The Gustavus Adolphus baseball team pushed its winning streak to five games Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of non-conference foe Wartburg. Justin Boelter pitched effectively in game one, allowing five runs on six hits to get the 8-5 win despite giving up a pair of home runs to Wartburg catcher Brian Greiner. The Gusties used a seven-run fifth inning to turn what had been a scoreless pitcher’s dual into a runaway 10-2 victory.
Game One – Gustavus Adolphus 8, Wartburg 5
The Knights jumped on Gustie starter Justin Boelter early, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Lead-off hitter Patrick Henderson reached on a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a single by Ryan Grant before scoring on a rbi ground-out by Casey Pauli. Grant scored the second Knight run, plating on a sacrifice fly by Greiner.
Gustavus evened the score with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame, opening with three consecutive hits capped off by Tony Konicek’s two-run single to left field that scored Nate Ruff and Aaron Madson. The Gusties took the lead in the second inning as Mike DesLauriers scored on a sacrifice fly by Ruff. DesLauriers had reached earlier in the inning on a throwing error by Knight second baseman Tom Kersbergen.
Greiner put the Knights back in front in the fourth inning, sending a Boelter delivery over the fence in right field for the two-run home run, but the 4-3 lead held only until the fourth inning, when Konicek collected his third and fourth rbi on the day with a two-run single to center field that scored Ruff and Tyler Kaus. A second home run to right field by Greiner knotted the score at 5-5 in the top of the fifth inning.
The Gusties pushed three runs across in the bottom of the fifth inning on only three hits. Andy Schmidt and DesLauriers reached with one out on back-to-back singles. A walk issued to Kaus loaded the bases for Ruff, drove in Schmidt and DesLauriers with a single to right field. A sacrifice fly to right field by Madson scored Kaus, giving Gustavus an 8-5 lead.
Wartburg threatened in the seventh inning, with two runners on and Greiner at the plate, but Gustie reliever Brandon Knoll induced the Knight slugger to pop out to Madson at third base and then ended the game by striking out designated hitter Jake Shandri looking for out number three.
Boelter pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits, while striking out three to improve to 2-0. Knoll picked up the save, pitching 2/3 of an inning, walking one and striking out one. Konicek led the Gusties at the plate, going 2-for-3 with four rbi. Ruff finished 2-for-2, driving in three while also scoring twice. Kaus also finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
Game Two – Gustavus Adolphus 10, Wartburg 2
Following four-and-a-half innings of scoreless baseball, the Gusties broke game two wide open in the fifth inning, scoring seven runs on eight hits while sending 13 batters to the plate. Siering and Schmidt were hit by pitches to start the inning, with both moving into scoring position on a single to center field by DesLauriers. The Gusties followed with four consecutive rbi singles by Kaus, Ruff, Madson and Konicek to give the home team a 4-0 lead. Following a Wartburg pitching change, Sherer was issued an intentional walk to load the bases, only to have the plan backfire as Roehrkasse stepped to the plate and singled up the middle, driving in a pair to increase the Gustie lead to 6-0. In his second plate appearance of the inning, Siering singled through the left side scoring Sherer from third base. DesLauriers singled again to load the bases, but the Knights would escape without any further damage as Kaus grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
Wartburg cut the deficit to five runs in the top of the sixth, scoring one run as center fielder Patrick Henderson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing home Tom Kersbergen, and another as first baseman Mike Johnson scored on a wild pitch by Wade Vrieze.
Gustavus put the game out of reach with three more runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run home run to right field by Konicek. The first batter following Konicek’s long fly, Ben Sherer, reached base after being hit by Knight relief pitcher Drew Newhoff. After advancing to second base on a passed ball, Sherer was brought home by a rbi triple to center field by Pat Siering.
Gustavus starting pitcher Brandon Knoll pitched three innings of scoreless baseball before yielding to Vrieze, who picked up his first win of the season. Vrieze pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit, while striking out four Knight batters. Chad Schnettler came on with one out in the seventh inning to close out the game.
Nate Ruff led the Gusties with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, driving in one and scoring once. Konicek provided the big bat, going 2-for-4 with three rbi and a pair of runs scored, while Madson, Siering and DesLauriers also recorded multiple hits.
Gustavus’ first win Sunday afternoon marked the 200th in the Gustavus coaching career of head coach Mike Carroll. In his tenth season at the helm of the Gustavus program, Carroll is 201-166.
The Gusties return to MIAC action Tuesday when they host Macalester.