The Gustavus baseball team used some clutch hitting and a strong pitching effort by Kellan Euerle to defeat Saint John’s 4-3 in the first game of a MIAC doubleheader on a chilly Monday afternoon in St. Peter. The Johnnies jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings in the second game and held on for a 5-0 victory as the two long-time rivals split the league series that was originally scheduled for Saturday.
In game one, Gustavus jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to RBI singles by Cody Sukalski and Taylor Fish in the bottom of the first inning. The Johnnies rallied to score three runs in the top of the third and take a 3-2 lead. Matt Butorac picked up the key hit for Saint John’s with a bases-loaded single that drove in two Johnnie runners. The third inning was the only blemish for Gustavus pitcher Kellan Euerle who shut Saint John’s down the rest of the way limiting the Johnnies to only two hits in the final four innings of the game. The Gusties battled back to tie the game at 3-3 in the fourth when Mike Holbrook scored from third on a passed ball and then scored the gamewinner in the fifth when Mitch Johnson hit a deep fly ball to center field that allowed Scott Benjamin to tag up and score the winning run from third base. Kellan Euerle picked up his second win of the season as he registered the complete game victory scattering eight hits and allowing three earned runs, while walking two and striking out 10. Euerle’s 10 strikeouts are the most by a Gustavus pitcher since Cody Sukalski punched out 10 Bethel Royals in 11 innings on April 11, 2009. At the plate, Mike Holbrook went 2-for-2 and scored two runs, while Sukalski was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
In game two, the Johnnies bunched together three hits and got some help from a Gustavus error to score three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Saint John’s would add two more runs in the third to extend its lead to 5-0 and that is all the Johnnies would need as Connor Cline pitched a complete game shutout limiting Gustavus to six hits in seven innings with four walks and seven strikeouts. Matt Boys led the Johnnies at the plate as he went 4-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Kellan Euerle was the only Gustavus player to pick up more than one hit as he registered two hits in three at-bats for the Gusties. Timmy Miller, who allowed three earned runs in two innings of work, was the losing pitcher for Gustavus, while Taylor Fish pitched the final five innings allowing six hits and one earned run, while walking one and striking out three.