NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Baseball is a game of inches, and it was the little things that led to the Carleton College baseball team dropping both ends of a doubleheader to visiting Saint John’s University. In the opening-game 7-5 setback, the Knights committed four errors leading to five unearned runs. During the nightcap, a late balk factored in the deciding run as the Johnnies prevailed, 3-2.
Carleton (6-11, 1-3 MIAC) trailed 6-0 in the opener before the bats came alive. Erik Fabry (Sr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) drove home catcher Alex Wirta (Sr./Corte Madera, Calif./Redwood) for the Knights’ first run in the fourth. An inning later the hosts picked up three more runs on a run-scoring single by Kiyota Gomi (Sr./Dobbs Ferry, N.Y./Ardsley), RBI double by Wirta, and a groundout by Jeff Dsida (So./Winnetka, Ill./New Trier).
The Johnnies (14-6, 2-0 MIAC) picked up a big insurance run in the sixth after the Knights dropped the ball during a rundown between third and home plate.
Carleton threatened again in the bottom of the frame with one run scoring thanks to a Saint John’s fielding miscue, but the Knights left the bases loaded, missing a golden opportunity to close the gap and ultimately succumbing by the 7-5 margin.
Offensive and defensive letdowns haunted Carleton in game two. The Knights left the bases loaded in the opening frame and stranded six baserunners in the contest, five of them in scoring position.
In the third inning, Saint John’s plated its first runs on a hit batter, a walk, a wild pitch and a two-run single. The Knights responded in the bottom of the stanza with a two-out rally. Wirta singled and raced home on Dsida’s triple to the right-centerfield gap. Ray Yong (So./Elmhurst, Ill./York) followed with a walk, then successfully started a double-steal that saw Dsida race home with the tying run. Later in the inning, however, Yong was cut down at the plate on a bang-bang play.
In the fifth, the Knights got a runner to third with none out but could not cash in the run, shifting momentum over to the Saint John’s dugout. The Johnnies’ Bert Marsnick led off the next frame with a single, moved to second on a balk, advanced to third on a groundout, and trotted home on a sacrifice fly. That proved to be the difference as Carleton went down in order during the sixth and seventh innings.
The Knights will look to get back in the win column as they travel to Gustavus Adolphus College (8-9, 1-3 MIAC) for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 7.