The Gustavus baseball team opened its 2005 season with a sweep against Loras College at the Metrodome in Minneapolis Monday night winning 11-2 and 8-3.
The Gusties ended last season with a 29-15 record overall and a 13-7 mark in the MIAC. Gustavus returns a majority of the team that ended its 2004 campaign with a 6-5 loss in the MIAC Playoff Championship game to Saint Thomas.
Key returners for the 2005 Gusties are 2004 MIAC Player of the Year Ben Sherer at first base and all-region outfielder Tony Konicek. Sherer started all 44 games for the Gusties compiling an impressive .409 batting average in 159 plate appearances. Sherer also recorded a .679 slugging percentage, was second on the team in fielding percentage with a .983 mark, and led the team in doubles. Konicek tallied a batting average of .433 in 171 plate appearances. Konicek also recorded a slugging percentage of .713 and an impressive .990 fielding percentage. Konicek led the team in batting average, slugging percentage, hits, RBIs, and total bases.
The Gusties will return three other players in the field in addition to Sherer and Konicek, including Aaron Madson, Ash Larsen, and Mike Holman. Madson tallied a .314 batting average in 159 plate appearances while recording an .897 fielding percentage. Ash Larsen’s .360 batting percentage included 28 runs and 54 hits while garnering a fielding percentage of .971. Holman tallied a .289 batting average and had a .988 fielding percentage from his catcher’s position.
Gustavus will return four pitchers to the line-up this season, including Matt Musta, Josh Spitzack, Andy Schmidt, and Ben Levy. Schmidt led the Gusties in earned run average (ERA) with 2.76 and had a 4-2 overall record. Schmidt made a team-high 16 appearances and allowed 26 hits, 14 runs, 9 walks in 29.1 innings pitched. Spitzack recorded a 4.89 ERA while garnering a team-high five wins (5-3 overall). Spitzack pitched in six complete games, and allowed 57 hits, 31 runs, and 13 walks in 53.1 innings pitched. Levy was 3-3 with a 5.18 ERA and Musta was 3-0 with a 7.06 ERA.
The Gusties will play on March 22 against the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at the Metrodome.