ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – One of the longest doubleheaders in the recent history of MIAC baseball ended up a split decision after Carleton College and Bethel University batted for a total of 21 innings over two days. Both games required extra innings with the Royals winning Wednesday’s game one, 4-3 in 13 innings, and Carleton senior Clay Parrish (Westport, Conn./Staples) delivering a two-out RBI double in the eighth inning to give the Knights the 9-8 win in game two, which finished on Thursday.
(Click here for a recap of game one.)
Due to the length of the opener—the longest MIAC game this season—the squads completed only three innings of game two before darkness caused play to be suspended on Wednesday evening.
Carleton had taken the early lead in the contest, as Kiyota Gomi (Sr./Dobbs Ferry, N.Y./Ardsley) singled with one out in the first and scored immediately on Wirta’s double to left center.
Bethel countered with five runs in the bottom of the frame, however, Carleton responded with a five-run top of the third with a Erik Fabry (Sr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) bases-loaded single, a David Stillerman (So./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) RBI grounder, a pair of bases-loaded walks, and a sacrifice fly. The Royals re-gained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame before the umpires halted play with Bethel in front 7-6.
Fast forward approximately 20 hours and the two teams were back on the field at Hargis Park.
Missed opportunities was the storyline in game one and the teams followed the same script in game two. Carleton missed a golden chance to pick up the tying run in the fifth inning. Patrick Philley (Sr./Gig Harbor, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) singled and later stood at third bases with only one out. Instead of turning into Carleton’s seventh run of the game, he became one of 10 runners the Knights stranded in scoring position in the contest. Another Carleton scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth evaporated when a first and second, none-out situation was eliminated by an inning-ending double play.
Finally in the top of the seventh, Carleton broke through. Stillerman opened the frame with a double to left center, and Philley followed with a game-tying double down the left-field line. Two outs later Ray Yong (So./Elmhurst, Ill./York) singled home to go-ahead tally, making the score 8-7 in favor of the visitors. The Knights loaded the bases but could not cash in any insurance runs, a move that proved costly as Jesse Nickols smacked a home run in the bottom of the frame, forcing the teams into extra innings once again.
Not to be denied a win after making another bus ride, the Knights re-gained the lead in the eighth. With one out, Stillerman and Philley each collected their third hit of the contest. Kevin Johnson (So./St. Anthony, Minn./DeLaSalle) kept the inning alive by beating out a potential inning-ending double play, and that brought the pinch-hitting Parrish to the plate. On a 1-2 count, he sliced a ball just inside the first-base bag, ultimately resulting in a ground-rule double.
The Royals got the tying run aboard in the home half of the frame, but Danny Shields (So./Richfield, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels) closed out the victory by inducing a 4-6-3 double play of the bat of Matt Rowley, the MIAC’s leading hitter. He entered the week with a .442 batting average, but the Knights pitchers limited him to a 2-for-9 performance in the two games.
Shields tossed 5.0-innings of one-run ball for the win. Stillerman went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a RBI.
Carleton hosts Central College for a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday, May 5 followed by a trip to Saint Mary’s University the following afternoon.