The No. 2-ranked Tommies bounced back from Wednesday's 1-0 shutout loss to St. Scholastica to whip Benedictine 10-1, in Thursday's elimination game at the NCAA regional tourney in Whitewater, Wis.
One day after leaviong nine runners on bases, including five in scoring position, the Tommies recorded 12 two-out hits as they came in big in the clutch.
Those dozen hits and a pair of walks led to nine consecutive two-out runs over three innings and allowed St. Thomas (34-6) to advance to a 3 p.m. Friday elimination matchup against Case Western, a 3-1 winner over St. Scholastica.
"We didn't exactly hit the ball out of the park today, but we did put it in play a lot," UST coach Chris Olean said. "We got hits when we needed them and were able to manufacture a lot of runs with two outs."
The 18-hit attack, which included seven infield singles and six doubles, backed the lights-out pitching of sophomore Colin Wendinger. He threw six shutout innings, striking out a batter in each inning, and extended his scoreless streak to 30 innings over five appearances. He last gave up a run March 25 against Chicago in Florida.
UST turned three 6-4-3 double plays -– shortstop Jon Kinsel to second baseman Sam Miller to first baseman Tyler Peterson -– in the first, fourth and eighth innings.
St. Thomas broke loose with three runs in the second and sixth and four in the seventh to build a 10-0 lead.
The first two St. Thomas batters flew out in the sixth, but four straight hits plated three more runs and doubled the lead to 6-0. It was more of the same in the seventh – after two outs, five hits led to four runs.
The Tommies' leadoff and second hitters, Ben Podobinski and Kinsel, each reached base five times in six at bats. Podobinski followed a groundout and a walk with three infield singles and a double and Kinsel had three singles and a pair of walks.
Every St. Thomas position starter got on base against Benedictine. The only one without a hit was Ryan Gerber, who was hit by a pitch. Six players had two or more hits and J.D. Dorgan had four RBI. Podobinski's four-hit day extended his team lead to 61 hits on the season.
In four postseason games, St. Thomas pitchers have given up only three earned runs in 36 innings (0.75 ERA). The starters have been even more effective, allowing one earned run in 25.1 innings (0.35 ERA).