The Gustavus baseball team clinched a MIAC Playoff spot with two dramatic victories over Augsburg on Sunday afternoon in St. Peter. The Gusties scored three times in the bottom of the seventh inning to win game one, 8-6 and then scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to win game two, 4-3. Gustavus is now 20-16 overall and 12-8 in the MIAC.
In game one, the Gusties heroics in the bottom of the seventh inning started with a leadoff walk to Mike DesLauriers followed by a sacrifice bunt by Nate Ruff moving DesLauriers to second base. Pat Siering reached on an Augsburg error that allowed DesLauriers to score and tie the game at 6-6. Shea Roehrkasse stepped to the plate and drove a pitch over the right centerfield fence for a walk-off home run and an 8-6 Gustavus victory. Amazingly, the Gusties only registered three hits in the game on their way to scoring eight runs. Two of the three hits were two-run home runs. Robby Wiens hit a two-run home run to spark the four-run fourth inning. Dave Wold, Cody Sukalski, Ryan Michaelis, and Charlie Cicalello all pitched for Gustavus. Wold was the starter allowing five earned runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Cicalello earned the win pitching 2/3 of an inning.
In game two, the Gusties trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs, when Robby Wiens stretched a bloop single into a double and then scored the tying run when Chad Eul’s bloop single dropped in front of Augsburg’s left fielder. In the top of the eighth inning, Augsburg took a 3-2 lead when Eric Olson singled and scored on James Panning’s double. In the bottom of the eighth, Shea Roehrkasse singled with two outs, advanced to second on a passed ball and then scored on a single by Robby Wiens to tie the score at 3-3. Wiens advanced to second on a passed ball. Alan Woitas reached on an infield error and Wiens advanced to third base. Andrew Woitas then stroked a ball down the left field line that bounced just inside the foul line allowing Wiens to score the winning run. Five Gustavus pitchers took the mound in the contest including starter Adam Bren (2 2/3 inn.), Ryan Michaelis (2 inn.), Chad Schnettler (1 1/3 inn.), Charlie Cicalello (2 inn.), and Tory Herman (1/3 inn.). Herman earned the win despite pitching only 1/3 of an inning. Robby Wiens was the hitting star for Gustavus with three hits in four at-bats, including a RBI and a run scored.
The dramatic sweep allowed the Gusties to move into fourth place just 1/2 game ahead of Bethel at 10-7 and assured Gustavus of at least a fourth place finish in the final standings. A close look at all of the tie-breaking procedures has Gustavus finishing in either third or fourth place and winning all the tiebreakers necessary to earn the final playoff spot should there be a tie for fourth place. The MIAC Playoffs are scheduled to begin on Friday at 3:30 pm with games in Dundas and Northfield.