- The Saints haven't lost a game in the UMAC Tournament since 2010
- The 19 runs are the most by the Saints in tournament play since 2011
- In the 2018 season, the Saints have now scored 58 runs on UWS in three games
- Colvard went 5-for-6 and was a home run shy of the cycle
- Neutzling extends on-base streak to 65 games, passes Brian Minks for sixth in program history for career hits (214)
DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – The College of St. Scholastica baseball team entered the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) postseason tournament as the top seed, taking on the fifth-seeded University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets on day one of the three-day, double-elimination tournament. The Saints defended their home field well and proved their worthiness of the one seed, defeating Superior by a score of 19-4 on Thursday at Wade Stadium.
In the final game of the three-set day, the Saints waited patiently to see if they would be taking on No. 4 Northland College or No. 5 University of Wisconsin-Superior. The two teams competed in the first game of the day, where UWS won 14-2 to advance to the double-elimination rounds. However, they were quickly sent to the loser's bracket as the Saints wasted no time taking control of the scoreboard.
After a nice top of the first inning from pitcher Jake Sande, the Saints looked to take an early lead. They would find much more than a small advantage, plating eight runs in the bottom of the first inning. The highlight of the eight-run inning came off the bat of Eric Pearson, who singled with the bases loaded to score two runs. Drew Colvard, the leadoff man for the Saints, batted and scored twice in the inning with a single and triple as well as two stolen bases. Others recording RBIs in the inning were Chris Olson, Brad Fossum, and Conor Wollenzien.
Sande pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second, holding the 8-0 lead as well as the momentum for CSS. They managed to put two runners on during the bottom half of the inning but wouldn't be able to bring either of them in to advance the game into the third.
Once again Sande made quick work of the 'Jackets lineup, going three up-three down on a total of 10 pitches. Two more singles were hit by the Saints in the bottom half of the third, including Colvard's third hit in as many innings, but they had nothing to show for it as the game moved to the fourth inning with the score reading 8-0.
Superior finally tallied their first hit on Sande in the top of the fourth with a single through the left side of the field, but that runner would vanish moments later on a line-drive double play turned by Fossum at second base. With the bases loaded in the bottom half of the fourth inning and one out, Chris Olson delivered a two-RBI double to left field to put the Saints in front 10-0. An ensuing wild pitch would bring Wollenzien home from third and Olson replaced him, where he scored moments later on a Colvard single to make the score 12-0.
Sande hit his second batter of the game during the fifth, but once again the runner wouldn't cause much ruckus as the Saints turned another double play to eliminate any threat of a run scoring. This time it was Colvard making a catch in centerfield and relaying it back to first to beat the runner back for the quick two outs.
Once again the Saints loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, this time with Wollenzien batting in the one-out situation. He took a 2-2 pitch and rifled it down the right-field line for a two-RBI double to boost the Saints to a 14-0 lead. Olson walked moments later, loading the bases for Cole Tyman. The CSS catcher faced five pitches and earned an RBI as he too took a free trip to first base. Colvard, who had already recorded four hits in the game, blasted a shot to left center for a double to score two more Saints and put the home team up 17-0.
The 'Jackets finally had an answer for St. Scholastica's hot bats, but it would be way too late. With the bases loaded, Sande was called for a balk that scored the first run of the game for UWS. A fielder's choice moments later would plate the second of the inning, leaving one runner on base with one out. Cory Albertson proceeded to rough up Sande in the inning with a two-run homerun to left field to make it a 17-4 ball game. The sophomore pitcher recovered after the homer, however, striking out the last two batters to end the inning.
Steven Neutzling led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to left center, quickly being replaced by Tim Munn as the pinch runner. Braydon Hanson knocked in Munn two pitches later on a single to right to add another run to the already enormous production from the CSS lineup. The last run of the game would be scored by Hanson, scoring from second base on an Olson single to put the Saints up 19-4.
James Fuerniss came out to close the game, striking out two from the mound before forcing a flyout to end the game.
Colvard led the way offensively for the Saints, going 5-for-6 from the plate with four RBIs and two stolen bases. Neutzling also had an efficient day at the plate, batting 3-for-4 and scoring three runs. Olson and Wollenzien each provided three RBIs, while Eric Pearson knocked in two. Jake Sande threw six innings of baseball, giving up five hits and four runs in his three-strikeout performance to earn the win.
For Superior, Cory Albertson provided a spark in the lineup with two RBIs on a home run to left center. Drake Gran pitched well in relief, throwing one and two-third innings and giving up two runs while striking out two as well.
The Saints (21-9) advance in the winner's bracket, taking on the Bethany Lutheran College Vikings Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. The game will be part of a three-game day at Wade Stadium, with the winner advancing to the championship game on Saturday.