Gustie Baseball Field Sent Off In Style, Gusties Top League-Leading St. Thomas In 13 Innings

Posted on May 6th, 2017 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus baseball team played the last game ever at the natural-grass Gustie Baseball Field Saturday, and sent it off in dramatic fashion by upsetting league-leading St. Thomas 5-4 in 13 innings for a doubleheader split. The Gusties dropped the first game 6-5 before the thrilling extra-inning victory to finish the season 21-17 overall and 9-11 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Tommies move to 24-13 overall and 16-4 in the league and may now have to share the regular season title with Bethel, pending the outcome of its doubleheader tomorrow.

Gustavus 5, St. Thomas 6 (Box Score)

St. Thomas jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with a pair of runs in both the first and second innings. The Tommies increased their lead to 6-0 in the fourth with a two runs on three hits and an error, but the Gusties responded in a big way with five runs in the bottom half. After consecutive bean-balls and a fielding error, Nolan Lepel (Jr., Plato, Minn.) crossed home for the first run. John Lundquist (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) then singled and two runs scored as the ball scooted past the left fielder. Lundquist later scored on yet another error and Matt Berkner (So., Sleepy Eye, Minn.) batted in a run with a sacrifice fly.

The Black and Gold threatened to at least tie the game in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out, but consecutive strikeouts sealed the win for the visitors.

Connor Kern (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) suffered the loss after two complete innings. He allowed four runs on four hits and two walks. Brice Panning (Fy., Hamburg, Minn.) led the team at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run and a stolen base.

Gustavus 5, St. Thomas 4 (13 inn.) (Box Score)

The Gusties scored solo runs in five different innings, the last in the 13th, to take game two and end the year with a victory. With the bases loaded and zero outs in the 13th, Isaiah Welckle (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn.) came to the plate and hit a hard line-out to left field, but it was deep enough to score Jayme Munsterman (So., St. Peter, Minn.) for a walk off sac fly.

St. Thomas struck first with a leadoff solo home run to start the game. Gustavus answered in the bottom half as Welckle singled, advanced two bases on an error, and scored on single by Danny Carlson (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.). The Gusties took a 2-1 lead in the third on an RBI single by Josh Chatfield (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.), but the Tommies responded with three runs on four hits and two errors in the fourth.

The home squad cut into the lead with a run in the fifth as Carlson scored on a base hit by Brock Peterson (Jr., Cannon Falls, Minn.). The Gusties then tied the game in the eighth as Lundquist hit an RBI single back up the middle. After four scoreless frames, St. Thomas threatened in the 13th inning with runners on second and third with two outs, but on a ground ball to shortstop, runner interference was called as the runner got in the way of Carlson fielding the ball and the umpire made the call for the inning-ending out.

Gustavus used the emotional swing to its advantage as Munsterman reached on a swinging bunt single, Brady Miller (So., Delano, Minn.) reached on an error, and Berkner was intentionally walked, setting up the walk-off sac fly by Welckle.

Casey Lewandoski (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) earned the win after five innings of scoreless relief, while giving up just two hits. Carlson (2-6, R, RBI), Chatfield (2-6, RBI), and Lepel (2-6) led the team at the plate.

The Gustie Baseball Field will now be completely dug up after 11 years at its current location. Field renovations break ground in the coming weeks as new field turf will be installed and completed by the end of summer.

 

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