March 18, 2012

King, Smith Swat Big Sticks As Pipers Split With Calvin

One of them hits in the meat of the order -- batting third. The other rounds out the order batting ninth. But both of them had the same effect on Calvin's baseball team Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. Andy King, the number three hitter and Cam Smith, the number nine swatter, had five hits each on the day as the Piper baseball team opened its Arizona schedule with a doubleheader. HU won the second game, 6-2, after losing a wild opener, 11-10.

In the nightcap, Smith hit a solo homer and King blasted a three-run shot as part of a four-run fifth inning that decided the game. The Knights had jumped on HU starter Matt Eickman for a pair of first inning runs. But the righthander settled down and tossed the season's first complete game, a seven-hitter to even his won-loss mark at 2-2. HU was 2-1 in the fifth when Smith led off the inning with his first home run of the season. Later, King drilled his fourth and Hamline never looked back to claim the win. Hamline was sharp defensively, turning three double plays and playing errorless ball in the game.

It was a welcome relief after the opener, which saw Hamline jump to a 3-0 first inning lead only to see starter Matt Mullendore fall victim to an eight-run third inning. Down 11-3 in the fourth, the Pipers made a game of it with four runs (King had a two-RBI triple in the inning) in that frame. They added two in the fifth (without the benefit of a hit) and one in the sixth. In the seventh, they loaded the bases but couldn't score. In addition to King and Smith, Ryan Hackel and Tyler Johnson had two hits each. Mullendore, the first of five HU pitchers, took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season.

Overall, though, the day belonged to King, who upped his average to .465 for the season and Smith, who improved to .405. In his last four games, Smith is 9-for-11 and has jumped his batting average 225 points.

Hamline is now 6-7 overall. They face Luther (1-2)  in a nine-inning game this afternoon. The Norse defeated Carleton, 4-3, in Tucson, Saturday.

Game 1 Box Score   

Game 2 Box Score