Bats Come Alive as Knights Earn Split at No. 10 St. Thomas

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- After dropping game one to national No. 10 University of St. Thomas, 6-1, the bats for the Carleton College baseball team came alive in game two, and the Knights' late-inning rally proved too much for the hosts to handle. Carleton handed St. Thomas its first MIAC loss of the season, 12-5. Willie Freimuth was one of the many offensive stars in game two, and paced the Knights with five hits on the day, including his fourth career home run.

"It was great to get another win in the MIAC," said Carleton head coach Aaron Rushing. "The guys played great in game two. Since we've been back (from the spring break trip), our pitching staff has turned a corner and done a great job of keeping us in every ball game."

The Knights (10-21, 6-6 MIAC) tried to set the tone early in game one as Jordan Zoellmer doubled and scored on Brendon Fischel's RBI single in the first inning. That lead was erased quickly, however, as the Tommies (21-5, 11-1 MIAC) brought three baserunners home in the bottom half of the opening frame to take the lead for good. St. Thomas added three more insurance runs in the sixth inning, while the UST pitching staff limited the Knights to only four hits in the contest.

The Knights must have brought out different bats for game two as Carleton matched its season high with 17 hits and scored 12 runs, the most the Tommies have surrendered to a conference opponent since the 2009 MIAC Playoffs.

St. Thomas led today's game, 4-2, entering the fifth inning, but Carleton pushed across runs in each of the next four frames to pull away for the victory.

Five Knights had multi-hit performances in the nightcap. Freimuth collected four hits, scored three times, and drove home two more. Zoellmer had two hits, two runs, and two RBI. Griffin Bolte had three doubles and three RBI. Austin Heuer picked up two hits and two walks, while Adam Shaukat had three hits and a pair of two-out RBI.

Sean Kelly was the beneficiary of the offensive awakening and earned his second win of the season. Luke Curtis tossed 3.0 scoreless frames of 1-hit relief to notch his first career save.

"Game two was a lot of fun," said Rushing. "Luke and Sean combined for an outstanding effort on the mound, we played clean defense, and we were able to string some great at bats together. It shows the type of team we can be, the challenge in our league is putting that type of performance together day after day. Everyone is tough and you need your 'A' game each time out."

The Knights lineup started Saturday's doubleheader without the services of Hayden Tsutsui as the MIAC's leading hitter spent the early part of the day taking the Comprehensive Examination required for the economics major at Carleton. Although the four-hour exam kept the senior from participating in game one, Tsutsui made the trek to St. Paul in time to have an impact on game two. He came on as a pinch-hitter, reached base twice, and scored a run. 

Carleton is now tied for fifth in the conference standings and visits fourth-place Saint Mary's University (20-12-1, 8-6 MIAC) for a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 26. There are only two weeks left in the regular season and the chase for a spot in the four-team MIAC Playoffs.