MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Josh Zoellmer (Jr./Richfield, Minn./Richfield) delivered a game-tying, two-run double in extra innings then later scored the winning tally as the Carleton College baseball team defeated Bethany Lutheran College, 6-5 in 12 innings.
The victory keeps the Knights (3-0) undefeated on the season and continues their Metrodome magic. A week ago, Carleton opened its season with a sweep of Crown College including a no-hitter in game two. Tonight, an early pitcher’s duel led to a fantastic finish.
Kevin Johnson (Jr./St. Anthony, Minn./DeLaSalle) scored the game’s first run, racing home on a grounder. Senior Henry Rownd (Rochester, Minn./Lourdes) got the starting nod and retired the first 11 batters. Ultimately he fanned four over 5.2 frames of 5-hit, 1-run ball.
The Vikings’ Cory Ferm was equally effective, striking out six and scattering four hits while yielding an unearned run over his 5.0 innings on the bump.
Still knotted 1-1 after seven innings, the offenses came alive early in the extra stanzas. Bethany Lutheran (0-1) plated a pair of two-out runs in the top of the eighth, but Zoellmer answered with his clutch two-bagger that chased home Hayden Tsutsui (Fy./Northridge, Calif./Chatsworth) and Stillerman to tie things back up at 3-3.
The Vikings pushed across two more runs in the top of the ninth, but Tsutsui delivered a RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch to extend the game. Reliever Jukie Tsai (Jr./New York, N.Y./Friends Seminary) inherited a bases-loaded jam in the 10th but escaped unscathed.
Finally in the 12th inning, back to back singes by Zoellmer and Hikaru Mizuno (Fy./Tigard, Ore./Tigard) got the Carleton rally started. Later with the bases loaded and one out, Zoellmer beat the throw home on Nolan Baker’s (So./Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) sacrifice fly.
Tsai was the winner, pitching 2.1 scoreless frames of 1-hit relief. Mizuno and Tsutsui had three hits apiece to pace the Knights. Due to the length of game one and time constraints at the Metrodome, the nightcap was canceled.
Carleton puts its perfect record on the line on Friday, March 8 when the Knights battle University of Minnesota-Morris. Game one from the Metrodome is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. Knights Online hopes to once again provide live audio coverage as well as live stats.