Baseball Rallies Late Again, Defeats Saint Mary’s 6-4

Posted on May 9th, 2021 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus baseball team closed out the conference regular season Sunday with a 6-4 victory over Saint Mary’s. The Gusties broke an eighth inning tie with a pair of runs and held on for the win, improving to 23-3 overall and 18-3 in the MIAC.

Despite finishing the league season with the most wins in the conference, the Gusties are the MIAC’s No. 2 seed with St. Thomas (17-2) claiming the No. 1 seed with a higher winning percentage. The conference has adopted a new play-in series this year for the Nos. 2-11 seeds. The No. 2 Gusties will face No. 11 Carleton (3-19) in a three-game series next weekend to determine who advances to the six-team playoff. The other play-in series will pair the 3 vs. 10, 4 vs. 9, and so on with No. 1 St. Thomas earning a bye.

Sunday’s game started as a pitcher’s duel between Weston Lombard (Sr., Stillwater) and Ryan Wolfe. Both teams were held scoreless after four innings, but the Gusties were able to score two in the fifth. Chris Knowles (Fy., New Ulm) hit his first career home run to lead off the inning, followed by a double off the bat of Luke Johnson (So., Paynesville) and RBI single by Jake Christenson (Sr., Cannon Falls).

The Cardinals answered in the sixth with a pair of runs after a couple walk, bunt single, sac fly, and passed ball. But the home team regained a 4-2 advantage in the bottom half as Cole Pengilly (Sr., Le Sueur) walked and Ethan Mocchi (Sr., Champlin) followed with his second homer of the season.

Lombard ended his day on the mound after six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a career-high 10 strikeouts. Jack Garrison (Jr., Chanhassen) came in relief in the seventh and allowed one run on two hits and an RBI groundout.

The Cardinals then tied the game in the eighth off reliever Damon Rademacher (Sr., Princeton) as he allowed a walk and ground-rule double to make the score 4-4. But as they’ve done a lot lately, the Gusties rallied late in the game and scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Jack Hanson (Jr., Minnetonka) singled, followed by consecutive walks to Nick Azar (Jr., Edina) and Knowles to load the bases. Dalton Thelen (Jr., Cold Spring) came through with what proved to be the game-winning hit, slapping a single through the right side to score Azar and Hanson.

Rademacher got a pair of strikeouts in the ninth to end the game, picking up his sixth win of the season after tossing two innings of relief with one run, one hit, and four strikeouts.

Novak (2-4, 2B, SB) and Hanson (2-4, R, SB) led the team at the plate as the Gusties collected 10 hits.

Gustavus travels to Carleton for one nine-inning game at 1 p.m. Saturday. The teams then play a doubleheader (two nine-inning games) in Saint Peter starting at 1 p.m. Sunday to determine who advances to the MIAC playoffs.


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