Two Comebacks Propel Baseball To Sweep Over St. Olaf

Posted on April 22nd, 2017 by

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus baseball team used two comeback efforts Saturday during Alumni Day to sweep St. Olaf 6-5 and 13-12. The sweep moves the Gusties to 19-11 overall and 7-5 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Oles drop to 9-18 overall and 2-10 in the league.

Steve Lufkin ’88, a left-handed catcher for the Gusties from 1985-88, gave the team a pregame speech and prayer. Lufkin was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2014.

Gustavus 6, St. Olaf 5 (Box Score)

The Gusties erased a 5-0 deficit with four runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth for a thrilling one-run victory.

After two scoreless innings, St. Olaf took a 1-0 lead in the third on two hits and an error. The Oles then grabbed a four-run lead in the fourth after an RBI double and two-run triple. The visitors added another run in the fifth with another RBI double.

But the Gusties responded in the fifth with four runs. Josh Chatfield (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.) knocked in a run with a double to right field. Three batters later, Nolan Lepel (Jr., Plato, Minn.) smashed a three-run homer over the left field fence, his team-leading fourth of the season. After a one-two-three top of the sixth, the Gusties took a 6-5 lead in the bottom half. Danny Carlson (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) reached on a fielder’s choice as Matt Berkner (So., Sleepy Eye, Minn.) scored on the play. Ryan Moriarty (So., Le Sueur, Minn.) then scored as Chatfield reached on an error.

Casey Lewandoski (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) retired the side in the seventh for the save. Connor Kern (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) pitched four innings in the no-decision. He allowed four runs on seven hits. Jacob Braun (Sr., Wayzata, Minn.) earned the win after two innings of relief. Chatfield (2-4, R, RBI, 2B) and Berkner (2-3, R) led the team at the plate.

Gustavus 13, St. Olaf 12 (Box Score)

In a game of two monumental momentum swings, it was the Gusties that came out on top with a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth to seal the sweep.

Gustavus started game two with a bang, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first. Lepel and John DeMarais (Sr., Winona, Minn.) both hit RBI singles and with the bases loaded John Lundquist (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) belted a bases-clearing triple to the right-center gap, and then scored on a throwing error at third base. The Gusties added two more runs in the second frame as Isaiah Welckle (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn.) scored on an error followed by an RBI single by Brock Peterson (Jr., Cannon Falls, Minn.).

St. Olaf began its comeback in the third inning with three runs on as many hits and an error. But the Black and Gold had an answer in the bottom half with two runs to take a 10-3 advantage. Welckle hit a sacrifice fly to score Lundquist, ensued by a fielding error to score Berkner.

The Oles made it a five-run game in the sixth with a pair of runs on four hits. They then added two more runs in the seventh on a sac fly and RBI single to cut the deficit to three. In the eighth, St. Olaf completely erased the deficit and took a 12-10 lead after a RBI double and then a grand slam.

The Gusties wasted little time to answer, tying the game in the bottom half as Welckle batted in Berkner with a single down the left field line. Chatfield then singled in Welckle to tie the game. The Oles pitching struggled to find the strike zone in the bottom of the ninth with a pair of walks after a Lundquist single to load the bases. Welckle then came up to the plate and walked in the winning run to complete the sweep.

Brice Panning (Fy., Hamburg, Minn.) started on the mound and lasted five innings. He allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and four walks. Sam Archer (So., Zimmerman, Minn.) earned the win in relief. He tossed one and two-thirds innings, giving up just one hit with a strikeout and two walks. Peterson (3-5, R, RBI) and Lundquist (3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 3B) led the Gusties at the dish.

Gustavus continues play at home with a 2:30 p.m. Tuesday MIAC doubleheader against Concordia (19-13, 8-6 MIAC).

 

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