St. Peter, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus baseball team got back on the winning track with a 15-6 non-conference victory over Dakota Wesleyan University on Monday afternoon at the Gustie Baseball Field. The Gustie offense came alive with 15 hits – the club’s highest hit total since returning to Minnesota from Spring Training in late-March. Gustavus snaps an eight-game losing-skid with the win and is now 6-17 overall. Dakota Wesleyan drops to 21-20 with the loss.
Gustavus was on the scoreboard early and often in its first non-conference test since taking on Buena Vista on March 24 in Tucson. The Gusties went up 3-0 with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, then extended their lead to 7-0 with four runs in the bottom of the second
Scott Benjamin (Sr., Northfield, Minn.) led off the first inning with a triple to the right-center field gap, and Garrett Fuchs (Jr., Cold Spring, Minn.) drove him in with a single to left. Joe Melles (So., Hopkins, Minn.) drove in Max Fidler (Jr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) with a single to left, and Fuchs later scored on an infield ground ball hit by David Tranvik (Sr., Robbinsdale, Minn.).
Benjamin kicked off the second inning scoring with his second consecutive triple to the right-center. His three-bagger brought in Danny Carlson (Fr., Plymouth, Minn.) who had reached base on a one-out single to left. Fidler plated Benjamin with a bunt down the third base line, and Taylor Bigandt (So., Littleton, Colo.) drove in Fuchs and Fidler with a liner to center.
Gustavus starter Connor Kern (Fr., Hutchinson, Minn.) kept the Tigers off the scoreboard for four complete innings. The visitors were finally able to break through with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, cutting the lead to 8-1. Prior to that, Bigandt drove in Fuchs with a double to center in the bottom of the fourth to extend Gustavus’s lead to 8-0.
Kern closed out the fifth inning and picked up the first win (1-1) of his collegiate career in the process. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits to go along with five strikeouts and three walks.
Jake Volness (So., Cokato, Minn.) finished the remaining four innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits with one strikeout and one walk. Dakota Wesleyan finished with a total of six hits.
The Gusties poured on the runs with four in the six and three more in the seventh. In the sixth, Bigandt drew a walk that brought in Benjamin, Melles singled to score Fidler, Sam Warner (So., Chanhassen, Minn.) drove in Fuchs with a sacrifice fly to center, and Cody Christensen (So., Luverne, Minn.) plated Melles with an infield single.
In the seventh, Melles walked with the bases loaded to bring in Fidler, Chatfield brought in Fuchs with an infield grounder, and Isaiah Welckle (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn.) drew another bases loaded walk that scored Neil Engler (Fr., Lakeville, Minn.).
Five different Gusties posted a multiple-hit game including Scott Benjamin, Garrett Fuchs, Max Fidler, Taylor Bigandt, and Joe Melles. Benjamin finished 4-for-6 with two triples, three runs and a RBI. Fuchs went 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, five runs, and a RBI. Fidler was 2-for-6 with four runs and a RBI, Bigandt went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and four RBI, and Melles ended up 2-for-3 with a walk, a run, and three RBI.
The Gustavus baseball team will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when it travels to Moorhead for a doubleheader against Concordia. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.