NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Henry Rownd (Jr./Rochester, Minn./Lourdes) turned in the best outing of his collegiate career, and the offense came alive in game two as the Carleton College baseball team swept Crown College, 5-0 and 17-4.
Rownd fanned a career-high eight batters and recorded his first shutout, scattering seven hits without issuing a walk. It was the second shutout by a Carleton hurler in a week, and Rownd’s eight punchouts were the most by a Knight since Alex Wirta fanned the same number against Saint Mary's University on April 11, 2009.
Rownd struck out five of the first 10 batters he faced, matching his previous best set last season. He twice worked out of two-out jams to preserved the shutout.
The Carleton (10-15) offense was held hitless until the bottom of the fourth when the Knights plated all five runs. Alex Wirta (Sr./ Corte Madera, Calif./Redwood) drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Erik Fabry (Sr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) also walked with ball four rolling all the way to the backstop. Fabry sprinted out the batter’s box and didn’t let up, racing toward second base on the play. When the Storm defense tried to throw for him, Wirta broke for the plate, sliding in safely for the inning’s first run.
Nolan Baker (Fy./Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) became the third straight Knight to walk, and Kiyota Gomi (Sr./Dobbs Ferry, N.Y./Ardsley) loaded the bases with a bunt single, Carleton’s first hit of the afternoon.
After a fielder’s choice cut down Fabry, Jacob Rice (Jr./North Oaks, Minn./St. Paul Academy) successfully converted the squeeze play to make it 2-0 in favor of the home team. Clay Parrish (Sr./Westport, Conn./Staples) followed with a two-run single to left and advanced to third on a wild throw to the plate. He scored moments later on a wild pitch. All told, the Knights pushed across five runs on their only three hits of the contest.
That was more than enough run support for Rownd, who had worked more than 2.0 innings only one other time this season.
While the offense did just enough in the opener, the bats came alive in game two. The 17 runs in the nightcap not only marked a season best for the Knights, but it was their largest outburst since the 2008 season finale, a 25-5 triumph over Minnesota-Morris.
Carleton actually trailed 3-2 in today’s contest, but the Knights scored five times in each the third, fourth, and fifth frames to blow the game wide open.
Six players had multi-hit affairs in the contest. Ray Yong (So./Elmhurst, Ill./York) went 3-for-5 with four RBI from the top spot in the lineup; David Stillerman (So./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) added a 2-for-3 performance, scored four times, and drove in three runs; and Patrick Philley (Sr./Gig Harbor, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) collected a season-best three hits to go along with three RBI. Wirta, Fabry, and Parrish contributed two hits apiece.
Reliever Jackson Tears (So./Trabuco Canyon, Calif./JSerra) was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, improving to 2-0 this season.
Carleton will have a modest three-game win streak on the line vs. Augsburg College on Wednesday, April 18. Weather permitting Knights Online will again feature live video streaming of both games. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m.