After losing to both Buena Vista University and Bethel University (Minn.) on Thursday, March 24, the Carthage College baseball team (5-7, 0-0 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) got back in the win column on Friday, March 25 with a 14-4 win over Carleton College (2-14) at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
"Last night," said Carthage coach Augie Schmidt IV, "we played two hours of great baseball against Buena Vista but spit up a seven-run lead in the eighth inning. Our backend pitching failed us again, and that 's been the story of the trip, so far. We're going to have to mix and match and change some things, but once we get into a situation where we're not playing every day, we'll be fine. Down here, we're stretched to the limit and putting kids into some pretty tough situations. We also ran into a really good Bethel team. We were flat and didn't play very well, but they beat us."
In the win over Carleton, Carthage took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an infield error and an RBI-single by Matt Rave. Carleton went up, 4-2, in the bottom of the second on a three-run homer by Hayden Tsutsui off starting pitcher Tim Sulik, along with an RBI-single by Austin Heuer. The Red Men knotted the contest, 4-4, in the third on a two-run homer by Alex Letto. Carthage re-gained the lead for good, 6-4, with a two-run double by Jared Knoespel in the fifth. Matt Rave's two-run homer in the sixth made it 8-4. The Red Men tallied five runs in the seventh to go up by nine, 13-4. Drew Korosic hit an RBI-triple, Jared Helmich an RBI-single, Matt Rave a two-run double off the centerfield fence and Alex Letto an RBI-triple. A sacrifice fly by Drew Korosic in the eighth put Carthage up by 10 , 14-4. The Knights failed to score in the bottom half, and the game was called due to a 10-run rule.
Pitcher Tim Sulik (1-1) went the distance for the Red Men and picked up Carthage's first complete game of the season. Sulik allowed four runs on 10 hits and a walk over nine innings, while striking out five. "Tim Sulik pitched pretty good and got our first complete game, which will really help our bullpen," said Schmidt. Jack Violetta (0-1) took the loss and surrendered the first eight runs on 12 hits, two walks and six strikeouts over six innings. The Red Men collected 18 hits, with Matt Rave leading the way with four hits in five trips, along with three runs scored, a double, a home run and five RBI. Alex Letto went three-for-five with a triple, a home run and three RBI, and A.J. Kaprelian went three-for-five. Carleton catcher Hayden Tsutsui hit for the cycle and went four-for-four with three RBI.
Carthage takes on Gustavus Adolphus College on Saturday, March 26 in an 1:30 p.m., MST contest, also at the Kino Sports Complex. "We hit the ball well last night, and we hit the ball well today," concluded Schmidt. "I like this team—it's just a matter of finishing games. We'll just keep chugging away. We'll be a lot better off when we don't have to play all of these back-to-back games.