St. Paul – The Gustavus Adolphus baseball team suffered a pair of tightly contested losses at the hands of the University of St. Thomas to kick off its MIAC season on Tuesday afternoon at Koch Diamond. The Gusties fell 2-1 in eight innings in game one then suffered a 3-2 defeat in game two. The Tommies improved to 14-5 overall and 5-0 in the MIAC with the sweep, while Gustavus is now 3-7 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC.
Game One – St. Thomas 2 def. Gustavus 1
After a scoreless first inning, Gustavus was able to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to a sacrifice fly by Chirs Kelly (Jr., Savage, Minn.) that scored Taylor Bigandt (So., Littleton, Colo.). Bigandt, who went 2-for-3 in the game, got aboard on a one-out triple to center field.
The Gusties threatened in the top of the fifth inning, yet were unable to come up with the big hit and left three runners stranded after recording three hits.
Although he gave up seven hits in six innings of work, Gustavus’s starting pitcher, Grant Soderberg (Eden Prairie, Minn.), was able to get big outs all afternoon. He left the game after allowing one run, which came on a Cory Quinian RBI single to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning. Soderberg went six complete innings, allowing one run on seven hits.
Gustavus was unable to generate a run in the seventh or eighth innings, and St. Thomas took advantage. Going against Michael Strelow (Jr, Braham, Minn.), who took the place of Soderberg after the sixth, the Tommies recorded the game-winning run when Logan Borg scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Strelow suffered the loss and is now 0-1 on the year. Tommy Danczyk earned the win for St. Thomas after allowing no runs in one and two-thirds innings. Starter Eric Veglahn went five innings, allowing four hits and recording six strikeouts.
Game Two – St. Thomas 3 def. Gustavus 2
St. Thomas grabbed an early lead in game two when Tim Kuzinar singled to right field to score Kelvin Stoik in the opening frame.
Gustavus battled back from the deficit with two runs in the top of the second to grab a 2-1 advantage. After Bigandt and Kelly led off the inning with back-to-back singles, Max Fidler (Jr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) grounded out to the shortstop to score Bigandt and tie the game at 1-1. Later in the inning, Josh Chatfield (Fr., Apple Valley, Minn.) flew out to center field to bring in Kelly and give Gustavus a 2-1 lead.
The Tommies got the runs back in the bottom of the third inning. Tyler Peterson scored Ben Podobinksi to tie that game at 2-2 on a bunt down the third base line, and Mac Tobin plated Peterson on a single to right field.
Gustavus could not generate any more offense and didn’t’ post a hit after the third inning.
St. Thomas’s starter, Zach Brown, went two and one-thirds innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. Steve Maher picked up the win after allowing no runs or no hits in four and two-thirds innings.
Gustavus’s Sam Carlson (Fr., St. James, Minn.) went all six innings in his MIAC debut. He allowed three runs (three earned) on five hits to go along with two strikeouts.
The Gustavus baseball team will be back in action on Wednesday, April 9. The Gusties will face Augsburg College in doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Gustie Baseball Field.