ST. PETER, Minn. – Ted Harmon (Sr./Edina, Minn./Edina) and Kevin Johnson (Jr./St. Anthony, Minn./DeLaSalle) turned in yeoman efforts on the mound, but the Carleton College baseball team absorbed a pair of one-run setbacks to Gustavus Adolphus, falling 3-2 and 5-4 (12 innings) in the MIAC opener for both squads. The contests were re-located to the Gusties’ stadium after the Knights’ home field was unplayable due to wet conditions.
Harmon matched his career-high with a 7.0-inning effort as he allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. After struggling through the front three innings, he held the Gusties without a base hit over his final four frames of work. His counterpart, Christopher Kelly, was equally effective, surrendering just four hits, none after the third inning.
Gustavus, playing as the visiting team, scored in the top of the second, but Carleton answered with a tally in the bottom of the frame as Nolan Baker (So./Appleton, Wis./Appleton North) sprinted home on David Reynolds’ (So./Medina, Minn./Wayzata) groundout.
The Gusties pushed across two more in the third, only to see Ray Yong’s (Jr./Elmhurst, Ill./York) sacrifice fly in the “home” half of the stanza complete the scoring. Harmon and Kelly shutdown the offenses after that as neither side got a runner past first base the rest of the way.
Game two saw the Knights’ bats stay quiet early, while Gustavus grabbed a 4-0 lead off Johnson. The righthander permitted only one hit over his final six innings. He notched a career-best six strikeouts as he became the first Carleton pitcher in at least a decade to pitch 9.0 innings.
Baker and Johnson scored in the fourth to slice the deficit in half, and the Knights got two more in the fifth to knot the score at 4-4, but they left the bases loaded. Fortunately for Carleton, by this point Johnson had settled into a rhythm as he retired 13 straight batters at one point.
Without the benefit of a hit, Carleton loaded the bases with one out in the seventh yet failed to score. Following that missed opportunity, the teams traded goose eggs on the scoreboard until the top of the 12th when Gustavus filled the bases with one out and got an RBI groundout to push across the deciding run against reliever Jackson Tears (Jr./Trabuco Canyon, Calif./JSerra) in his third inning of work.
The Knights were scheduled to play at Hamline University on Tuesday, April 9, but the Pipers’ home stadium is about a week away from being ready to play, so the games have been shifted to Northfield. First pitch from Mel Taube Field is still slated for 2:30 p.m. Knights Online hopes to provide live video, weather permitting.