It was a heckuva closing act. Hamline said goodbye to the 2012 baseball season in style with a pair of sharp performances against St. Olaf at Midway Stadium, winning in two very different ways. They took the opener, 1-0, and then got the bats booming in a 13-3 win in the finale.
In the lidlifter, Dan Ellefson tossed a game to remember -- a complete game two-hit shutout in which he faced only the minimum 21 batters. The junior righty used just 76 pitches, walking none and fanning two batters. He retired the first 12 batters in a row before Erik Nelson singled to open the fifth. He didn't stay on base long, though as he was thrown out trying to steal second. In the sixth, Nick Kulla led off with a single but was promptly eliminated in a double play.
HU got the only run they would need in the third inning. With one out, Ben Richardson singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Jordan Buck then doubled deep into the right center alley to score Richardson. Ellefson took it from there to record his fourth complete game of the year and finish the season with a 4-5 won-loss mark and a 2.31 ERA. He walked just six batters in a team high 62.1 innings of work.
The nightcap saw LF Andy King nearly hit for the cycle and Mark Radmacher homer twice in an eight-run fifth inning explosion. HU led 2-0 in the fourth when King, who had already singled, drilled his seventh three-triple of the season, clearing the loaded bases. That set the stage for Radmacher, who opened the fifth frame with his third homer of the year to right field. The Piper kept on swinging hard all inning. There were six more hits and a hit batter. Included in the barrage was King's third hit of the game- a double. Radmacher finished off the outburst with his second homer to right to make it 13-0.
That was plenty for starter Matt Eickman, who allowed a pair of runs in the sixth inning but earned the win to finish 3-6 with a solid 3.19 ERA in an excellent comeback campaign from arm miseries. In the final inning, coach Jason Verdugo turned the pitching slab over to seniors Matt Mullendore and Brett Bugielski, who wrapped up the win. Bugielski ended his college career the way many pitchers dream of doing -- striking out the final batter he faced.
In addition to King, Jordan Buck also had three hits to finish the season tied for the team lead among the regulars in batting average with a .333 mark.(Jordan Rubbelke and Tyler Johnson also hit .333.) King was close behind at .331. King also finished with a .647 Slugging Percentage.
The Pipers finish the season with an 18-22 overall, 8-12 in the MIAC.
Game 1 boxscore
Game 2 boxscore