The Gustavus baseball team improved to 13-7 overall and 7-3 in the MIAC with an important doubleheader sweep over Concordia (6-5, 12-2) on Wednesday afternoon in St. Peter. The Gusties hit two grand slam home runs on the day including one by Tony Konicek in the first game and one by Pat Siering in the second game.
In game one, the Gusties trailed 1-0 in the third inning when Tony Konicek hit a 345 feet home run over the left field fence with the bases loaded to put Gustavus in front 4-1. The Cobbers countered with three runs off of Gustie starter Kraig Olson in the top of the fourth inning which tied the score at 4-4. Gustavus pushed two more runs across the plate in the fifth inning when Nate Ruff scored from third on an infield out by Mike DesLauriers and Tyler Kaus scored on a single by Eric Bigham. Concordia made it interesting in the seventh by starting the inning with two singles and a double which cut the Gustie lead to 6-5. Chad Schnettler relieved Charlie Cicallelo on the mound and intentionally walked Chris Klabo to put runners on first and second with one out. Schnettler then struck out Kyle Johnson and got Ryan Emter to fly out to right field preserving the 6-5 victory for Gustavus. Starting pitcher Kraig Olson pitched four complete innings. He was relieved by Charlie Cicallelo in the top of the fifth. Schnettler relieved Cicallelo with one out in the seventh and got the final two outs to earn the save.
In game two, the Gusties scored twice in the first inning and seven in the second to open up a commanding 9-0 lead. Pat Siering sparked the seven run second inning with a grand slam home run, the first of his collegiate career. The Gusties pounded out 19 hits in the game and went on to claim a convincing 12-2 win. Tyler Kaus, Mike DesLauriers and Nate Ruff each recorded three hits in the game. Brandon Knoll turned in a strong performance on the mound as he scored five hits and allowed two earned runs in seven innings of work.
Senior Tony Konicek drove in five runs in the doubleheader pushing his career total to 147 which makes him the all-time leader in runs batted in in the program’s history. Konicek moved past Brad Mazer who totalled 144 from 1999 to 2002. Konicek also became only the second player at Gustavus to reach 200 hits in his career when he picked up a hit in the first game (it happened to be a grand slam home run). He added two more hits in the second game pushing his career total to 202. Konicek now needs nine more hits to become the career hits leader at Gustavus. Brad Mazer currently holds the record with 210 hits.
Gustavus has now won three of its last four games and seven of its last ten. The Gusties have scored 60 runs in those ten games (6.6 per game), while allowing only 32 runs (3.2 per game).
Coach Mike Carroll’s squad will now play a couple of road doubleheaders this weekend including Saturday at St. Mary’s and Sunday at St. Scholastica.