MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The pitching staff for the Carleton College baseball team surrendered only four hits in each game, but the Knights settled for a doubleheader split with University of Minnesota-Morris on Friday afternoon at the Metrodome. Carleton won the opener 8-2 but could not keep the bats going in the nightcap, falling 2-1 in 10 innings.
The Knights (4-1 overall) once again received solid starting pitching. Nolan Baker (So./Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) took the ball in game one, yielding two runs—only one earned—on four hits with four strikeouts over 6.0 strong innings to notch the win. Kevin Johnson (Jr./St. Anthony, Minn./DeLaSalle) absorbed no-decision in game two as he surrendered only unearned tally over 7.0 frames of 3-hit ball.
The Knights scored in each of the first four innings of game one to seize control of the contest. Catcher Jeff Dsida (Jr./Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored. Hikaru Mizuno (Fy./Tigard, Ore./Tigard) was 2-of-3 with a pair of RBI. Baker helped his own cause, going 1-for-2 with a pair of sacrifice flies.
Game two began with the Knights grabbing the early lead. Ray Yong (Jr./Elmhurst, Ill./York) walked, hustled to third base on a Dsida sacrifice bunt, and scored on Baker’s grounder. That proved to be Carleton’s lone tally of the contest, but for a while Johnson made it appear that it would stand up.
After an unearned run in the third inning leveled the score at 1-1, the Knights had runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh frames but came up empty each time. Meanwhile Johnson continued to control the Cougar lineup.
In the bottom of the seventh, Minnesota-Morris had the bases loaded with one out. Johnson coaxed Derrick Foss into a popout, and Josh Zoellmer (Jr./Richfield, Minn./Richfield) made a running over-the-shoulder catch in foul territory down the right-field line. As the Cougar runner on third tagged up, Zoellmer spun and fired a one-hop throw to Dsida, who blocked the plate and applied the tag, sending the contest into extra innings.
Both sides went down in order in both the eighth and ninth innings, before the Knights missed another scoring chance in the 10th. Finally in the bottom of the inning, Minnesota-Morris broke the deadlock with a two-out single to left.
Carleton will take a break for winter term finals before departing on its Spring Break trip. The Knights will play two games in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on March 17 before continuing on to Tucson, Ariz. for seven more contests between March 20-26.