NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College offense got rolling late in game one and it carried over the momentum to game two as the Knights baseball team swept a doubleheader against Augsburg College, 9-3 and 8-2. Jeff Dsida (So./Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) had a team-high five hits on the afternoon and reached base in 7 of 8 plate appearances. The victories extended Carleton’s win streak to five games, its best run since a five-game in April 2009.
“We put together a pair of complete games,” said Carleton head coach Aaron Rushing. “We hit, we pitched, and we played defense. As a result, we managed to sweep a doubleheader against a very good Augsburg team.”
Augsburg (21-10, 7-5 MIAC) entered the day tied for second in the conference standings and jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the top of the first. Meanwhile Carleton’s bats had trouble getting going against an Auggie pitching staff that entered the day with a combined 3.63 ERA.
The Knights (12-15, 4-6 MIAC) scratched out their first run of the contest in the third as Patrick Philley (Sr./Gig Harbor, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) singled and later scored when Ray Yong (So./Elmhurst, Ill./York) beat out a potential double-play grounder.
Carleton tallied the tying run an inning later. Alex Wirta (Sr./ Corte Madera, Calif./Redwood) double down the right-field line, advanced to third on Nolan Baker’s (Fy./Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) single, and trotted home on David Stillerman’s (So./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) deep fly ball to centerfield.
In the fifth, Augsburg strung together three straight singles against Carleton starter Anderson Cole (So./Aspen, Colo./Aspen) to re-gain the lead at 3-2. The Knight offense erupted in the bottom of the stanza for five runs. A Wirta sacrifice fly was followed by RBI singles by Dsida and Baker. Stillerman capped the scoring with a two-run triple off the centerfield wall. For good measure Carleton tacked on two addtional runs in the sixth inning.
Cole improved to 3-2 on the season after tossing 5.0 innings and yielding the three runs. Jackson Tears (So./Trabuco Canyon, Calif./JSerra) worked 2.0 scoreless frames of 1-hit ball to close it out for the hosts. The loss snapped Augsburg’s six-game win streak.
Carleton wasted little time seizing the lead in game two. The Knights sent 12 batters to the plate in what became a six-run first inning. Dsida contributed a two-run single, Yong drove home another with a base hit to right field, and bases-loaded walks to Erik Fabry (Sr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview), Philley, and Jacob Rice (Jr./North Oaks, Minn./St. Paul Academy) forced in the other three runs.
The Knights would add two more tallies in the fourth when Dsida chased home Fabry with a two-out triple to right, then waltzed home on a Baker base hit.
“Jeff (Dsida) had been in a bit of a slump, so it was fantastic to see him break out in a big way with the five hits today,” Rushing said.
That was plenty of run support for lefthander Paul Dimick (Sr./Northfield, Minn./Northfield), who tossed his sixth career complete game. He scattered seven hits and three walks, permitting just two runs.
“It was nice to come from behind and get the first game. Then to jump out to a big lead right away in game two was huge,” said Rushing.
Dsida finished the day with four RBI and three runs scored, while Yong collected four hits, three runs scored, and two RBI.
Carleton has now scored 34 runs in its last three games. Today’s outburst raised the Augsburg staff ERA nearly a half-run to 4.01. Meanwhile the Carleton pitchers have yielded only 20 runs over their last eight contests and have lowered their earned run average to 3.99 for the season.
The Knights are back in the playoff hunt and will look to keep the win streak going when they travel across the Cannon River to take on rival St. Olaf College this Saturday, April 21.