WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Carleton College baseball team linked up with Lawrence University for a doubleheader on Thursday. The Knights secured their second consecutive walk-off victory with a 5-4 triumph in game one only to watch the Vikings rally for the 5-4 win in game two.
Carleton (6-5) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the opener, but Lawrence (3-7) scored three times in the third inning to knot the score. Chris Lasch (Fy./South Newfane, Vt./Northfield Mount Hermon)’s sacrifice fly in the fifth pushed the Knights back in front, and Carleton was one out from victory before the Vikings answered with RBI single from Matthew Holliday in the top of the seventh.
The contest was still tied 4-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth when Lasch—one of three rookies with multi-hit efforts for the Knights during game one—smacked a leadoff double to left field. He trotted home with the winning run when the next batter, Keenan Moore (Fy./Minneapolis, Minn./De La Salle), singled to right field.
Alec Lawler (Jr./Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Shanghai American School) tossed 7.0 strong innings before handing the ball over to Max Lane (So./Clarion, Pa./Clarion) to work a scoreless eighth frame and subsequently earn his first collegiate victory.
It appeared that the momentum from the opener had carried over to game two as the Knights raced to a 4-0 lead before the Vikings even recorded two outs thanks to two-run doubles by both Griffin Bolte (Jr./Portland, Ore./Lincoln) and Brendon Fischel (So./Eureka, Calif./Eureka).
Over the rest of the contest, however, Carleton found scoring runs much more difficult. The Knights advanced seven additional baserunners into scoring position—including four all the way to third base—but Carleton could not add another run to its score column.
After getting a run back in the bottom of the first, Lawrence used a four-run fourth inning to complete its comeback. Austin Heuer (So./Elk River, Minn./Elk River) took the loss, allowing the five runs over his 4.0 innings on the bump. Sean Kelly (Sr./Washington, D.C./Woodrow Wilson) added 2.0 perfect frames out of the Knights bullpen.
Carleton wraps up its spring break visit to Florida with a nine-inning game against Elmhurst College on Friday, March 24. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. EDT.