If Hamline fights its way into the MIAC baseball playoffs, they may well look to the second game of the April 14 doubleheader as the game that jumpstarted everything. Having already lost the first game, 4-2 and down 3-0 after just two innings, HU fought back for a 5-3, eight-inning win and new life in the conference race. The Pipers have now won three of their last four overall games to improve to 11-16 overall, 2-6 in the MIAC. With six doubleheaders to play. HU is three games out of the last playoff spot. But four of those twinbills are with directly ahead of them. In essence, HU still controls its own destiny.
Back to game 2. Andy Weiss didn't figure in the decision but he entered the game in the third inning and threw 3.1 scoreless, two-hit innings to keep the Scots in check and give the Pipers a chance to rally. Rannon Arch took it from there, retiring all eight batters he faced to get the win in relief.
The comeback started modestly enough. Andy King, whose two-run homer was the only offense in game 1, singled home in the fifth to cut the Mac lead to 3-1. In the sixth inning, back-to-back doubles by Dan Ellefson and pinch-hitter Ryan Hackel made it 3-2. In the seventh, Jordan Rubbelke's second hit of the game, a double, started the inning. The next two batters were retired. Enter Mark Radmacher, who doubled to right to tie the game at 3.
In the eighth, the Pipers wasted no time getting to business. Jordan Buck led with a double, moved to third when Ellefson's bunt was botched for an error and easily scored on Evan Cordell's single through the left side. A fielder's choice wiped out Ellefson at third with Cordell going to second. Cordell then stole third base and, when the throw sailed wildly, got up and scored the insurance run.
Game 1 started well. King's two-run homer in the top of the first staked HU to an early lead. But the Pipers managed just two runners as far as second base the rest of the way and the Scots, last year's surprise regular season co-champs, came back to gain the win. Ellefson took the loss. (Arch, who lowered his ERA by over a run on the afternoon, tossed 1.2 shutout innings in that game as well).
The Pipers return to action next Wednesday at St. John's in a 2:30 p.m. doubleheader. Gustavus visits Midway Stadium next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. double dip.
Game 1 boxscore
Game 2 boxscore