Hamline News

Seniors provide clutch hits as Pipers secure split with Johnnies

The win put the Pipers' extra-innings record at 3-1 for the season.

Game 1: Box score
SJU  7   14   3
HU   6    7    1

The Johnnies opened the game with a pair of runs in the opening inning on four hits. Saint John’s loaded the bases by hitting three singles through the left side before Max Forster (Fy., Minnetonka, Minn.) knocked in two runs with a single to left field.

The Pipers would put the next five runs on the board, scoring four in the bottom of second on four hits and one error, then adding another run in the fourth on two hits and an error.

In the second, a trio of singles loaded the bases and Andy Powell (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.) drew a walk to score Hamline’s first run. Cory Miller (So., Coon Rapids, Minn.) then singled to right field, driving in two more runs. On the play, Saint John’s first baseman attempted to throw Powell out at third, but overthrew the base, allowing Powell to add the fourth run to the board.

The Pipers took a 5-2 lead in the fourth on another RBI single from Miller.

To lead off the fifth, Saint John’s put runners on the corners on second and third with a pair of singles and advances on wild pitches. Bert Marsnik (So., Annandale, Minn.) then took advantage of an at-bat extended by a dropped foul ball in front of the Piper dugout and hit a three-run homer over the left field fence.

Brian Skluzacek (Jr., Cold Spring, Minn.) and Joe Eiden (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) each added an RBI-single to put the Johnnies up 7-5.

Hamline scored a run in the bottom of the frame as Andy King (So., Fort Myers, Fla.) reached on a fielder’s choice and Tony Rogers (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) crossed the plate. The Pipers put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t plate either to extend the game.

Miller was 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI to lead the Pipers. Hughes was also 2-for-3, scoring two runs.  The Johnnies were led by Marsnik going 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored while Matt Butorac (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Brett Kramer (Jr., Bazter, Minn.) threw two innings in relief to earn the win for the Johnnies while Hayden Zimmerman (So., New Richmond, Wis.) earned the save. Starter Matt Eickman (Fy., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) threw five innings and struck out six batters to take the loss on the mound for the Pipers.

Game 2: Box score
SJU    6   9    0
HU     7   11  2

After the opening three innings of play in the second half of the double-header, Saint John’s carried a 6-5 lead. Hamline struck first, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Rogers in the bottom of the first inning.

In the second, the Johnnies tallied two runs on a hit and an error. Matt Boys (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) earned an RBI as he reached on an error while Skluzacek had an RBI on ground out.

The Pipers put two more on the board in the bottom of the inning, starting with a lead-off home run from King. Hamline then loaded the bases with one out as Lincoln Hughes (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and Tres Humerickhouse (Sr., Farmington, Minn.) singled before Powell walked.

Miller then hit a fly ball to center field that resulted in a double-play as Humerickhouse was caught at second, but Hughes was able to tag up and score before the final out.

Five hits and a Piper error helped put four Saint John’s runs on the board in the next half inning, but King responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run blast over the left field fence. The pair of runs made it a one-run game, 6-5 in favor of the Johnnies.

That was the last change in the scoreboard until Alex Buresh (Sr., Vadnais Heights, Minn.) came to the plate with two outs, and empty bases, in the bottom of the seventh. The 6-6 tie sent the game into extra innings.

In the eight, Michael Carr (Sr., St. Cloud, Minn.) hit a lead-off single, but it was the only damage that the Johnnies could do.

In the bottom of the extra inning, Dan Ellefson (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on wild pitch. Cody Kielsa (Fy., Buffalo, Minn.) came in to run for Ellefson at second and scored as Hughes ripped a single down between the Saint John’s third baseman and the left field line as Kielsa sped home for the game-winning run.

Buresh’s lone hit of the game was the key homer in the seventh while King was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored on his pair of homers. Hughes was 2-for-4 with a run scored and the game-winning RBI.

Saint John’s was led by Carr hitting 3-for-3 with two runs scored while Boys and Skluzacek were each 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Cass Kreitlow (Jr., Glenwood, Minn.), who threw two scoreless innings to finish off the opener, tossed a complete game in the second game for a total of 10 innings on the day. He struck out seven and walked just one for the win. Connor Cline (Fy., Bloomington, Minn.) threw the eighth inning for the Johnnies, taking the loss.

After playing their final home games of the year, the conference split puts the Pipers at 15-21, 8-8 MIAC while the Johnnies are 19-16, 12-6 MIAC. Hamline next plays on Wednesday, May 5, at St. Thomas. The double-header is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.