Sophomore catcher J.D. Dorgan went 3-for-4, including a one-out walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored the tying and winning runs, as St. Thomas opened its 2012 baseball season with two one-run victories over No. 14-ranked St. Scholastica Monday night in the Metrodome.
UST rallied for a 3-2 win as the visitor in game one, and came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the nightcap, 4-3.
The Tommies (2-0), who avenged three close 2011 losses to the Saints (0-2), played errorless defense and walked just two batters on the night.
Righthander Steve Maher (SO-Burnsville/Holy Angels), a transfer from Iowa Central CC, worked into the seventh inning in game one. He fanned six, walked none and allowed just two runs. RHP Josh Kubitschek (JR-Centennial), a transfer from MSU Mankato, struck out two of the three batters he faced in relief for the save with the tying run at third base.
Jon Kinsel's RBI single capped a three-run fourth inning rally for UST.
In game two, UST trailed 3-1 through five innings. After starter Dylan Thomas set down the first nine CSS batters in order, the Saints struck for five hits and three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.
The Toms added one run in the sixth on a two-out single by Dan Reichert and an error on the throw home.
Trailing 3-2 into their last at bat, UST loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch-hitter Tim Kuzniar walked, Ben Podobinski executed a slick bunt single in front of the plate, and Jack Hogan's sac bunt squirted away from the Saints' first baseman for an error. After a strikeout, Dorgan stroked a pitch deep into the left field corner that the diving Saints' leftfielder was unable to glove, allowing both runs to score.
Thomas worked into the sixth inning and allowed three runs, eight hits, two walks with six strikeouts. Jacob Nelson got a strikeout to strand two in the top of the sixth. Mark Ulrich pitched a scoreless seventh and got the win for UST.
Dorgan, Podobinski and Dan Reichert each had three hits on the night for UST.
Parker Olson and Tom Juberian each had three hits on the doubleheader for CSS. Junior Kyle Jensen went the distance in game two and allowed nine hits, three earned runs and two walks with six Ks. Junior Jake Nystrom pitched all seven innings in game one and fanned even but allowed five hits, three walks and three earned runs innings.
St. Thomas plays next Monday back in the Metrodome against UW-LaCrosse, while CSS heads to St. Louis to play Buena Vista and Wash U.