It’s never too satisfying to come away with a split on a day that your pitching staff only surrenders one run, but after enduring what amounted to a nine-game skid in conference play, the Carleton baseball team will take it.
Such was the case this past Friday, as the Knights (10-21, 4-12 MIAC) used a pair of dominant pitching performances to wrestle Gustavus Adolphus College to a split in their home finale. Carleton absorbed a 0-1 loss in game one before fighting its way back into the win column with a 5-0 triumph to conclude another season at Mel Taube Field.
In the opener, Gusties starter Cody Sukalski found himself engaged in a good, old-fashioned pitcher’s duel with Carleton’s rookie gunslinger, Anderson Cole ‘14. Both pitchers took turns posting zeroes on the scoreboard, until a two-out RBI single from Gustavus’ Kevin Roth in the sixth inning proved to be the difference.
The Knights’ lineup was unable to respond, saddling Cole with the tough-luck loss as the team fell 1-0, dropping its ninth straight contest against MIAC competition.
Mercifully, Carleton would enjoy a reversal of fortunes in the nightcap, while strong pitching remained a constant. In what was otherwise an uneventful day for the team’s bats, the Knights condensed all of their offense into a five-run rally in the first inning that supplied Jake Anderson ‘11 with more than enough run support. In that pivotal frame, Ray Yong ‘14, Adam Zweber ‘13, Clay Parrish ‘12, and Erik Fabry ’12 strung together a quartet of run-producing singles. Alex Wirta ’12 also achieved the rare feat of being hit by two pitches in the same inning.
From there on out, it was all Anderson. Appropriately enough, the former Anoka Tornado looked quite comfortable amidst the blustery conditions, scattering just three hits over six shutout innings. Ted Harmon ‘13 emerged from the bullpen to shut the door in the seventh inning, keeping the shutout intact.
In other news, the team’s breakthrough on the diamond is matched only in scope and magnitude by Wirta’s decision to shave his beard in favor of something resembling the ever-popular General Custer look. The team is hopeful that some combination of the adventurous facial hair sported by several players and the fierce cross-town rivalry with the Oles will attract fans to Saturday’s season finale across the Cannon. Good tickets are still available.
Cy Grearby is a member of the baseball team.