WHITEWATER, Wis. – The St. Scholastica baseball team squandered a four-run lead, but plated four runs of its own in the top of the 13th inning to defeat Aurora University (Ill.) 8-4 Thursday night at the NCAA Division III Whitewater Regional at Prucha Field.
The Saints are 2-0 at the NCAA Regional for the first time in program history. CSS moves on to face the only other undefeated team left in the double-elimination regional, top-seeded University of St. Thomas, tomorrow at 4 p.m.
The Saints got the scoring started in the top of the third as Kyle Flagstad hit a two-run single to score both John Hietpas and Andy Schwantes. Flagstad then scored on a Kyle Moody groundout to make it 3-0 CSS. The score was 4-0 St. Scholastica after a Parker Olson sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth to bring in Brandon Peterson.
Jake Nystrom, who had been performing well against the Spartans, scattering just four hits through the first five innings, got into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. A lead off single, followed by a walk led to a one out, two-RBI triple by Mike Foley to make the score 4-2. Foley then scored on a groundout to make it 4-3 after six.
Aurora tied the game up in the bottom of the seventh with a RBI single by Brett VanAsdlen off of reliever Ben Grieger.
From that point it was the Thomas Rogers and Luke Gilbertson show as they both would retire 12 straight batters and the game went to extra innings. The Spartans broke up Rogers' streak in the bottom of the 11th inning, but would strand a runner at second.
Flagstad broke up Gilbertson's streak to leadoff the 12th with a triple. However, after a strikeout, Flagstad would be cut down at home on a ground ball and then Saints would also strand another runner at second.
After the Spartans once again left a runner on second base in the bottom of the 12th, the Saints offense awoke finally and would bat around in the inning. After a quick out, Schwantes drew a walk and Olson followed with a RBI triple to right center to score Schwantes from first to make it 5-4. For Olson, it was his second game-winning hit in as many days.
However, the inning was not done yet as Kyle Jensen followed with a double to bring in Olson. Later in the inning, Moody recorded a RBI single and Peterson drew a bases loaded walk as the Saints led 8-4.
Rogers was still going strong on the rubber for the Saints and closed it out as the Saints won again 8-4.
Rogers was outstanding in relief, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing only two hits, while striking out three to earn his second win of the season.
Flagstad and Jensen each had three hits to pace the offense. Schwantes, who had three doubles yesterday, drew three walks tonight and scored a pair of runs and started the Saints rally in the 13th. St. Scholastica has now scored at least eight runs in 14 consecutive games.
Aurora (37-9) moves on to face St. Norbert College in an elimination game at 1 p.m. tomorrow. The Tommies advanced to face the Saints by defeating the host, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, earlier in the day 5-3.
The Saints (35-9) and Tommies will resume their rivalry tomorrow at 4 p.m. All of the action can be heard live on csssaints.com.