The Gustavus Adolphus College baseball team closed out its season Friday with a pair of losses at the MIAC Baseball Tournament in Dundas and Northfield. Gustavus, the fourth seed, fell to top-seeded St. Thomas 9-3 and then dropped a 4-3 decision to Saint John’s in an elimination game Friday evening.
St. Thomas 9, Gustavus Adolphus 3
Gustavus outhit St. Thomas 11-9 in Friday’s first round game in Dundas and picked up a hit in every inning except the fifth, but was unable to come out on top on the scoreboard. The Tommies scored two runs in the first, one in both the second and third, four in the sixth, and a final tally in the seventh to post a 9-3 win over the Gusties.
The Gusties scored the game’s first run in the top of the first as Tyler Kaus (Jr., St. James, Minn.) scored on a ground-out by Shea Roehrkasse (Jr., Jackson, Wyo./Jackson Hole), but St. Thomas countered with a pair of scores in the bottom half of the frame to take a 2-1 lead. Tom Wippler doubled to left center, scoring Chris Bullis and Matt Pexa.
The Tommies added single runs in the second and third on a sacrifice fly by Bryan Johnson and an RBI single by Mark Boland while the Gusties countered with a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Eric Bigham (Fr., Robbinsdale, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s).
After a scoreless fifth inning for both teams, St. Thomas plated four in the sixth on two hits and three Gustavus errors. Boland scored on a single up the middle by Roy Larson and Pexa followed with a three-run home run to push the UST lead to 8-2. Another Tommie run would plate in the seventh as Louie Salmen doubled in Wippler to make the score 9-2.
Gustavus picked up its final run in the eighth inning as Kaus led off the frame with a double to right field and then scored on an RBI single to right field by Mike DesLauriers (So., Minnetonka, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s).
Bigham led all players with three hits in four at-bats for the Gusties. Roehrkasse finished 2-for-4, scoring once and driving in one. Wippler and Salmen each picked up two hits for the Tommies.
Starting pitcher Andrew Hoffer (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) took the loss for the Gusties, allowing three runs on just two hits in two innings. Hoffer was relieved by Dave Wold (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.) in the third inning. Wold pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits. Chad Schnettler (Jr., Sartell, Minn./Sartell-St. Stephen) pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, while Derek Eddie (Fr., Owatonna, Minn.) pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Tommie starting pitcher Dan Leslie picked up the win, scattering ten hits and three runs in eight innings. Will Montgomery pitched a perfect ninth for UST.
Saint John’s 4, Gustavus Adolphus 3 (10 innings)
The Gusties got on the board early in Friday evening’s elimination game against the Johnnies. Gustavus took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Tony Konicek (Sr., Rochester, Minn./Mayo) hit a two-run home run to left field off Saint John’s starter T.J. Nelson. Tyler Kaus, who led off the game with a double, also scored on the play.
Gustavus extended its lead to 3-0 in the third as Mike DesLauriers scored on an RBI single to center by Shea Roehrkasse. Saint John’s cut the lead to just 3-2 in their half of the inning as Ryan Sufka scored on an RBI single by Jay Kasner and Casey Haugen scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Meyer.
The Gusties had two runners on with two outs in the seventh, trying to extend their lead, but a long fly ball that seemed destined to fall in for a hit in deep right field off the bat of Konicek was snagged by Johnnie rightfielder Shawn Schoenberg.
That missed opportunity would loom large in the end as the first two Saint John’s batters reached base in the bottom of the seventh off Gustavus starter Kraig Olson (Jr., Blooming Prairie, Minn.). Olson was pulled in favor of Charlie Cicalello (Jr., St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall), who proceeded to allow a single to the first hitter he faced to load the bases. The next SJU batter, John Heinbigner, hit into a double play, but with only two outs, Haugen scored easily from third base to knot the score at 3-3.
Gustavus would get a runner on in each of the last three innings only to see each of them stranded. Saint John’s opened the tenth inning with a single to left field by Jay Kasner and a bunt single by Matt Meyer off Cicalello that put runners at the corners. An intentional walk issued to Jeff Ostrom loaded the bases for Schoenberg, who lofted a single to left field past a drawn-in Gustavus defense to score Kasner from third and win the game.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. Olson went six innings for the Gusties, allowing three runs on six hits with a strike out. Nelson allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out three in seven innings. Cicalello took the loss allowing one run on four hits in three innings on the mound. Case Paxton pitched two scoreless innings for Saint John’s, allowing only one Gustavus hit, while John Hollenhorst pitched a scoreless tenth to get the win.
Each team pounded out 10 hits with Kasner leading all players with four. He finished 4-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. DesLauriers led the Gusties with three hits, while Kaus had a pair of doubles. Schoenberg, who made a number of great plays defensively for the Johnnies in right field, was 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI.
The Gusties finish the year at 21-15 overall and took fourth in the MIAC with a 14-6 mark. Saint John’s advances in the consolation bracket to face St. Thomas, a 4-2 loser to St. Olaf Friday evening in Dundas, at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon with the winner facing St. Olaf.