The Gustavus Adolphus College baseball team locked up a spot in next weekend’s MIAC Post-season Tournament with a doubleheader sweep of Carleton Wednesday in Northfield. Gustavus posted a 10-0 win in game one behind four RBIs by Tony Konicek (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) and held off a Carleton rally after scoring seven runs in the first inning to take game two 10-8. Gustavus hosts league-leader St. Olaf Saturday.
Game One – Gustavus Adolphus 10, Carleton 0
The Gusties plated five runs in the second inning led by a two-out, two-RBI triple to right field by Konicek. Gustavus’ other runs came on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Kaus (Jr., St. James, Minn.) and RBI singles by Andrew Woitas (Fr., Sleepy Eye, Minn./St. Mary’s) and Mike DesLauriers (So., Minnetonka, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s).
Konicek drove in two more runs in the top of the fourth inning with a bases-loaded double to right center. Pat Siering (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) followed that up with an RBI single, scoring DesLauriers from third to give the Gusties an 8-0 advantage. Konicek was plated on a sacrifice fly by Eric Bigham (Fr., Robbinsdale, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s) to push the lead to 9-0 before the Knights were able to get out of the inning.
The Knights’ Jay Melson hit a triple off Gustavus reliever Kraig Olson (Jr., Blooming Prairie, Minn.) to lead off the Carleton sixth but was stranded 90 feet away from home plate as Olson worked his way out of the jam with a line-out and a pair of strikeouts.
Gustavus added another run in the seventh inning as Bigham scored on an RBI single by Kaus.
Andrew Hoffer (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) allowed only a single to Ethan Guevin in the first inning during his four innings of work to record the victory. Olson pitched the final three innings, allowing three hits and striking out two to get the save. Dan Matthews allowed the first nine Gustavus runs on nine hits in three innings of work to take the loss. Sam Cross-Knorr pitched four innings of one-hit ball, allowing one run in relief.
Kaus, Konicek, and Woitas each finished 2-for-4 in game one with Konicek (4) and Kaus (2) driving in multiple runs. Woitas, Bigham, and DesLauriers each plated a pair of runs. Guevin was the only Knight with multiple hits in game one, knocking out two of Carleton’s four hits. Dan Sylvester and Melson picked up the others. Kaus led off the game with a triple, his sixth of the season, tying the single-season school record set by Brian Sorum in 1997.
Game Two – Gustavus Adolphus 10, Carleton 8
The Gusties completed the sweep with a 10-8 win in game two, seemingly putting the game out of reach early by batting around in the first inning and plating seven runs. The Knights, though, proved they were not going to go down without a fight, scoring seven runs of their own in the second inning to pull with in a run.
The Gusties’ big hit in the first inning came off the bat of Tyler Kaus, who cleared the bases with a stand-up double to make the score 7-0. Earlier in the inning, Gustavus had gotten runs on an RBI double by Konicek, an RBI fielder’s choice by DesLauriers, and an RBI ground-out by Nate Ruff (So., Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson). Konicek also scored from third base courtesy of a balk by Carleton starting pitcher Nick Shepard.
The Gusties added a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Bigham that scored Shea Roehrkasse (Jr., Jackson, Wyo./Jackson Hole) before the Knights roughed up Gustie starting pitcher Charlie Cicalello (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) in the bottom half of the second inning. Carleton scored seven runs on five hits and an error to cut the Gustavus lead to 8-7.
The Knights brought 12 batters to the plate in the inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Aaron Troyansky. Russ Fujisawa added a double that fell in over the head of Andrew Woitas in center field scoring Cameron McDonald-Hyman. Tory Herman (Fr., Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View) replaced an ineffective Cicalello with two outs and the bases loaded, allowing one run to score before striking out Rob Trettin to end the inning.
Gustavus got some breathing room in the third as Ruff opened the frame with a single, stole second, and advanced to third on a ground-out by Andrew Woitas before scoring on a wild pitch to give the Gusties a two-run advantage at 9-7. An infield single by Konicek put runners on the corners, but McDonald-Hyman reeled in a fly ball off the bat of Roehrkasse to bring the Gustavus threat to an end.
Matt Topeff opened the Carleton third inning with a double to deep center off Herman and advanced to third on a ground-out by Nick Shepherd but was stranded there.
Jake Riss replaced Knight reliever Geoff King in the top of the fourth and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings before the Gusties posted another run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Spencer Campion (Fr., Plymouth, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s).
The Knights drew to within 10-8 in the bottom of the seventh inning on a one-out RBI single down the left-field line by Trettin, but Gustavus relief pitcher Chad Schnettler (Jr., Sartell, Minn./Sartell-St. Stephen) recovered to close out the game by inducing a pair of ground-outs.
Thanks to the seven-run cushion he was given to work with before even taking the mound, Cicalello picked up the win and moved to 5-0. Cicalello was touched up for seven runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings, seeing his minisule sub-1.00 ERA balloon to 2.93. Herman pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief before giving way to Schnettler, who pitched three innings, allowing one run on three hits to pick up his third save of the year.
Kaus finished 1-for-2 with three RBIs, three walks, and a run scored to lead the Gusties. Tony Konicek, DesLauriers, and Ruff each posted two hits and an RBI. Trettin went 3-for-4 with two doubles for the Knights, driving in a pair. Matt Topeff also finished with two hits.
Gustavus faces league-leader St. Olaf Saturday in St. Peter with the league title on the line. The Oles are 13-3 in the league heading into Thursday’s doubleheader with Augsburg. The Gusties are now 21-11 overall, 14-4 in the MIAC, tied for second in the league with St. Thomas, who swept Macalester Wednesday. The Gusties will close out the regular season Sunday on the road at Iowa Conference leader Wartburg.