Yellowjackets split with Johnnies, grab first win of 2013 season

More news about: UW-Superior

After last week's season-opening sweep at the hands of Augsburg College at Mall of America Field in the Twin Cities, the Yellowjacket spent the week hard at work and found their way into the win column on Thursday, March 14. Once again visiting the interior confines of Mall of America Field, the Yellowjackets split a doubleheader with St. John's University, and in the nightcap finally were able to rouse their bats from winter's hibernation.

Game 1
St. John's 6, Yellowjackets 3
Box Score

Game one of the day saw the teams swap single runs in the second inning, the Yellowjackets plating a run as Michael Doescher (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West) scored on a Sam Holden (Spooner, Wis./Spooner) double. That was as close as they would get, however, as the Johnnies blew it up with two runs in each of the third and fourth innings.

In the third Luke Larson sent a two-out single through the left side that scored a pair. The next inning Brett Becker and Connor Cline each drove in single runs and the Johnnies were up 5-1.

The Yellowjackets scored their final two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wyatt Soderquist (Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti) and TJ Evanson (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) started the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch scored Soderquist and moved Evanson into scoring position. After a pair of outs, Doescher singled, scoring Evanson to make the final 6-3.

Soderquist continued his strong start, knocking out two of the Yellowjackets' five hits in the game, going 2-for-4.

Aaron Pfaff, Tom Druk and Justin Thompson all had two hits to lead the Johnnies.

Dan Genrich (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West) got the start for the Yellowjackets, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits in four innings. He walked one and hit a batter while striking out six. Genrich is now 0-2 on the year. Alex Beers (Robbinsdale, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) came on in relief and pitched the final three innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out five.

Scott Schroeder got the win for St. John's, improving to 1-0. He pitched five innings, and allowed one run on two hits. Joey Long picked up the save, his second of the year for the Johnnies.

Game 2
Yellowjackets 10, St. John's 3
Box Score

Through the first three games of the year, all losses, the Yellowjackets mustered a total of six runs - a rather pedestrian total for a team that looks to be able to produce runs in bunches. All of that changed in the second game on Thursday, however, as the Yellowjackets banged out 10 runs on 14 hits in routing St. John's 10-3.

In the top of the first the Yellowjackets opened the scoring, as Robbie Veith (Brainerd, Minn./Brainerd) scored on a Jeff Miller (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) ground out and it was 1-0. They added another run, making it 2-0 when Veith homered to left field, his first of the season, to make it 2-0 after three.

The fourth inning was the big one, as the Yellowjackets blew the game open, scoring eight times to make it 10-0.

Holden led off the inning with a single and scored on a single by Brady Flaherty (Balsam Lake, Wis./Unity) to make it 3-0. Casey Dittel (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) followed with a single and both he and Flaherty scored on a Veith single to make it 5-0. After a single by Soderquist and an Evanson walk loaded the bases, Miller emptied them, driving a pitch over the wall in left field to make it 9-0. The grand slam was Miller's first home run of the year.

The Yellowjackets closed out their scoring in the inning the same way they opened it, with Flaherty singling to score Holden with the eighth run of the frame.

St. John's would get on the board, scoring a single run in the bottom of the fifth and adding two more in the bottom of the sixth, but it was too-little-too-late.

Kyle Gauger (Spooner, Wis./Spooner) was the beneficiary of the offense, making the start and giving up four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Freshman Jake Lewis (Proctor, Minn./Proctor) came on in relief and despite giving up three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings, picked up his first collegiate win. Cody Johnson (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) pitched the final two innings.

Offensively it was a good game for Veith, who went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI. Holden was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Flaherty 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI. Soderquist went 3-for-5 with a run scored.

Pfaff and Cline each had two hits to pace the St. John's offense.

The Yellowjackets (1-3, 0-0 WIAC) will depart for their spring trip to Tucson, Ariz. where they will play nine games in seven days. They will kick of action in the Grand Canyon State on Saturday, March 16 when they play a doubleheader against Macalester College. Game time is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Arizona time.