Playing two different teams in nine inning games on the same day is unusual enough. Banging out 19 runs and 25 hits and losing both games is even odder. But such was the case as Hamline lost the front end of a doubleheader to Wis-Superior, 8-5 and then dropped the second game as well to Luther, 16-14 in Tucson, Arizona.
Hamline upped its team bating average by 11 points on the afternoon to a solid .283. Cory Miller and Tyler Johnson provided a potent top-of-the-batting order combo. each went 4-for-10 with two runs scored on the day. Jordan Buck filled the DH role nicely by going 4-for-6 for the afternoon. He also walked five times and scored four runs.
But the combination of nine errors and some timely hitting by the opposition was too much to overcome.
In the opener, Hamline erased an early UWS 3-0 lead to grab a 5-3 advantage with Jordan Rubbelke providing a pair of RBI singles. But the Yellowjackets got a run in the seventh and erupted for four eighth inning runs to turn the tide. The Pipers did bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning but couldn't pull the game out.
The Luther game was hectic from the get-go. After getting a first inning run, Cam Smith unloaded a two-RBI triple that ignited a four-run second frame. The Pipers pushed the lead to 7-3 before the Norse scored 11 runs in the middle three innings for a 14-7 advantage. In the top of the seventh, HU sent 12 batters to plate with seven of them crossing the plate to tie the game at 14. Smith, who is 11-for-23 on the Arizona trip, had a big part of that action with his second two RBI triple of the game. Miller and Ben Richardson also had RBI singles and Andy King contributed a sacrifice fly.
But the Norse responded with a two-RBI triple of their own in the last of the eighth to regain the edge. Hamline tried to fight back in the ninth. King led off with a double and Richardson singled him to third base. But that was far as they could get. Even though the Pipers easily managed season highs for runs and hits, they fell to 7-9 overall on the season.
Hamline is off Thursday. They will face Eastern Connecticut State, currently No. 9 in the d3baseball.com poll Friday in Tucson. ECSU is 8-2 and meets Carthage today. The trip ends Saturday with a game against Middlebury. HU then returns home to open the MIAC season March 31 against St. Thomas at the Metrodome.