Strong Pitching Helps Baseball Begin MIAC Play Perfect In Sweep Of Hamline

Posted on March 30th, 2015 by

Senior captain Grant Soderberg pitched a complete game shutout in game one of a doubleheader sweep of Hamline on Monday afternoon.

SAINT PETER, MINN. – After registering just two conference wins last season, the Gustavus Adolphus baseball team matched that total in its first pair of conference games in 2015, as it defeated Hamline University 7-0 and 4-1, respectively, in its MIAC-opening doubleheader with the Pipers on Monday afternoon at the Gustie Baseball Field. With the two victories, Gustavus moves to 2-0 in the MIAC and 6-8 overall, while Hamline falls to 0-2 in the MIAC and 9-8 overall.

“This is exactly what this team needed,” said pitcher Michael Strelow (So., Braham, Minn.). “We had so many close games last year that we feel we should have won, but some things just didn’t go our way. Now it seems our bats are finally hot and two wins like this were huge to keep the momentum going as we move forward.”

GAME ONE: Gustavus 7 def. Hamline 0
In game one, senior pitcher Grant Soderberg (Eden Prarie, Minn.) continued his strong start to the season. The southpaw pitched a complete-game shutout, holding the Pipers to just five hits over seven innings, walking none and striking out six. Soderberg also earned his first victory of the season and lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.35 in 20 innings.

The Gusties did not wait long to put their first runs up, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take an early 3-0 lead. After Max Fidler (Sr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) reached base on a fielder’s choice and Chris Kelly (Sr., Savage, Minn.) walked, and Dalton Mattson (So., Princeton, Minn.) hit an infield single to score Fidler. Then, Cody Christensen (Jr., Luverne, Minn.) singled down the right field line to score Kelly, and Danny Carlson (So., Plymouth, Minn.) followed that with a singles of his own to score Mattson.

Gustavus scored its remaining four runs in the fifth inning, beginning with an Isaiah Welckle (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) leadoff home run. Mattson also kept his hot bat alive with another single and RBI. He finished the game 2-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored.

Michael Strelow pitched six strong innings for the Gusties in game two.

Michael Strelow pitched six strong innings for the Gusties in game two.

GAME TWO: Gustavus 4 def. Hamline 1
In game two, the Gusties continued to receive quality pitching, as Strelow and Kelly combined to pitch all nine innings with Strelow giving up just one earned run in the 4-1 victory. Strelow pitched six innings and struck out eight, while walking five to bump his season record to 2-1.

“I know if I didn’t have those guys behind me, we couldn’t have gotten the job done,” said Strelow. “Our defense played awesome which helps me pitch to get the win. They made some crazy plays, which always helps a pitchers’ confidence.”

Garrett Fuchs (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn.) went 3-3 at the plate, including a single in the bottom of the second, where he eventually scored, and a triple in the fifth, where he also scored. Fuchs finished the game with two RBI, two runs, a walk and a stolen base.

Kelly relieved Strelow in the sixth inning and pitched the remaining three innings to register his second save of the season after striking out two and walking two.

Mattson also had another big game at the plate, as the sophomore went 2-4 with two RBI.

“Our guys hit the heck out of the ball today and that was one thing we lacked last year,” said Strelow. “And having Chris come in and throw three shutout innings to get the save was huge as well. I can see our team doing great things in the future, but we just have to take it one game at a time.”

Gustavus will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to take on Minnesota State University, Mankato in a 9-inning game beginning at 3 p.m. The Mavericks are ranked No. 2 in Division II.



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