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Baseball grinds out a home sweep

Baseball grinds out a home sweep

St. Thomas Baseball had a 3-2 walk-off, extra-inning win over Hamline Wednesday at sunny Koch Diamond to start a doubleheader sweep of the Pipers. Ryan Lust singled home Jimmy Dolan with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the game-one victory.

Henry DeCaster allowed one earned run in eight innings and struck out five but got a no decision. Ben Meyer worked one inning and got the win in relief. After missing on prime scoring chances in the seventh and eighth innings, Dolan led off the ninth and was hit by pitch. He was bunted to second before scoring on Lust's single. UST got one hit from each of its nine players in the lineup.

In game two, UST scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 7-1 victory. Ryan Zimmerman struck out 13 and allowed one run over six innings and now has won four consecutive starts. Shaun Falbo pitched a scoreless final inning and kept his college ERA at 0.00 in 18 career appearances covering 24 innings.

Jake Smith started the six-run inning as he was hit by pitch. Hunter Hart Walked. Sam Cobbs had an RBI single. Adam Krajewski's one-out grounder loaded the bases. Logan Kohorst's RBI single made it 3-1, and Avery Lehman's RBI ground out pushed the lead to three runs. Zach Gottfredsen singled in a run, and Rock Cates singled in two more. Smith, Gottfredsen and Kohorst each had two hits each. Smith scored the game's first run in the fourth as he doubled, stole third and scored on a wild pitch.

UST's first two runs in game one came home on singles by Cates and Krajewski, a bunt, an RBI ground out by Lehman, and Gottfredsen's RBI bunt single.

DeCaster lowered his earned-run average to 1.76 over six starts, while Zimmerman, who won his 14th career game, dropped his ERA to 2.45. The team's ERA in 10 conference games is just 1.91. The Tommies stayed in the top 10 in Division III in ERA, walk-to-strikeout ratio, and strikeouts per nine innings.

St. Thomas (12-10 overall, 7-3 MIAC) kept pace with the leaders in the conference. St. Mary's (7-1), UST (7-3), St. John's (7-3) and Bethel (7-3) all swept Wednesday doubleheaders and are in a good battle at the halfway point of the 20-game conference schedule.

The Tommies are scheduled to play in Rochester on Friday against UW-La Crosse at 5 p.m. They will resume a suspended seven-inning game in the fifth inning with UST batting and leading 2-1. They also will play a nine-inning game with the Eagles.

St. Thomas is scheduled to play its final five MIAC doubleheaders in an eight-day span starting Sunday at Carleton.