St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus baseball team began Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a split against Augsburg College on Saturday afternoon at the Gustie Baseball Field. The Gusties were able to come away with a 7-6 victory in the series-opener, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a two out hit by Erik Sveen. The Auggies got a stellar pitching performance Ryan Mestnik in game two, as the freshman was able to shut out the Gusties to earn a 1-0 win to achieve a split. Gustavus moves to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC, while Augsburg goes to 15-5 overall and 1-1 in the league.
After a scoreless first inning, the Gusties jumped out to a 6-0 lead after scoring five runs in the second and another in the third. After Drew Block, David Tranvik, and Chris Kelly kicked off the second inning with a triple, a walk and an RBI single in respective at-bats, Gustavus went on to take advantage of three Augsburg errors to jump ahead 5-0.
Gustavus added its sixth run in the third inning when Erick Sveen singled to center field to score Max Laureano.
It would take until the sixth inning for Augsburg to score a run on Gustavus starting pitcher Kellan Euerle. RBI singles by Alec Johnson and pinch hitter Ryan Sward cut the lead to 6-2 heading into the final inning.
Despite allowing a double and a single to start the top of the seventh, Euerle was able to earn two outs off a fielder’s choice and a strikeout without a run coming across the plate. Following Lou LaChapelle’s strike out, Tom Peterson was able to draw a walk to load the bases for Adam Carl. Carl took advantage of an Euerle curve ball early in the count, upper-cutting the low, inside pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam home run that tied the game at 6-6.
Tom Jaede relieved Euerle after the homer, getting Johnson to ground out to end in the inning.
Despite losing the momentum, the Gusties were able to scrap together a two-out rally in the bottom seventh. Taylor Fish got the party started with a double down the left field line. Fish would finish 3-for-4 with a run in the game. On the ensuing at-bat, Erik Sveen muscled a looping single over the head of the Augsburg first baseman to bring across Fish for the win.
Sveen led the Gusties at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a run and three RBI. Drew Block was for 3-for-4 with a run and a triple, while Tim Miller and Max Laureano both finished 2-for-4. Miller had a run and an RBI and Laureano scored two runs and recorded an RBI.
Picking up his first win of the season was Tom Jaede. Starter Kellan Euerle allowed six runs on eight hits while striking out eight in 6.2 innings. Auggie starter Eren Cur was pulled following 1.2 innings after allowing five runs on six hits. Jeff Boresz suffered the loss, falling to 1-2 on the year. Gustavus registered a season-high 16 hits in the victory.
Hits were hard to come by for Gustavus in game two, as undefeated Auggie pitcher Ryan Mestnik was dealing from start to finish. Mestnik allowed just three hits on the way to his sixth win of the season, earning a the split for the Auggies.
Despite another strong performance on the hill by left-hander Grant Soderberg, the rookie suffered the loss in a complete-game, six-hit outing.
The lone run of the contest came in the top of the fourth inning when LaChapelle brought in Kolbow, who reached on a lead-off double to left-center, on a single to right-center.
The Gusties threatened in the bottom of the seventh but were not able to bring in the game-tying run. David Tranvik led off the inning by lacing a double down the left field line. After Christ Kelly sacrificed Tranvik to third on a bunt, Gustavus couldn’t find a way to bring Tranvik home.
Sveen, Tranvik, and Garrett Fuchs were all 1-for-3 at the dish for Gustavus in game two.
The Gustavus baseball team will be back on the diamond Saturday, April 7th when it kicks off a six-game road-stand with a doubleheader in St. Paul against Macalester College.