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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Baseball splits with Hamline, can’t tame Bethel bats

< suffering a particularly lopsided defeat in my bygone playing days, a coach once told my team “I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news: we got our (butts) kicked. The good news: we don’t have to play these guys again.”

Using this logic, the Knights baseball team (8-14, 3-5 MIAC) can glean solace in the fact that they will not have to face either the Hamline Pipers or the Bethel Royals again this season, after a week in which they managed just one win and suffered three setbacks. On the other hand, the Knights let victories elude them in a couple close games and will need to dramatically improve their play if they hope to make up lost ground in the jam-packed MIAC standings and contend for a playoff berth.

Saturday’s showdown against the Hamline Pipers occurred amid the quirky confines of Midway Stadium in St. Paul. Fittingly, both teams left only “mid-way” satisfied after splitting both ends of the doubleheader.

Despite a quality start from workhorse Jake Anderson ’11 in the opener, the Knights could not provide their ace with sufficient run support and lost 3-1. Alex Wirta ’12 wasn’t to blame for the lack of offense, as he continued his hitting tear by going 3-for-3 in the losing effort.
The nightcap with the Pipers was about the only bright spot in the Knights’ week. In that contest, Carleton’s dormant bats came alive and powered the squad to a convincing 9-2 win as Paul Dimick ’12 turned in another strong pitching performance. Dimick notched his second complete game of the year, and did not surrender an earned run. At the plate, Ray Yong ’14 posted a quadruple-double of the baseball variety by roping a quartet of two-baggers in a 4-for-5 hitting performance. Wirta stayed hot by going 2-for-3, pushing his batting average to obscene heights. Much the way the biblical hero Samson derived strength from his hair, Wirta not only leads the MIAC in sheer volume of facial hair, but also has the conference’s best batting average (.448) and on-base-percentage (.537).

The Knights put the game away with a five-run sixth inning, ignited in part by notorious speedster Jim Klein ’11 legging out a bunt single, which set the table for a two-run double from Yong.  Wirta and David Ames ’11 also came up with run-producing hits in the frame.
Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to be launched into space. Let’s just say that fifty years from now, people probably won’t be talking about Carleton’s performance versus Bethel, in which the Knights were swept on their home field, losing 6-3 and then 11-1.

The Knights started things on the right foot in game one, as a two-run single by Patrick Philley ‘12 gave them a 3-0 lead after just two innings.  After being spotted that cushion however, things swung in favor of the Royals, who broke through against Carleton’s rookie pitchers Anderson Cole ’14 and Jackson Tears ‘14.  Bethel’s comeback was aided by their ability to silence the Knights’ bats, with only Kiyo Gomi ’12 collecting hits after the third inning, as the Royals ground out a 6-3 win.

The Knights were their own worst enemy in game two, as a multitude of errors and walks enabled the Royals to open up a ten-run lead by the fifth inning.  Adam Zweber ‘13, Kevin Johnson ‘14, and Ames all had multi-hit efforts that went for naught.

The Knights have a busy weekend ahead. First, the team will pay a visit to Collegeville, Minn. to go up against the Saint John’s University Johnnies on Saturday before returning home for back-to-back non-conference games on Sunday and Monday.

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