LA CROSSE, Wis. - Seeded fifth in the region, the Coe College baseball team knocked off fourth-seeded St. John's 4-2 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Johnnies started the scoring in the bottom of the first as G. Macdonald singled up the middle to plate A. Pfaff. Coe answered in the top of the second with a pair of runs. Senior Jack Hoffmann (Dubuque, Iowa/Wahlert) singled up the middle to start the inning. With two outs, junior Michael Redmond (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar) was hit by a pitch. Senior Cole Tomlinson (Trabuco Canyon, Calif./El Toro) walked to load the bases. Juniors Alec Zwanziger (New Hampton, Iowa/New Hampton) andCraig Konrardy (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus) also walked to bring in a pair of runs for the 2-1 Coe lead.
Coe added to its lead with a pair of runs in the fourth. With one out, Zwanziger singled up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Konrardy then singled to bring in Zwanziger, but was thrown out trying to extend the single into a double. Senior Michael Goerdt (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus) reached on a bunt single and moved to third on a single to left center by senior AJ Reuter (Monticello, Iowa/Monticello). Hoffmann then singled to right center, driving in Goerdt for Coe's final run. The Johnnies added an unearned run in the seventh, but Coe held on for the 4-2 victory.
Konrardy, Hoffmann and freshman Grant Henning (DeWitt, Iowa/Central-Clinton) had two hits apiece to lead Coe. Konrardy became the 13th player in school history to surpass 150 career hits. It was the 25th multiple-hit game of the season for Konrardy. Konrardy also drove in a pair. Hoffmann moved into a tie for sixth in school history with 42 RBI. Tomlinson is now tied for seventh in school history with 25 walks.
Senior Connor Alberhasky (Iowa City, Iowa/City) earned the win, as he improved to 5-4 on the mound. He threw seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits and two walks. He struck out four. Hoffmann earned his third-straight save, giving up one hit and walking one in two innings. Alberhasky moved into sixth in school history in career appearances with 49, while becoming the third pitcher in school history to throw over 250 innings. He is now tied for seventh with 17 wins. Hoffmann is now tied for fifth in school history with five saves.
Coe tied school record for wins in a season with the 2011 squad at 32. The Kohawks will face eighth-seeded Ripon at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Red Hawks knocked off top-seeded, and defending National Champion, Wisconsin-Whitewater 15-7 on Wednesday. A link for live stats and video will be available at CoeAthletics.com.