The Carthage College baseball team (3-3) lost a heartbreaker to Gustavus Adolphus College (3-3), 3-2, on Thursday, March 7 at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. The Gusties scored twice in the bottom of the ninth off the Red Men bullpen to overcome an early, 2-0 deficit.
Carthage took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Ben Levicki singled to open the frame. He advanced to third when Myles Farley singled up the middle and scored when Ricky Bergstrom reached base on an infield error. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Chance Roach was twirling a gem and did not allow a base runner through the first four innings. The Red Men took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Colton Klein led off with a single, advanced to third on a pair of infield grounders and scored when Vince Schwartz singled to right field.
Roach's no-hit bind ended with two outs in the fifth when Jack Hanson tripled to right to drive in Nathan Lindberg, who had previously reached base on a fielding error by Carthage shortstop Farley. Roach gave way to relief pitcher Brandon Hanik in the sixth.
The Gusties wound up winning the game, 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Matt Berkner singled off Hanik. Ethan Mocchi was hit by a pitch, sending Berkner to second. Brian Polaski relieved Hanik, but Polaski walked Nathan Lindberg to load the bases. Hanson hit a sacrifice fly to score Berkner with the game-tying run. Dexter Leer walked to re-load the bases, and Brice Panning singled through the right side to score Mocchi with the game-winning run and a 3-2 final score.
"That was a tough one," said Carthage coach Augie Schmidt IV, "after we dominated the game for two and one-half hours. We got a great outing from a freshman, Chance Roach. He just did a great job. We were sailing along until the ninth when we got the usual collection of walks and hit batters to get us in trouble. That stuff came back to bite us. It's a little frustrating when you lose a game when a freshman is throwing strikes. We had first and third with one out in the ninth, but Ryan Kramer hit into a double play. We could have used another run or two. Brandon Hanik was pitching well, so we sent him back out for the ninth. They got a little dribbler for a base hit, and then Hanik hit a guy, and pretty soon, it's game over."
Carthage's Roach allowed only an unearned run on one hit and two walks over the first five and two-thirds innings. The loss went to Hanik (1-1), who gave up two runs on a hit and walk over two and two-thirds innings. Damon Rademacher (1-0), in relief of starting pitcher Adam Stockwell, picked up the win. For the Red Men, Klein continued his torrid hitting by going three-for-five and upping his season batting average to .593 (16-for-27 in six games). "Colton Klein is our only consistent hitter right now." Said Schmidt. "With the rest of them, it sort of comes and goes. At the moment, it's a little bit feast or famine. If we're going to win, we're going to have to score more than two runs."
Carthage continues its trip to the Tucson Invitational on Friday, with a 12:30 p.m. MST contest versus Bemidji State University.