St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus baseball team opened its 2013 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) schedule with a pair of wins over Carleton on the Gustie Baseball Field Monday afternoon. The Gusties held off the Knights for a 3-2 win in game one of the doubleheader. Gustavus then turned around to pull out a dramatic 5-4 victory in game two. With the wins, the Gusties begin conference play 2-0 for the first time since 2009 when they opened with a 4-0 in league play.
Game 1 – Gustavus 3, Carleton 2
Due to weather causing the afternoon’s doubleheader to be moved from Northfield to St. Peter, the Gusties were declared the visiting team on Monday afternoon and took advantage in the early going. Gustavus got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning when Kellan Euerle (Jr., St. Cloud, Minn.) scored to put the Gusties on top 1-0. Euerle led off the inning with single to right center. He then stole second and advanced to third on a Grant Soderburg (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) single that dropped in center field. Garrett Fuchs (So., Cold Spring, Minn.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Euerle scored on a fielder’s choice the next at bat, but it was all the Gusties could muster, leaving two stranded.
Carleton answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the second. After Nolan Baker singled to lead off the inning, the Knights strung together a successful sacrifice bunt and a single to move him to third. From there, Baker scored on a groundout to Gustavus pitcher Christopher Kelly (So., Savage, Minn.) and the score was tied at 1-1.
Gustavus came back to score two runs in its next at-bat. The Gustie bats came alive to claim four hits in the top of the third, headed by RBI singles from Euerle and Fuchs, but Gustavus left runners stranded again and the lead held at 3-1. Carleton was able to respond with a run in the bottom half of the third inning, but Kelly put the clamps on the Knight offense for the remainder of the game, holding it hitless in the final four innings of the contest on the way to a complete game win, his first of the season. The sophomore gave up two runs, one of which was earned, on four hits while striking out five. His counterpart, Ted Harmon, went all seven innings on the hill for the Knights. Harmon gave up three runs on six hits in the losing effort.
At the plate, the Gusties were led by Kellan Euerle with a 2-for-3 performance. Euerle also recorded an RBI and stolen base to go along with two runs scored. Grant Soderberg also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of singles in the game.
Game 2 – Gustavus 5, Carleton 4 (12 innings)
It took 12 innings and nearly three hours for the Gusties to claim their second win of the afternoon. Again Gustavus got out to the early lead, scoring two runs in the top of the second and two in the fourth to hold a 4-0 advantage midway through game two. In the second, Euerle walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second when a Carleton pick-off attempt went for naught. Two batters later, Garrett Fuchs was hit by a pitch. Max Fidler (So., Lino Lakes, Minn.) followed with an infield single to load the bases with only one out. A fielder’s choice and a passed ball on the next two batters brought in Euerle and Fuchs, and the Gusties took a 2-0 lead.
Gustavus took advantage of Carleton miscues in the fourth. After Boyden Lee (Jr., Fergus Falls, Minn.) reached on an error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Fuchs, Fidler doubled to left center to score Lee and put the Gusties out in front 3-0. On the ensuing at-bat, Taylor Bigandt (Fr., Littleton, Colo.) struck out, but reached on a passed ball, which moved Fidler up to third. Fidler then scored on a delayed steal by Bigandt and Gustavus found itself with a 4-0 advantage headed to the bottom of the fourth.
A pair of Gustavus errors in the bottom half of the inning would prove costly, however, and Carleton would respond with two runs of its own to cut the deficit to 4-2. The Knights would then come right back in the bottom of the fifth inning to score two more runs and tie the game. After leadoff back-to-back singles by Jeff Dsida and David Stillerman, Hayden Tsutusi walked to load the bases with no outs. Ray Yong followed with an RBI single, and the Knights had something cooking. However, Gustavus pitcher Grant Soderberg dug in to come back with two consecutive outs before getting a ground ball representing the third out, but an error on the play allowed Tsutusi to score and tie the game up. Soderberg got the elusive ground out in the next at-bat and the Gusties were out of the jam with minimal damage and three Knight base runners left on.
The Knights had their chance to put the game away in the bottom of the seventh. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with only one out. However, Connor Norris (Sr., Omaha, Neb.) appeared in relief to record a huge strike out and fly out to end the inning and strand three more Carleton base runners.
The two teams headed to extra innings where only five batters would reach base over the next four innings until the Gusties threatened in the top of the 12th inning. Max Laureano (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) singled up the middle with one out to start things off. A pair of walks loaded the bases before Kellan Euerle produced an RBI ground out to put the Gusties in front 5-4. The run would prove to be enough as the Knights went down in order in the bottom of the 12th to propel the Gusties on to victory.
Connor Norris was given the win after coming in to provide five and two-thirds innings of relief, giving up no runs on just one hit and striking out six in his first win of the season. Jackson Tears was given the loss after relieving Kevin Jackson, who went the first nine innings of the contest.
With the wins, Gustavus improves to 5-12 (2-0 MIAC) while Carleton falls to 10-8 (0-2 MIAC). The Gusties are scheduled to be back on the diamond Wednesday, April, 10th when they host Macalester at 2:30 p.m. in St. Peter.