MINNEAPOLIS – The St. Scholastica baseball team got back to .500 on the year with a sweep of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, winning game one 5-4 in extra innings and game two 5-3 on Friday at Mall of America Field.
Kyle Moody put the Saints on the board in the top of the first of game one with a two-out RBI single. Kyle Flagstad scored on the play, but wouldn't have been possible if the Eagles hadn't committed an error on pick-off attempt on Flagstad.
The Eagles matched the Saints in the bottom frame with a two-out RBI single. The game remained tied until the bottom of the fifth. CSS starter Michael Swenson had been cruising until the Eagles got a two-run double and a RBI single all with two outs to take a 4-1 lead.
In the top of the sixth, the Saints had runners at the corners and one out. Tyler Henderson hit a comebacker back to the pitcher who proceeded to start the 1-6-3 double play, however the shortstop mishandled the throw and all of the runners would be safe, including Moody who came in to score. Shayne Ciernia followed with a RBI single to right and Tom Juberian avoided the tag at the plate to make it 4-3. Henderson then scored on a Jake Casareto fielder's choice to tie the contest 4-4.
The Eagles (8-6) had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on third and two outs. However, Mickie Keuning induced a ground out to short to send the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Tom Spaniol came in to pinch hit and drew a one-out walk. After a Casareto single put runners at first and second, a Flagstad fly out to right moved Spaniol up to third. Parker Olson then came up and hit a base hit to center to plate Spaniol and give CSS a 5-4 lead.
Jake Nystrom entered in the bottom of the eighth and retired the Eagles in order to earn his first save of the season. Keuning earned the win for the Saints in two scoreless innings of relief. Flagstad went 3-for-5 to lead the Saints offense.
In game two, the Saints got out to a quick start, having three come across in the bottom of the first. Flagstad scored on a Moody RBI single. Olson then scored on a wild pitch and Moody scored on a Tom Juberian sacrifice fly.
After a La Crosse home run to lead off the fourth, the Saints got that run back in the bottom of the frame when Juberian scored on a Casareto RBI. A David Vogelgesang sacrifice fly in the fifth extended the lead to 5-1.
La Crosse crept back into the game in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with no one out. Thomas Rogers then entered the game and after allowing a RBI single, got a double-play ball and then got an infield pop up as the Eagles were only able to get two across in the inning. Rogers then sat down the Eagles in order in the bottom of the seventh as the Saints completed the sweep, winning 5-3.
Rogers earned his second save of the season. Kyle Jensen earned the win for CSS, scattering four hits and striking out three in five innings for work. Moody and Juberian each had two hits to lead the Saints' 10-hit attack.
The Saints (8-8) open Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) action next weekend with a three-game series against arch-rival Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Friday's single game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.