Senior pitcher Cody Sukalski fired a complete game two-hit shutout to help the Gustavus baseball team defeat Carleton 1-0 in the first game of a MIAC doubleheader in Northfield on Friday afternoon. The Knights scored five runs in the first inning of the second game on their way to a 5-0 win and a split with the Gusties. Kevin Roth’s pinch-hit single drove in Sukalski with the winning run in the top of the sixth inning in game one, unfortunately for Gustavus it would be the only run they would score in the two games.
Game one turned out to be a classic pitcher’s duel between Sukalski and Anderson Cole of Carleton. Through five innings of play, Sukalski had allowed only one hit, while Cole had surrendered only two hits, but neither had given up a run and the score was knotted at 0-0. The Gusties got a leadoff single from Erik Sveen in the top of the sixth and then Sveen was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Dave Tranvik. Sukalski reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second when Sveen was caught and tagged out in a run down. Kevin Roth pinch hit for Scott Benjamin and delivered a clutch two-out single that scored Sukalski from second base with what turned out to be the winning run. Sukalski allowed a two-out single to the Knights in the bottom of the sixth, but the runner was stranded. In the seventh, Sukalski induced three fly balls to close out the finest performance of his four-year career with a complete game, two-hit shutout.
In the second game, Carleton jumped on Gustie starter Connor Norris knocking out six singles and scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning. That is all the Knights would need as starting pitcher Jacob Anderson would shut Gustavus down throwing a complete game, four-hit shut allowing Carleton to earn the split of the doubleheader with a 5-0 victory. Taylor Fish replaced Norris in the second inning and limited the Knights to one hit, while striking out four in the next five innings. Scott Benjamin registered two of the four hits for Gustavus.
Gustavus, which moves to 10-17 overall and 6-8 in MIAC play, returns home to host Saint John’s in a conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 pm.