The Gustavus baseball team dropped a pair of games to Hamline in 9-6 and 8-0 decisions on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter. The Gusties struggled on the mound as the Piper hitters combined for 26 hits in both games, and were kept off balance at the plate by the Hamline pitchers. Gustavus moved to 13-15 overall and 6-6 in the MIAC, while the Pipers moved to 15-14 overall and 7-5 in the MIAC.
After Hamline scored a run in the top of the first inning, the Gusties responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. The rally started when Andrew Woitas laced a single between the third baseman and shortshop. Woitas came around to score two batters later as Tory Herman got on base after a Piper error. Matt Morgan ripped a shot to the gap in right center field that rolled to the fence to drive in Herman, and later crossed home plate on a wild pitch. By the end of the inning, Gustavus was ahead 3-1.
J.D. Modrynski hit a double to start the two-run second frame for Hamline as it tied the game at 3-3. The Pipers went on to put two runs on the board in the third inning as well to take a 5-3 lead. Andrew Woitas led off of the bottom of the third and crossed home plate when Morgan delivered a hit through the left side of the infield to make the score 5-4. Hamline added two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to extend its lead to 9-5 at the end of six frames. The Gusties mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh as runners stood on first and third base with one out. Morgan drove in his third run of the game, but the comeback ended with a flyball to left field.
Morgan led Gustavus at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Andrew Woitas, Mike DesLauriers, and Nate Ruff each posted two hits, while Woitas also scored two runs. In three innings, Cody Sukalski gave up five hits and issued two walks resulting in three earned runs. Cam Knetsch faced two batters in the fourth inning before Derek Eddie pitched the final four innings of the game. Eddie allowed seven hits for two runs.
Game two was a classic pitchers’ duel through four innings as Piper starting pitcher Brett Bugielski and Gustie starting pitcher Brandon Knoll received help from their respective defenses. Gustavus had the most scoring opportunites early in the game, but Bugielski helped his cause as he started two 1-6-3 double plays to end any threats. Hamline scored the first run of the game when a double by Tres Humerickhouse down the right field line drove in Lincoln Hughes to go ahead 1-0. The Pipers broke out for four runs on four hits in the fifth inning to take a 5-0 lead before adding three more runs in the top of the seventh.
The Gustie bats were held to five hits in the game, as Erik Sveen accounted for two of those hits. Knoll allowed eight hits for four earned runs in four innings, while walking two and striking out three. Kevin Hagen appeared in two innings of relief as he gave up four hits for two earned runs. Adam Bren recorded the last out of the seventh inning for Gustavus.
The Gusties face non-conference opponent UW-La Crosse on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in St. Peter and return to league play next Saturday against Augsburg at home.