ST. PAUL, Minn. – Carleton College gave the No. 2 team in the nation all it could handle in game one, but the Knights eventually dropped both ends of a doubleheader at the University of St. Thomas, 8-7 and 9-0. MIAC co-player of the week Jeff Dsida (So./Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) had three hits, including a game-tying triple in game one.
St. Thomas (26-4, 14-0 MIAC) clinched a playoff berth and ran its win streak to 17 games by sweeping is 13th consecutive conference doubleheader. The Tommies scored twice in the opening frame, but Anderson Cole (So./Aspen, Colo./Aspen) limited further damage by starting a 1-6-3 double play.
Carleton (12-19, 4-10 MIAC) scored three times in the third inning. David Stillerman (So./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) and Patrick Philley (Sr./Gig Harbor, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) opened the frame with back-to-back singles in front of a walk to Kevin Johnson (So./St. Anthony, Minn./DeLaSalle). All three Knights scored in the inning: one on an error, another with a wild pitch, and the last via a RBI groundout.
The Knights extended their lead to 5-2 with three more hits in the fourth. Dsida doubled and scored on a single by Nolan Baker (Fy./Appleton, Wis./Appleton North), who advanced to third on Stillerman’s second hit in as many innings. Baker then came home while St. Thomas turned a double play.
Trailing by three runs, St. Thomas scored five times in the bottom of the frame. J.D. Dorgan opened the stanza with a home run to left, and five straight two-out hits gave the Tommies a 7-5 lead.
That advantage didn’t last long, however. With two down in the fifth, Alex Wirta (Sr./ Corte Madera, Calif./Redwood) smacked his 12th double of the season, and he scored on Erik Fabry’s (Sr./Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) single. Dsida then knotted the contest at 7-7 with a triple to center field. The seven runs tied for the second-highest run total yielded by St. Thomas this season.
The Tommies got a two-out double to tally the winning run in the sixth. That was the lone run allowed in 2.1 innings of relief by Jackson Tears (So./Trabuco Canyon, Calif./JSerra).
St. Thomas led game two 2-0 when things got out of hand in the fifth inning. The Tommies scored seven times, with five of the runs coming with two out. The Knights were held in check by Bryce Gapinski who tossed a four-hit shutout.
Wirta cut down two more runners attempting to steal in game two and has now nabbed 7-of-8 would-be basestealers during conference games.
The Knights host Macalester College on Saturday, April 28. The Senior Day doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. Knights Online will broadcast both games.