March 07, 2010

Tigers battle to sweep of Pipers in pair of non-conference games

Game 1:
DWU    6   8   0
HU       3   4   0

The Pipers, the home team in game one, started the scoring with a single run in the first inning. Andy King (So., Fort Myers, Fla.) and Tony Rogers (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) each drew walks to put a pair of runners on base. Lincoln Hughes (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the duo before Alex Buresh (Sr., Vadnais Heights, Minn.) hit an RBI ground out to score King.

Dakota Wesleyan tied the game in the top of the fourth with a two-hit inning, both hits coming from two-out doubles. John Greicar (Jr., Grand Forks, N.D.) lined the first double down the left field line before Mario Mendoza (Sr., Union City, Calif.) hit an RBI-double to the gap in right center to score Greicar.

Clay Grimsted (Jr., Alexandria, Minn.) then hit a two-run homerun in the top of the fifth for the 3-1 Tiger lead. An RBI single later in the inning put Dakota Wesleyan up 4-1.

The Tigers went on to add a pair of runs in the sixth on a pair of hits before the Pipers scored a run in each of the final two innings.

Hamline’s run in the sixth came on two hits as Derek Ritter (Fy., Owatonna, Minn.) pinch hit and singled to left field. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and came in on an RBI double down the right field line by Dan Ellefson (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.).

King hit a one-out triple to right center and then came home on a sacrifice fly by Rogers for the seventh inning run and the opening game final score of 6-3 in favor of the Tigers.

King was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored to lead the Pipers in the first game. Starter Brett Bugielski (So., River Falls, Wis.) went four innings and gave up a run on three hits for the Pipers. Casey Benford (Fy., Mesa, Ariz.) took the loss on the mound as he gave up three runs on two hits and a walk.

Jeff Sanchez (Sr., Newport Beach, Calif.) earned the win in relief for the Tigers, giving up one hit and no runs while throwing three innings.

Game 2:
HU      2   9   2
DWU   3   2   3

The Pipers struck early in game two, playing the role of the visitors on the scoreboard and putting a run on the board in the top of the first inning. Rogers hit a sharp single to shortstop and sped to first. The Dakota Wesleyan shortstop overthrew first and Rogers took second base on the throwing error.

Two batters later King had the RBI as he drove in Rogers with a single up the middle.

In the bottom of the third, Dakota Wesleyan tied the game when Ryan Santiago (Sr., Plano, Texas) hit an inside-the-park homerun on a sharp shot to center field that bounced high on the turf.

The Pipers went up 2-0 in the fifth as King reached on a fielder’s choice and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Tres Humerickhouse (Jr., Farmington, Minn.) singled him over to third base and then J.D. Modrynski (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) singled in King for the RBI.

Modrynski then started off the sixth inning with a diving catch on a foul ball into the Piper dugout and an unassisted ground-out at first for the opening two outs of the inning. He was also on the receiving end of the throw to first for the third out of the inning.

The Tigers took the 3-2 lead in the sixth with a pair of runs on a hit and two Piper errors, then took Hamline down in order in the top of the seventh for the win.

Cory Miller (So., Coon Rapids, Minn.) went 2-for-3 from the plate in game two while Hughes was 2-for-4. Evan Knutson (Fy., Faribault, Minn.) went five and two-thirds innings in his first collegiate start, giving up both runs on three hits for the loss. Thomas Pickett (Jr., Lead, S.D.) threw the final two innings for the Tigers for the win.

With the non-conference losses, the Pipers are now 0-4 overall. The Tigers are 6-2 overall. Hamline next plays on Thursday, March 11, when they take on UW-Whitewater in a 2:00 p.m. double-header at the Metrodome.

Game 1 box score: 6-3Game 2 box score: 3-2