Baseball Opens Season in Kansas

Posted on March 6th, 2022 by

TOPEKA, Kansas – The Gustavus baseball team opened its season yesterday in Topeka. The Gusties fell to Luther in doubleheader losses 10-9 and 12-8. Gustavus won on Sunday against Simpson 14-10 before their second game was called due to weather. More detailed recap to follow.

Gustavus 9, Luther 10 | Box Score

The Norse posted two runs in the first inning, Nick Azar responded for the Gusties in the second frame batting a single up left field. A pair of wild pitches and a balk brought in the first Gustie run.

Luther added another run in the bottom of the second before a silent third inning.

Gavin Baker (Jr., Lakeville) led off for the Gusties in the fourth with a double before scoring on a pitching error but the Norse retaliated for a 5-2 lead before heading into the fifth.

Bryce Novak (Jr., Cleveland) ignited the momentum for Gustavus, leading off with a triple before scoring. Snags from the Norse pitching staff earned Gustavus a trio of walks. A double from Dalton Thelen (Sr., Cold Spring) scored Logan Bjorkman (Jr., Lindstrom) and Ethan Mocchi (Sr., Champlin). A wild pitch from Luther gave Gustavus its fifth run before an RBI single from Mitch Casperson (So., Le Sueur)  put the Gusties on top of a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.

The Norse went on a scoring spree in the fifth frame, doubling down with six runs as the Gusties made a pitching change.

In the top of the sixth, Azar delivered a final single into left but that was all Gustavus could muster in the 10-9 season opening loss.

Gustavus 12, Luther 18 | Box Score

Luther rolled its momentum into game two, plating seven runs off of four hits in the first.

The Gusties attempted to cut into the lead, a Mocchi groundout brought in the first run before Azar scored a two-run home run.

With just one hit in the second inning, the Norse charged into the second with three runs off of three hits to take a 10-3 lead over Gustavus in the top of the third. Mocchi, Azar, and Drake Siens (So., Rogers) led the Gustie scoring elevating the lead to 10-6.

Brevin Goetz (Fy., Rochester) took the pitching mound for Gustavus in the fourth and fifth innings, striking out two Luther batters and limiting them to two runs.

Similar to game one, Gustavus found its stride in the fifth inning. With runners on first and second, Mocchi hit a home run and Luke Johnson (Jr., Paynesville)  tacked on an RBI double for Gustavus to trail 12-11 going into the sixth.

The undefeated Luther squad battled back scoring four runs of their own before a scoreless seventh inning.

Mocchi drove in a final RBI single for the Gusties before the Norse put the nail in the coffin with two final runs in the ninth to complete the sweep over Gustavus.

Gustavus 14, Simpson 10 | Box Score

The Gusties looked to change the tide in their Sunday games before heading home from Topeka.

In the bottom of the second Gustavus got runners on first and second off of back-to-back walks and came in on errors for the first two runs and a Jack Hanson (Sr., Minnetonka) single to to center field put the Gusties on top of a 3-0 lead.

Gustavus kept a solid defense into the third, with three-up-three down for Jack Garrison (Sr., Chanhassen) on the rubber.

Similar to the second, the Gusties walked twice in the third frame before scoring their fourth run. Novak added on three runs from a triple, and Hanson unloaded on a two-run home run for a 9-0 Gustie lead going into the fourth inning.

The Storm gained momentum in the fourth, dishing out four runs to narrow the margin.

Mocchi led off for Gustavus in the bottom of the fourth with a home run and Hanson accounted for three RBI in the five runs in the 14-4 lead.

The final three innings were all Simpson as they fired back with six additional runs, but the Gusties came out with their first win of the season.

Gustavus is slated to travel to Wartburg on Saturday for a 3 p.m. start.

 

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