St. Peter, Minn. – After 17 days without a game, the Gustavus Adolphus baseball team came back to win two games against Hamline University on Friday afternoon by the final scores of 3-1 and 13-5. Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning in game one, Grant Soderberg (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) delivered a two-run double to right center field to give the Gusties all the cushion they would need for the 3-1 victory. Soderberg then turned around to shut down the Piper offense from the pitching mound in game two, giving up just two runs on the way to the 13-5 win. With the wins, Gustavus improves to 7-12 (4-0 MIAC), while Hamline drops to 13-7 (0-4 MIAC). It is the first time since 2009 that the Gusties have began conference play 4-0.
Game 1 – Gustavus 3, Hamline 1
In the first game, both squads produced threats early. After Hamline left two runners on base in the top of the second inning, Gustavus answered with a threat of their own in the bottom half of the inning and left an identical two runners stranded.
The Pipers cracked the seal in the top of the third inning when they put one across to take a 1-0 lead. Andy Sammon led the inning off with a walk and advanced to third on one of Gustavus pitcher Christopher Kelly’s (So., Savage, Minn.) few mistakes of the game, an overthrown pick-off attempt. Sammon was brought in when Jordan Rubbelke bunted for a single and Hamline had the lead.
Gustavus responded with a run in the bottom of the third to tie the game back up and one apiece. Taylor Bigandt (Fr., Littleton, Colo.) led the Gustie half of the inning of with a triple. Tim Miller (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) followed with a single and the game was back to even.
From there, the game settled into a pitcher’s duel with each offense being stymied by the opposing pitcher. The game continued that way until the bottom of the sixth when the Gusties broke the game open. A bunt single from Miller, a single from Sam Warner (Fr., Chanhassen, Minn.), and after a groundout, an intentional walk loaded the bases for Grant Soderberg. Soderberg delivered a looping double to right center that scored both Miller and Warner to put the Gusties on top 3-1. It proved to be all they would need as they put the Pipers down in order in the top of the seventh to stamp the score as final at 3-1.
Tim Miller led the Gusties at the plate. The senior went 2-for-3 with a run batted in (RBI) and a run scored. However, it was the performance of pitcher Christopher Kelly that propelled Gustavus on to victory. Kelly went the distance, pitching all seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits to pick up his second win of season. Matt Eickman suffered the loss for the Pipers.
Game 2 – Gustavus 13, Hamline 5
The Pipers came out with bang in game two with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a two-run home run by Mark Radmacher. Radmacher’s bomb cleared the scoreboard in right field and the Pipers held the lead in the early going.
However, any sign of life the Hamline offense had showed was outmatched by the Gustavus offense, which came back to score 13 unanswered runs on the way to victory. The Gusties scored four in the first, two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, and four in the fifth to take a 13-2 lead heading to the sixth inning. In the meantime, Grant Soderberg shut down the Hamline offense, giving up no runs on four hits and striking out four after giving up the two runs in the first inning.
Gustavus then gave up three runs in the top of the seventh inning, but it was all that Hamline could muster as the final score remained 13-5. Soderberg was given the win after pitching five innings and giving up two runs on six hits and striking out five. Dan Ellefson was tagged with the loss in the contest.
From the plate, the Gusties were led by Tim Miller, Sam Warner, and Garrett Fuchs (So., Cold Spring, Minn.), who all went 3-for-4 in the game. Warner mounted 3 RBI while Miller accounted for four runs scored.