The Gustavus baseball team moved closer to clinching a MIAC Tournament berth with an important double-header sweep against Bethel in Arden Hills Tuesday afternoon. The Gusties won game one 10-3 and then claimed game two 6-2. Gustavus will host Carleton Wednesday afternoon. The Gusties can clinch a playoff spot with a sweep against the Knights. The team is currently 23-10 overall and 11-5 in the MIAC.
Game 1 – Gustavus Adolphus 10, Bethel 3
In game one, the Gusties trailed 3-2 in the fifth inning, but then broke the game open with an eight-run sixth inning. Andy Schmidt (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.) turned in a solid performance on the mound as he picked up the complete game victory.
Gustavus took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning as second baseman Mike DesLauriers (Fr., Minnetonka, Minn.) and right fielder Tyler Kaus (So., St. James, Minn.) delivered with RBI singles from the bottom two spots in the Gustie batting order, but the lead did not last as the Royals responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame on a two-run home run by shortstop T.J. Therrien.
Bethel took a one-run lead in the fifth inning as Mike Gaustad scored on a RBI single by catcher Jared Bangs.
After retiring the Gusties in order in the fifth inning, Bethel reliever Mike Moravec was left in to start the sixth inning. He was not around for the finish, though, as the first ten batters in the Gustavus order reached safely. The only out recorded in the stretch was a force-out at home plate with the bases loaded. Gustie catcher Shea Roehrkasse (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) doubled to open the inning and was followed by a RBI double by left fielder Wade Vrieze (Richfield, Minn.), a RBI single by DesLauriers, a RBI walk by second baseman Nate Ruff (Fr., Bloomington, Minn.) and RBI singles by third baseman Aaron Madson (Sr., North Mankato, Minn.) and center fielder Tony Konicek (Rochester, Minn.). Madson and Konicek would also come around to score in the inning with Madson touching home courtesy of a balk by a Bethel pitcher and Konicek scoring on a sacrifice fly by Vrieze. First baseman Ben Sherer (Sr., Bismarck, N.D.) provided the inning’s final run, scoring from third base on a passed ball.
The Royals got the first two batters aboard in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the rally was snuffed out as first baseman Dane Hansen grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Schmidt closed out the complete-game win by retiring Bethel in order in the seventh inning.
Roehrkasse, Madson, Konicek and DesLauriers each had a pair of hits for Gustavus, while Vrieze went 1-for-2 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
Game 2 – Gustavus Adolphus 6, Bethel 2
In game two, Gustavus took a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning. The Royals cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, but then Gustavus extended its lead to 6-2 with three runs in the top of the seventh. The big hit was a two-run home run by Tony Konicek. Pitching was again the key for the Gusties as senior Josh Spitzack (West Concord, Minn.) earned the complete game victory.
Gustavus took its first lead in the third inning as Nate Ruff scored on a Konicek RBI single. The Royals responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning as Kirby Carr knocked a rare Spitzack misfire over the outfield fence for a solo home run.
The Gusties retook the lead in the fifth inning as Aaron Madson singled in Tyler Kaus. Konicek drove Ruff in later in the inning on a RBI ground-out to give Gustavus a 3-1 lead. Bethel cut the deficit to a single run in the sixth inning as Kirby Carr scored his second run of the game, this time on a single by second baseman Mike Gaustad.
A sacrifice fly by Madson that scored Mike DesLauriers and Konicek’s home run helped to solidify the Gustavus victory with three runs in the seventh inning.
Spitzack pitched all seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two batters and struck out eight to improve his record to 7-4 on the season.
Konicek finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBI, a run scored and the two-run home run. Madson, Andy Schmidt, and DesLauriers gathered the other Gustavus hits.
With five RBI on the day, Konicek passed current teammate Ben Sherer for second place on the Gustavus career RBI list. Konicek now has 111 RBI, while Sherer remains stuck at 106.
Coach Mike Carroll stated, “We hit the ball well, we pitched well, and we fielded well. It was a strong overall performance and we have put ourselves in position to extend our season.”
The Gusties have compiled a mark of 23-10 overall and the 23 wins are the fourth highest single season win total in the program’s history. The record is 29 wins set in the 2004 season. The nine-game winning streak is the longest since the Gusties rattled off ten wins in a row during the 1980 season.