On a night when no lead was safe, Hamline rallied from a 6-0 deficit for a hair-raising 8-7 win and a split of a doubleheader with Wisconsin-Oshkosh at the Metrodome Monday night. In the opener, HU saw an early lead evaporate as the Titans rallied for a 9-3 win.
UWO had used a four run third inning and a two run fourth to forge a 6-0 lead in Game 2. The Piper comeback started mildly. In the 4th inning, Andy King doubled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1. In the 5th, Cam Smith's fourth hit of the night - a RBI triple - and Tyler Johnson's two-RBI triple highlighted a four-run rally that cut the lead to 6-5. In the 6th inning, the Pipers scored three more runs on just one hit. Daniel Zurbey led off with a single. After a sacrifice, Jordan Rubbelke and Smith walked to load the bases. Cory Miller fanned but Johnson and Mark Radmacher were both hit by pitches to force in runs and give HU a 7-6 lead. King also walked to force home a second run.
But the drama wasn't over. In the top of the 7th, the first three UWO batters singled off relief pitcher Dan Ellefson to make it 8-7. A sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third. Ellefson then retired the next two batters on a pop fly and a strikeout for the exhausting win. The righthander has now allowed just one earned run in 12 innings of relief work in 2012.
By comparison, the first game was low-key. Hamline jumped to a 3-0 lead. Rubbelke's second of two hits -- a double -- capped a two-run second inning rally and the Pipers added an unearned run in the third to make it 3-0 but the Titans scored a run in the fourth and then took advantage of four HU errors to score three runs in the fifth and five in the sixth inning for the win. In addition to Rubbelke, Smith also had two hits.
Hamline is 5-6 overall and now heads to Tucson, Arizona for a week's worth of games. First up: a doubleheader with Calvin Saturday afternoon.
Game 1 Box score
Game 2 Box Score