games count towards VCSU's record for the 2014 season.
"It feels good to be playing some good baseball, making plays, getting in there, throwing strikes — it was fun," Viking Baseball Coach Casey Olney said. "It's two games, it's baseball, anything can happen, but we ran with more pressure the second game, we bounced back from a tough one in the first game. It was 60 degrees, 70 degrees and the sun was out all day."
Corey Pudas earned the win on the mound against Presentation, pitching 5 2/3 strong innings for the Vikings. He allowed just one hit and walked one while striking out six.
VCSU scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take an early lead they would not give up. Ryan Hammargren, Mike Gershman and Cole Honl each had two hits in the game for VCSU, and Gershman drove in two runs. Nathan Bagby, Austin Markel and Kayl Hamre all added a hit.
The Vikings collected nine total hits and took advantage of seven Presentation College errors.
"(Pudas) was throwing more strikes, we were getting on and off of the field on defense faster, allowing our hitters to get into rhythm, and Presentation made a couple of mistakes that we were able to capitalize on and attack on, and extend the lead a little bit," Olney said.
In game one, it was a pitcher's duel up until the seventh inning. Mayville led 1-0 after five, but scored one run in the sixth and then broke the game open with three runs in the seventh. Bryce Venaas took the loss, but threw six strong innings for the Vikings, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out six.
The Vikings had no runs on three hits and two Mayville errors. Anthony Necochea, Mike Gershman and Jake Rambow all had one hit each. The Comets scored six runs on four hits and three Viking errors.
Up next: Valley City State will again take on Mayville and Presentation in a triangular on Sunday, Sept. 22.