The Gustavus baseball team opened its 2009 schedule in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome by splitting two games with Loras College on Saturday morning. The Gusties, who are 1-1 on the season, dropped the first game 4-2, but staged a comeback in the latter innings of the second game for a 7-3 win in eight innings. Nate Ruff provided the heroics in game two when he drove in a two-out, game-tying RBI to send the contest into extra innings.
After two scoreless innings in game one, Loras tallied three runs in the top of the third when centerfielder Adam Gross drove in a pair of runs and scored a run to put the Duhawks ahead 3-0. Loras added another run in the top of the fourth after Alex Miklo hit a double to left center with two outs to score Tyler Shireman from first base.
The Gusties cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth inning as a result of two Duhawk errors allowing Andrew and Alan Woitas to score. Gustavus had two runners at second and third with two outs in the following inning, but were unable to drive the potential game-tying runs. Loras pitcher Kevin Moriarity, who recorded six strikeouts, sat the Gusties down in order in the bottom of the seventh to record the complete game win. Tory Herman suffered the loss as he posted three strikeouts and allowed just one earned run.
The Gustavus bats stayed hot in the second contest of the doubleheader as it held a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Mike DesLauriers and Nate Ruff reached base on the first two at-bats of the game and went on to score after RBIs from Herman and Matt Morgan. Later during the same half-inning, the Gusties had a golden opportunity to break the game wide open with the bases loaded and two outs, but were unable to pick up the timely hit.
The Duhawks whittled away at the lead by scoring a run in the third, fifth, and sixth innings to hold a 3-2 advantage heading into the seventh inning. Brandon Boyd reached first on a fielder’s choice after Andrew Woitas slapped a single up the middle of the diamond. With two outs, Mike DesLauriers kept Gustavus alive when he ripped a base hit down the left field line advancing Boyd to second. In the next at-bat, Nate Ruff hit a single the opposite way to right field, allowing Boyd to dash home beating the play at the plate to force extra innings.
In the final inning, the Gusties crossed home plate four times after putting together key hits and taking advantage of Loras errors. Andrew Woitas held the Duhawks scoreless in the bottom of the eighth for the win after giving up one hit in 2.2 innings of work. Zach Schwartz recorded the loss for Loras.
Gustavus returns to the Metrodome on Sunday, March 8 for a doubleheader against Wartburg College beginning at 6:30 p.m.