The Gustavus baseball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Division II MSU, Mankato in a single, nine-inning game played in St. Peter on Monday afternoon. The Gusties got a strong pitching effort from starter Connor Norris, but made some mistakes in the field and were unable to get timely hits in the setback to the Mavericks. Gustavus is now 5-14 on the season, while MSU, Mankato improves to 21-8.
The game was scoreless through the first four innings and then the Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on a bunt by Zach Rowles that scored Steve Helget from third base. The Gusties tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning when Timmy Miller’s two-out single scored Scott Benjamin from third base.
MSU, Mankato scored what turned out to be the winning runs in the top of the sixth thanks to a couple of walks by Norris and a clutch single by Jeremy Sudbeck.
Gustavus would mount a two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth thanks to back-to-back singles by Mike Holbrook and Taylor Fish and a walk to Cody Sukalski, but Kevin Roth’s sharp line drive to center field was caught by Danny Miller ending the rally.
The Gusties registered six hits in the game including two by catcher Dave Tranvik, while the Mavericks picked up five hits. Norris turned in a solid performance on the mound for Gustavus as he allowed just two hits and three earned runs in five-and-one-third innings. He struck out four and walked three. Tom Jaede, Bryce Bintzler, and Timmy Miller also pitched for the Gusties. MSU, Mankato used four pitchers in the game including starter Luke Putz, Jason Hoppe, Bryce Bellin, and Mahlon Zimmerman. Bellin picked up the win as he pitched the sixth, seventh, and part of the eighth inning, while Zimmerman was credited with the save.
The Gusties are scheduled to play Macalester in St. Paul on Wednesday with the first game scheduled to start at 2:30 pm.