Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Saint John’s baseball saw its eight-game win streak end with a pair of losses, 6-4 and 7-5, to Hamline on Wednesday, April 12, at CHS Field.
The Johnnies (13-10, 4-2 MIAC), who entered the doubleheader batting .397 (50-for-126) over their previous four games, went just 14-for-64 (.219) at the plate against the Pipers (8-15, 4-2 MIAC). Opponents had batted nearly 100 points better (.318) vs. HU in the previous 21 games.
SJU’s leadoff batter reached base safely only once in the doubleheader’s 16 innings, to HU’s 9-for-14 showing. The Johnnies batted .444 with runners in scoring position, but only in nine opportunities (4-for-9), while the Pipers were 8-for-25 (.320).
Hamline’s sweep of the Johnnies was its first in 10 years (April 27, 2013; 4-1 and 2-1 at Midway Stadium).
Hamline struck first when a leadoff walk came around to score – following a sacrifice bunt, stolen base and RBI groundout – in the bottom of the first inning.
Sophomore shortstop Jackson Peter (Elrosa, Minn./Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa) tied the game at 1-1 when he started the second inning with his second home run of the season, but the Pipers took advantage of a Texas-league single to start the bottom half of the inning, which scored on a double from Owen Christenson. HU added another run in the third inning on a two-out, RBI single from Mac Enlow and plated three more in the fifth for a 6-1 lead.
SJU cut its deficit to 6-4 with three two-out runs in the top of the sixth inning. Back-to-back doubles from Peter and junior left fielder Jack Schleper (Shakopee, Minn.) gave the Johnnies their first run since the second inning and senior catcher Matt Herold (North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View) followed with his second homer of the season.
HU’s Zach Branson, who entered the game at 1-5 with a 9.42 ERA and a .358 opponent batting average in 28.2 innings this spring, earned the complete-game win. He surrendered the four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and one free pass (a walk). SJU recorded three infield pop-ups and four foul-outs in game one.
Junior Kody Dalen (Carver, Minn./Chanhassen) took the loss, allowing the six runs – his first of the season (first 8.1 innings were scoreless) – on eight hits. He struck out five and walked two. Sophomore Kade Bowar (Burnsville, Minn.) pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief.
SJU gained an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI groundout from junior center fielder Jordan Amundson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and senior designated hitter Max Nyrop (Alameda, Calif.) scored on a passed ball, but the Pipers scored three runs – two unearned – with two outs in the bottom half.
Junior right fielder Rodney Erickson (St. Paul, Minn./Woodbury) clubbed his first homer of the season (third of his career) with two outs in the top of the second inning to tie the game at 3-3. The deadlock did not last long as HU re-gained the lead with an unearned, two-out run in the bottom half of the second.
The back-and-forth game continued in the third as the Johnnies plated two runs – an RBI double from Amundson and an RBI single from Schleper – to go ahead 5-4. HU tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth and picked up its third lead of the game, 7-5, with two runs in the fifth.
Senior lefty Casey Trapp (Blaine, Minn./Centennial) took the loss (2-3 record), allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts in four innings. Senior Jack Haring (Ham Lake, Minn./Blaine) surrendered an RBI double and recorded the three outs to finish the fifth inning. Senior Cade Marsolek (Savage, Minn./Burnsville) gave up one hit and struck out four over the final three scoreless innings.
Amundson (3-for-8) and Schleper (3-for-7) led SJU’s bats with a double and two RBI each on the afternoon.
The Johnnies return home to host St. Olaf at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at Haugen Field at Becker Park in Collegeville.